Local Energy Solutions E-News
Turning Ideas into Action
May 2016

Net Metering Cap Lifted
On May 2, 2016 NH Governor Maggie Hassan signed HB116 into law, raising the state net metering cap from 50MW to 100MW.

Governor Maggie Hassan issued the following statement after signing House Bill 1116, relative to net energy metering:
 
"Solar and other small scale clean energy resources are critical to New Hampshire's growing clean energy economy, which is creating good-paying, high-quality jobs, spurring economic development and helping combat climate change. Clean energy resources such as solar are also helping businesses and families across the state lower their energy bills and increase their energy independence, helping to build a more diverse and reliable energy supply that will lead to a more affordable and more innovative energy future for our state. Lifting the cap on net metering is essential to the continued success of New Hampshire's solar industry, and I am proud to sign this bipartisan bill so that our clean energy industry can continue to grow and thrive." 
 
Governor Hassan also signed companion legislation, Senate Bill 378, relative to the availability of net metering tariffs.


LES Webinar This Wednesday!

USDA Rural Development's Tools for Financing Energy Projects
Wednesday May 18th from noon - 1 p.m.

USDA Rural Development supports rural communities, in part, by strengthening their capacity and diversifying their energy choices. In this webinar, USDA Rural Developments Energy Coordinator, Ken Yearman, and Community Programs Specialist, Eric Law, will review grant and loan programs that can support renewable energy and efficiency projects for small business, agricultural producers, non-profits, and municipalities. Participants will walk away with a better understanding of USDA Rural Development grant and loan product, information about next steps, and contact information for program specialists.


Upcoming Events
NH Energy Code Residential Workshop
May 17th from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
The Common Man, 231 Main St, Plymouth, NH
This workshop is free and CEUs/AIA credits are available. Contact Lucy Bass with any questions: ( lucy.bass@gdsassociates.com) or by phone (603-391-0047).

Solar 101 for NH Municipal Officials
May 17, 2016 from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Lebanon City Council Chambers
This workshop will help municipalities reduce costs and simplify the process of implementing residential solar PV installations in their communities.  Steve Whitman of Resilience Planning & Design LLC, will discuss: solar PV municipal planning and zoning, permitting, codes and inspections, along with solar PV installations on municipal property.  Workshop produced by Lakes Region Community College, with support of the U.S. DOE SunShot Initiative, in partnership with NH OEP and CESA. 

NH Residential Solar 101
May 18th from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Bass Hall, Peterborough
Come to a free vendor-neutral workshop about grid-tied, residential solar PV systems.  Learn about solar PV fundamentals, panel placement, permitting, grid interconnection, financing, PV incentives and installer selection.  Presented by Andy Duncan, Lakes Region Community College.  Workshop produced by Lakes Region Community College, with support of the U.S. DOE SunShot Initiative, in partnership with NH OEP and CESA. 

NH Energy Code Commercial Workshop
May 19th from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
360 Laconia Rd., Tilton, NH
This w orkshop is free and CEUs/AIA credits are available. Contact Lucy Bass with any questions: ( lucy.bass@gdsassociates.com ) or by phone (603-391-0047).

EV Charging Station Ribbon Cutting
May 19th, 2016 at 1:30 p.m.
Nissan of Salem, NH, 93 S Broadway in Salem
The dealership has just installed an electric vehicle DC fast charger at 93 S Broadway in Salem. (NOTE: Not at old address 343 Main St.) A DC fast charger will fully charge an electric vehicle in just 20 minutes! There will be several speakers and refreshments at the event. The charger is free and available to use 24/7. 

Solar Show & Tell
Saturday May 21st, 11:00-2:00
Wendell A. Barwood Hockey Arena at Hartford High School
45 Highland Ave, White River Junction, VT
Upper Valley solar installers from Vermont and New Hampshire are loading up their trucks and joining forces with the Hartford Parks and Recreation Department and Vital Communities to bring you a rare opportunity - for ONE DAY ONLY, the Hartford High School Arena will be transformed into a HANDS-ON SOLAR TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE.  Bring an open and curious mind - everyone will enjoy getting up close and personal with the tools and technology of solar energy. 
There's so much to see! From conducting a site visit to completing the install, let our region's local installers, current solar homeowners, and energy committee volunteers show you what it really takes to go solar.  SPONSORED BY: Catamount Solar, Energy Emporium, Norwich Technologies, Solaflect Energy, SunCommon, and USA Solar Store

Durham Solar Array Tour
May 24th, 2016 from 5:00 - 6:00 pm
391 Packers Falls Road, Lee, NH  03861  (map)
A tour of Durham's almost finished municipal 640 kW dc solar array (2100 panels) in the former gravel pit off of Packers Falls Road. Space limited -- please reserve a spot.

