standing letters

This letter is in response to Barbara Capalbo’s letter regarding possibly changing my vote on the Brushy Brook solar project. I voted no and I will stand by my vote because I support the Comprehensive Plan, the Planning Board, and the residents.

Having attended the recent Chariho School Committee budget workshops and having spent many hours developing $728,529 in suggested budget cuts with the Chariho director of administration, I also recognize that Hopkinton needs additional sources of revenue. Although I did not think that the Brushy Brook solar project was the answer, I did ask the Town Council to consider the following actions:

1. Create a total solar-megawatt goal for the town. To date, the town has approved four zone-change projects and has allowed 12 “by right” projects totaling 16 projects for 51 megawatts. Since the 8,116 Hopkinton residents use 98 megawatts per day, we have already replaced 51% of our town’s usage by renewable energy. I am suggesting that we set a town goal of 98 megawatts to fully replace Hopkinton’s energy usage with renewable energy by 2020. The governor’s total state renewable energy goal is 1000MW by the year 2020 for the state’s 1,060,000 residents. Therefore, when Hopkinton reaches its goal, 1 percent of the state’s population (Hopkinton) will have met 10% of the state’s goal.

2. Investigate implementing a town-owned solar project. If done properly, it would generate significantly more than $5,000-per-megawatt tax revenue. With this in mind, I am researching potential town projects.

3. Negotiate a net metering agreement with a solar company similar to the one that the Chariho School District is working on to offset the town’s energy costs. It is my understanding that the Hopkinton town manager is looking into this action.

Finally, I would like to comment on Barbara Capalbo’s additional Brushy Brook project requirements. I think the entire council should have been consulted before she began her negotiations so that either the additional requirements were considered a group effort or they were not done at all.

I love Hopkinton and want to make a positive difference on the Town Council. In the end, I voted to reject the proposed project for the reasons stated in the first paragraph, and I will not change my mind. To me, no Brushy Brook solar project still means no.

Sharon Davis

Hopkinton

The writer is a town councilor in Hopkinton.

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(4) comments

John Orlandi

Sharron
I do not believe you have read the Comprehensive plan
here are a couple of paragraphs please read
TOWN OF HOPKINTON, RI 2016 Comprehensive Plan
Please read page 40 Energy, Rhode Island’s Energy Plan, Energy 2035 (Report 120), aims to create sustainable and affordable energy infrastructure that can meet the State’s energy demands etc.
Read page 43 renewable energy, The Town of Hopkinton can benefit from renewable energy generating technologies as a way to decrease long term energy costs, increase The Town’s energy independence, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Page 55 Policy PSD17 Encourage renewable energy projects in the private sector.
• Recommendation 18 Consider expanding the current zoning regulations to allow photovoltaic installations in RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS
Page 66 Goals Procedures and Recommendations
• GOAL ED 1 To provide for the expansion of the town's tax base by encouraging development of new and existing light and/or heavy industrial & office/commercial business.

rurallover

Thank you for your stance. I appreciate you holding firm on your vote. Your constituents should be able to trust how you vote and not have the rug pulled out from under them. From what I garner, the minority in favor of large scale solar development all seem to have something to gain financially, whether thru land sales, construction support endeavors, commissions, etc. Zoning laws are in place for a reason - to protect all levels of landowners and maintain a fair democracy. We cannot let Hopkinton become the wild west where the little man has no protection.

rurallover

Oh, and don’t forget the influence of campaign contributions

jeff gilman

Spoken like a true socialist. Limit the abilities of the entrepreneurial capitalist (private property owner) by limiting green energy production while having the town own it themselves. What shall the limit be on everything else? What shall the limit be on property taxes for those already overburdened? Do we actually have any ordinances that limit specific categories of developments or establishments? Maybe liquor licenses. We have plenty of those already, pretty much all you can buy in Hopkinton is booze and coffee. Put a limit on them.
Didn't the codicils that Barbara Capalbo negotiated with the Brushy Brook developers already have the town's energy bills paid for?
The silent majority is going to be heard when they all reach their own breaking point and the limit they all will smile about is the Term Limit.

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