Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Solar advocate pushes for rooftop panels to play position in BG electrical grid research – BG Independent News

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By technique of JAN McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

As town considers a $100,000 research of its electrical grid, a solar energy advocate made one other plug Monday night time for extra rooftop panels in Bowling Green.

Joe DeMare urged that any research of town’s electrical grid ought to embody the flexibility to obtain rooftop photo voltaic from each roof in Bowling Green.

“Having homes with photo voltaic panels on them strengthens the native grid,” he stated.

DeMare factors to warmth waves straining energy grids world wide.

“That time is getting right here,” he stated.

On Monday, the City Council heard the second studying of an ordinance for an electrical subdivision research, to make sure that the system can deal with the rising demand.

Last month, town’s Board of Public Utilities accepted spending an estimated $100,000 to check town’s electrical grid’s capability to fulfill present and future wants.

The 2024 price range for town’s electrical capital reserve fund allocates $5.6 million for vital updates to substations, distribution techniques, and transmission strains. According to BG Assistant Utilities Director Jim Odneal, the updates have been pushed by a number of elements together with the Abbott Labs venture, growth of enterprise areas north and east of town, and the necessity to change or restore of getting old infrastructure.

“Aligning these essential updates with a long-term strategic plan is essential, particularly since greater than 5 years have handed since our final complete research,” Odneal stated.

The proposed research will have a look at the load development anticipated within the coming years, to make sure that town can proceed to offer dependable service. The analysis will embody load forecast, contingency evaluation, fuse coordination, fault evaluation, venture identification, gear age evaluation, land and environmental affect research, and capability research.

“It’s fairly busy with financial actions,” Odneal stated, citing the necessity for a system-wide research. “So that we develop with objective, as a substitute of simply reacting.”

On Monday, DeMare pushed for rooftop photo voltaic to be a part of the research.

“I look ahead to the day when now we have rooftop photo voltaic on all our roofs,” he stated.

The rooftop photo voltaic situation grew to become a flashpoint in 2021 when the Board of Public Utilities started charging a charge for householders with rooftop photo voltaic tied to the grid.

DeMare stated town “blew it” a decade in the past when it invested in coal energy. He stated that town made a mistake once more when it determined to “punish” the rooftop photo voltaic system.

City officers known as it an affordable “charge” whereas rooftop photo voltaic customers stated it was an unfair “wonderful.”

Brian O’Connell, director of public utilities within the metropolis, defined that the charge is important to make sure that different electrical energy prospects within the metropolis don’t pay those that select to put in rooftop photo voltaic panels.

City electrical energy charges are based mostly on prospects buying their power from town. A small portion of the fees are based mostly on mounted electrical system prices for objects comparable to meters, poles, wires, transformers, switches and linemen – objects required for all properties together with these with rooftops. photo voltaic, O’Connell stated.

“Those mounted prices do not change simply because somebody decides to place rooftop photo voltaic on their home,” he stated.

The metropolis pays the rooftop photo voltaic system for the additional power they produce and ship to town’s grid to share with different customers. But with out that charge charged to properties with their very own solar energy, “some prospects are subsidizing their power gross sales,” O’Connell stated.

DeMare, who has invested in photo voltaic on his residence, has repeatedly protested the $4 a month “penalty” town imposes for his photo voltaic system. The invoice has discouraged residents from putting in rooftop photo voltaic panels, and the “inexperienced” picture of Bowling Green has been tarnished by the rooftop photo voltaic coverage, he stated.

In different enterprise at Monday’s City Council assembly:

  • O’Connell reported on the venture to put in a brand new sewer line within the first block of Pear Street, between South Main and South Church streets. The work was gradual, as crews needed to dig by six ft of rock. The waterline portion of the venture will likely be simpler, as a result of it will likely be positioned on high of the rock, O’Connell stated.
  • The Council heard the second studying of an ordinance authorizing the municipal administrator to hunt {qualifications}, promote for bids, and enter into contracts for the design, engineering and development of the pickleball court docket venture deliberate in exterior the Bowling Green Community Center.
  • Council member Greg Robinette reported {that a} finance committee assembly will likely be held on July 15, at 6:30 p.m., previous to the council assembly at 7 p.m.
  • Council member Damon Sherry acknowledged June as Pride Month.





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