Summit Cove solar flare-up: Summit School District begins contract renegotiations for arrays
In an attempt to extinguish the solar controversy, local school officials began Wednesday contract renegotiations that could result in the Summit School District purchasing recently constructed arrays at Summit High School and Summit Cove Elementary.
On Tuesday, the Summit School District Board of Education voted to direct staff to renegotiate its power purchase agreement with Syndicated Solar, recently acquired by Real Goods Solar Inc. of Louisville, and Spear Point Energy.
School district officials are attempting to reach a settlement that would allow them to acquire the stadium array at Summit High School and the roof arrays at Summit Cove Elementary through a capital purchase agreement, said Mark Rydberg, director of business services for Summit School District.
“Buying out the contract would allow us to have control of the project, which we feel at this point is a better direction for us to take,” said school board President Margaret Carlson.
In addition to a capital purchase agreement, officials also are seeking through the settlement to reduce the school district’s solar footprint by removing the south array located on the ground behind Summit Cove Elementary. Plans for the north array, which has not yet been constructed, would be abandoned, Rydberg said.
The renegotiations are ongoing, Rydberg said, meaning it is too early to speculate what the potential costs would be to the school district. However, Rydberg said he is hopeful a settlement agreement could be reached by as early as the the end of the week.
If the Summit School District, Syndicated Solar and Spear Point Energy do come to an agreement by Friday, the Summit School District Board of Education plans to call at 6 p.m. Tuesday a special meeting to provide the public with an opportunity to hear and comment about the settlement.
Barring any serious public opposition to the still to be seen settlement, the school board also plans to vote to finalize the agreement during the special meeting, Carlson said.
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