NH Residential Solar 101 Workshop
May 24th, 2016 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Multi Purpose Room, 55 Coe Drive, Oyster River High School, Durham, NH  03824 (map)
Learn about residential solar PV systems and installations at this free workshop.  Topics include panel placement, permitting and grid interconnection, financing, incentives and installer selection.  Presentation by Andy Duncan, Lakes Region Community College.  This event is being sponsored by the Durham Energy Committee, the Lee Energy Committee, the Stratham Energy Commission, the Rye Energy Committee, the Dover Energy Commission, the Seacoast Area Renewable Energy Initiative (SEAREI), the Seacoast Regional Energy Hub and other local area energy groups.

Solar 101 for NH Municipal Officials
June 4th, 2016 
NH OEP Planning & Zoning Conference 
Session only, pre-registration required, contact Michele Zydel by May 27:  michele.zydel@nh.gov.
Workshop produced by Lakes Region Community College, with support of the U.S. DOE SunShot Initiative, in partnership with NH OEP and CESA.  

Green Your Fleet! 2016 Workshop 
June 10th, 2016
New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, NH from 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Green Your Fleet! is a free workshop hosted by Granite State Clean Cities Coalition and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The event features the latest in alternative fuels, vehicles and petroleum reduction.

Save the Date for the 2016 LES Conference!
November 19th, 2016
Mark your calendars for NH's annual energy conference for local energy leaders and stay tuned for more details!   

Business Sponsored Events
"Catching the Sun" Film Screenings

In conjunction with the League of Conservation Voters, ReVision Energy is proud to promote three upcoming screenings of a solar industry documentary.  Through the stories of workers and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and China, "Catching the Sun" is a feature-length documentary that explores the global race to a clean energy future. The film follows the hope and heartbreak of unemployed American workers seeking jobs in the solar industry and sheds light on the path to an economically just and environmentally sustainable future. ReVision Energy employees will sit on panel discussions following each screening.  Refreshments provided. Screenings are free of charge. Please RSVP at Eventbrite.com.

May 23rd at 5:30pm
Portsmouth Public Library
175 Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth, NH

May 24th at 6pm
Red River Theatres
11 South Main Street, Concord, NH

May 25th at 5:30pm
Howe Library
13 South Street, Hanover, NH

Regional Energy Hub News & Events
Ammonoosuc Regional Energy Team
 The Ammonoosuc Regional Energy Team is bringing the Solarize Ammonoosuc campaign to a close this month. Since our launch in January, O'Meara Solar has spent months conducting more than 100 site visits to assess the feasibility of a solar PV installation and offer a quote. With the final deadline approaching on May 23, we have reached Tier 4, or 100kw of combined capacity (typically in a solarize campaign, the installer offers tiered pricing that drops as more people sign up).
 
ARET has found that this initiative was more fun and generated more interest than we expected. We encourage other community volunteer groups to consider it, and will gladly discuss it with you if you are interested. Call David Van Houten at 603-444-1222.

Seacoast Regional Energy Hub
The Durham Energy Committee is happy to host the first annual Seacoast Regional Energy Hub Round Table on Saturday June 11th, 2016 from 10AM to 2:00PM (a light lunch will be served). Members of local energy committees, sustainability committees, and other groups working on energy efficiency and environmental change are welcome.   For more details, register here. Also, on May 24, the Durham Energy Committee will be hosting a Lakes Region Community College Solar 101 Workshop (6:30-8:30PM) and Solar Array Tour (5-6PM).  To register and find out more details, visit their event registration site

Other Energy News
Sun Shining on Valley When it Comes to Energy
The Conway Daily Sun

C ONWAY - Here comes the sun, as The Beatles sang so many years ago.

Solar power and all forms of renewable energy continues to be topical, especially this week in Mount Washington Valley, with the marking of Earth Day on Friday.

First held to raise environmental awareness in 1970, Earth Day was marked with programs at venues such as Tin Mountain Conservation Center that will continue into next weekend (see sidebar).

