Haverhill eyes next solar target

Canopies over parking lots would collect power

Eagle Tribune | By Peter Francis
October 17, 2016

HAVERHILL — After using rooftops of public buildings for solar panels and putting rules in place to encourage private rooftop arrays, the city is looking for the next place to put solar panels.

It appears that is above two places where commuters park their cars while they take commuter trains to work.

The City Council will vote on whether to pursue the construction of canopies above the parking lots at both of the city’s MBTA commuter rail stations — near downtown Railroad Square and in Bradford.

A power purchasing agreement has been drawn up between Mayor James Fiorentini and Boston-based solar company Omni Navitas to buy solar energy from the canopies, and the council will vote Tuesday night on whether to authorize Fiorentini to sign that contract.

The deal is similar to other purchasing agreements signed by the Fiorentini administration. The deals typically last for 20 years and lock in a power price for the duration of the agreement.

If the deal is approved, the city will buy electricity in the form of net metering credits for 13 cents per kilowatt hour.

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