The Bourne Board of Selectmen has approved a Memorandum of Understanding with a solar company to have a new solar development installed in town. The project is expected to bring in $6.3 million for the town over the next 25 years.
The agreement was announced during the selectmen’s meeting on July 20. Town Administrator Anthony E. Schiavi originally brought the project to the selectmen’s attention during the board’s June 1 meeting.
The project involves NextGrid Corporation, a renewable power company, gifting a sizable amount of land to the town, Mr. Schiavi said. He said that the solar development alone would cover 30 acres.
In addition, another 4 acres would be gifted to the town for municipal purposes, and yet another 10 to 14 acres would be gifted to the town under a conservation restriction that would remain in effect in perpetuity, he said.
The parcels included in the MOU include 0 Ernest Valeri Road; 479 Scenic Highway; 11 separate parcels on Fawn Hollow Way; and five individual parcels on Deerpath Trail. Acceptance by the town of all the acreage for the purpose of the solar development project would have to be approved by voters at a Town Meeting, Mr. Schiavi said.
“We look forward to working over the next few months with Next Grid and be ready to present this project at Town Meeting,” he said.
If approved at Town Meeting, the town would receive an initial $500,000 deposit, Mr. Schiavi said. The agreement spans 25 years, he added, and the town would receive a payment in lieu of taxes of $160,000 a year over that period of time.
There are also annual lease payments over the period of the agreement, he said, that bring a total financial benefit to the town of $6.3 million.
“This helps to further our initiatives of going out and looking for sustainable, recurring sources of revenue outside of our normal tax base and other funding within the town to help us fund investments in our strategic plan,” he said.