In today's edition, as part of a quarterly series on energy, local groups offer an overview on local solar energy efforts, with articles by Russ Lanoie and Dr. Marianne Jackson of the Mount Washington Valley Citizens Energy Team, a volunteer organization that offers assistance to regional, municipal and school energy projects.


Energy Solutions from Around New Hampshire
Dover Energy Committee

Over the last two years beginning in 2014 the City was looking into several stand-alone building modifications and LED light conversion options to test out the savings in one of its facilities. An RFP was sent out for LED lighting contractors to bid on being the vendor to work with Eversource.
The Dover Ice Arena was selected to be the test facility with the potential of other buildings being added to the list if this was success.  This work was coordinated with Affinity LED Light LLC Company of Dover and Eversource Energy's Municipal Smart Start Program, which is a unique blend of rebate payments and financing of lighting conversions for municipalities including schools.  Affinity established the plans to develop a building-by-building conversion process meeting all of Eversource's requirements. The plan documents the current energy use in each building based on the current inventory of lights and their usage broken down by kWh and dollars that can be saved by converting that fixture to LED. Once the total savings is determined and the cost estimate to purchase the new fixtures and bulbs and installation work related to the change, a budget is developed. This budget uses the annual savings to pay the debt incurred by Eversource to pay for the work and finance the project. The community will get the figures from Eversource and the contractor of how much per month they will save and that amount is shown in a separate line on the monthly bill. That same amount, instead of going to pay for the electricity will be used to pay for the debt service for as long as it takes to pay down the total investment.

The resulting outcome on the Ice Arena was a savings of $27,000/yr. and with a 4.5 year payback. The next project was the Indoor Pool where the City realized a $5,000/year savings and a 5.5 year payback. Following the Indoor Pool conversion was the McConnell Center in Dover, which is a 100,000 sq. ft. former school that was converted to a Multi-tenant Community Center in 2006.  It was determined that the City could save a minimum of $18,723 dollars per year by converting to LED with savings with a 6.6 year payback. The life of the new bulbs is 50,000 hours, which translates to a 10 years of usage.  Additionally, further savings and reduced payback timeframe could be realized by more flexibility in operating light levels through wirelessly controlled dimmable lights and the ability to set the light levels lower.

The energy savings coupled with less maintenance in all three converted buildings gives the City a great return on an investment that was rolled into our current budgets without impact to the taxpayer.  Overall the City of Dover has taken a major step in energy efficiency as well as investment in these three facilities and has decided to continue the process by applying for Eversource Municipal Smart Start funding to as many buildings as the schedule and revolving funds cycles will allow. The goal is that all of the City and School buildings as well as outside lighting in parks and streetlights will eventually be converted. 

New Resources
NEEP Regional Roundup of Energy Efficiency Policies

"NEEP recently published their annual Regional Roundup of Energy Efficiency policies in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, focusing on trends toward next generation energy efficiency policies and technologies.  The report also provides state-specific updates on policies and proceedings, including in New Hampshire.  The resource is freely available at 

New Sustainability Briefings: Climate Solutions New England

Climate Solutions New England & the University of NH Sustainability Institute have released new Sustainability Briefings focused on integrated climate solutions. 

The "Integrated Climate Solutions" project aims to promote leadership and innovation by highlighting initiatives that provide opportunities for enhanced civic participation and democratic governance, economic development, public health, and social justice, while tackling climate change mitigation and/or adaptation. Full case studies on each of the solutions featured are in development, and will be available at  climatesolutionsne.org.

To learn more and read previous briefings, please visit our  Sustainability Briefings page.

About the Local Energy Solutions Work Group (LES Work Group)
Our mission is to provide collaborative guidance and technical support to Local Energy Committees & Commissions (LEC's), municipalities, schools, and other political subdivisions* seeking to reduce energy use, minimize energy costs, and/or reduce fossil-fuel consumption.  Consider joining our efforts: contact Leigh Cameron for more information on the LES Work Group's efforts and opportunities for participation
About Our E-Newsletter: The monthly Local Energy Solutions E-newsletter of the NH LES Work Group is compiled and distributed by the New England Grassroots Environment Fund on behalf of the NH Local Energy Solutions Work Group.  Learn more about the Grassroots Fund.
              P.O Box 611
              Newmarket, NH  03857
              leigh@grassrootsfund.org
              603-905-9915