Then in September 2014, it was revealed that the City's annual energy costs had increased by 33 percent, or $113,782. There are many factors influencing energy costs, among them usage and cost of delivery, but a study done by Council president Don Moore comparing the data for two years--the year before and the first year of Viridian service--provided evidence that Viridian's variable rate had increased dramatically. Since then, the mayor has negotiated a favorable and competitive rate with Viridian, and the City continues its agreement with Viridian on a month to month basis.
The deal involves no upfront costs to the City of Hudson. In fact, the City would enjoy an upfront benefit. If the City enters into a 20-year agreement, which cannot be cancelled or renegotiated (although it seems the City can "buy out" of the contract after eight years), there are two options for future savings. Option 1: The City gets a half million dollars when the project "goes live" and saves $3.5 million in energy costs over the next 20 years. Option 2: The City gets no upfront money and saves $4.9 million over the next 20 years.
Ortiz told the Council that the Port Jervis has already committed to an agreement with Energy in the Bank, and Coxsackie has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). At the Economic Development Committee meeting on Thursday, Moore observed, "If we were to sign an MOU and try to qualify for remote net metering [essential to realizing the promised savings, but an opportunity that will disappear at the end of June], we would need a Council resolution by the end of next week." A special meeting of the Common Council has been called by Moore for Monday, June 1, and one of the items on the agenda for that meeting, along with the plan for the police and court building due to the NYS Office of Court Administration, is "Solar Energy Contract."
One interesting bit of information about Energy in the Bank, to be found on the Internet, is that in 2012 the Stroudsburg Area School District, apparently in Energy in the Bank's own backyard, backed out of the deal with the company. The Pocono Record, in an article entitled "Stroudsburg schools' solar deal not all it's cracked up to be," reports that two years after the district had approved a project that would create "a massive 48,000-panel, 11-megawatt solar farm" for its use--touted as "one of the largest solar projects"--nothing had happened. The solar array proposed for Hudson is much smaller, producing only 2.5 megawatts.
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