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The October 19 ELSD and SCCTC school board meetings began with a series of presentations about energy. One, Kim Guiton said, was an option for the future (solar) while the other was to be options for the present, as the lifting of electricity rate caps looms. The guest speaker was Jared Quiet from AM Solar in California. He described the company as a solar developer with a nationwide reach and a school focus. The company is of German descent, he said, and Germany is the largest solar market in the world due to the government support. In the beginning of 2009 they began operations in the United States, in California. He said that the most important reason they decided to work with schools was because they felt they had something to offer. As far as they know, he said, they are the only company focusing solely on schools. Schools, he continued, use solar as an educational tool, not just a money saving option. He said that his company tries to make the installed solar system come alive for the students. The company has secured financing, with the motto of financing with little to no upfront funding. Toward this end they have GCL Solar financing the projects. As Elk Lake has a lot of land, it was thought that perhaps ground would be the option the school might like to consider. Were Elk Lake to do the project, they would enter into a power purchase agreement (ppa) in order not to expend the money up front. They agree, then, to purchase the energy from the facility off the company. Under the model, AM Solar owns and operates the panels, and would contract with a local company to maintain it free of charge. If local people could be employed for the installation, he said, jobs would also be promoted. In addition, the company would invest in the community with renewable energy grants, etc., and make it so that the students could understand the process and reasoning behind the installation. Even, he said, there might the possibility to assist with a green training program through the vo-tech.
After several months’ review, Clifford Township Supervisors passed a local Oil and Gas Drilling Ordinance, as well as an Industrial Noise Ordinance, during a business meeting held October 18. Township Solicitor Joseph McGraw stated that the Director of the County Planning Commission reviewed the ordinances and “gave us a lot of recommendations, which we incorporated into our ordinances.” McGraw explained that sometimes local ordinances are pre-empted by state law, but added, “we have as tight of an ordinance as possible.”
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