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Hadley inks solar pact for long-term electricity savings

HADLEY — Local officials have locked into a 20-year power agreement that a solar power producer estimates will save the town $500,000.

The pact with Hampshire Solar involves a consortium of the Hampshire Council of Governments (HCOG) and Nexamp, which is building a solar photovoltaic facility on Allard’s Farm on Mill Valley Road in Hadley.

The solar field will generate up to 3 megawatts of electricity and is expected to be operational in January.

Hadley will purchase solar credits from the installation at a discounted price and use those credits to offset the town’s electricity bills at a savings of 21 percent, according to Hampshire Solar. In money terms, for every dollar’s worth of credits, the town’s taxpayers will pay 79 cents.

Jonathan Abe, senior vice-president at Nexamp, estimates the savings on Hadley’s electricity bills will amount to $25,000 annually or $500,000 over 20 years, according to the council.

Hadley also has agreed to continue a long-term partnership with the Hampshire Council of Governments to supply or broker electricity for a five-year term. Since joining Hampshire Power in 2009, the town has saved between $10,000 and $17,000 annually in electricity costs.

“It’s a long-term relationship that’s saved the taxpayers thousands of dollars,” Town Administrator David G. Nixon said.

The town earlier this year reached a payment-in-lieu of taxes agreement with Nexamp that will provide Hadley $10,000 more over a 20-year period than if Nexamp was regularly taxed.

Nixon described the partnership as “an innovative combination of public, private and regional interests that will reduce costs and increase the town’s use of renewable energy.”

Dan Crowley can be reached at dcrowley@gazettenet.com.

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