Subject: Climate Change Resiliency – Solar” expenditure of $2,100,000.
I may be unable to attend the meeting on Tuesday when you vote on the bond measure that includes an expenditure of $2.1 Million for a Solar Resiliency Project. I would like to reiterate my objections to this frivolous project.
It is unnecessary, a diesel system exists and there is a very low probability that the diesel fuel might run out. In addition, as an emergency backup system, resiliency is far from assured by a solar system that does not have any battery backup. If an emergency happens at night or on a cloudy day, does this project really help?
If this is an “Eco-resiliency” project, how does this reduce carbon footprint when BPA electricity is already very low carbon?
The project does not pay for itself. Using just the $2,100,000 even without financing costs and batteries, the anticipated avoided KWH charges of $25,000/year would only be paid back in 84 years while these types of panels typically last around 20-25 years.
This project would cost over $100 per citizen with no valid benefits. If such a resiliency project is important to the community, I suggest council wait a few years until the costs of both batteries and solar panels come down, and propose a comprehensive 24 x 7 x 365 solution at that time.
Our city council cannot find the slack in the current operating budget to prioritize the maintenance of two existing, heavily used community centers that are vital to the social fabric of Ashland, yet you propose additional indebtedness.
Politically, a case can be made for the immediate, tangible benefits of the other elements of this bond proposal. By including the frivolous solar proposal, you will no doubt create a whirlwind of opposition from fiscally conservative citizens.
Daniel Belenky – Ashland