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Nockamixon hears presentation on potential use of solar energy


Nockamixon Township might be considering the use of solar energy as an alternative method for powering its facilities.

At their May 19 public meeting, the board of supervisors entertained a comprehensive presentation on the matter from Jim Miller, a retired supervisor at West Rockhill Township, where the step has already been taken. The presentation was arranged through Nockamixon’s Environmental Advisory Committee.

In summary, Miller noted potential overall benefits of reducing township power costs; protecting against higher power costs, due to being otherwise subject to inflation; and acting in the general interest of environmental protection for present and future generations.

Such a project for Nockamixon might start with energy audits for township buildings, street lighting, traffic signals, and heating and cooling. Alternative locations for solar array installations were noted as roof(s), ground, parking lot canopies, and near a major electric meter.

Miller further noted that many array installers would provide free consultation on particular, potential installations, with financing options including cash, loan, and power purchase agreement (PPA), and with return on investment (ROI) calculations available in any case.

In addition, West Rockhill Township could provide a sample of a bidding process, and show how eyesore and other environmental considerations for the installation were met through consultation with Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy.

He concluded that transparency could readily be achieved in keeping the public informed, including tracking cost and payback, while the project could also offer educational possibilities. Township Solicitor Maureen B. Carlton of Curtin and Heefner, LLP added that some townships were considering requiring builders to deploy solar power.

Also at the May 19 meeting, supervisors heard from Ben Naska, chair of the Park and Recreation Committee, concerning continuing resumption of activities as Covid restrictions and protocols have eased. Included were an April 9 quarry hike, which featured various historic aspects of the facility, which dates from the 1820s.

Naska also noted a successful stargazing event that was held on April 29, with another planned for July, and again featuring leadership from a semi-professional astronomer, utilizing well-equipped observatories he has built.

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