Antecedent site:

For Concord list:

Article 33 – 2012 TM

Text of the article:

Town Sustainable Electricity Acquisition Process

To determine whether the Town will vote, in moving toward “greener” bulk electricity supplies, to require the Concord Municipal Light Plant, Town Manager, and Selectmen, to follow this procedure:

1) use “maximum greenhouse reduction per dollar invested over the product lifecycle” (with “dollars invested” including federal/state subsidies) as the determinative criterion;

2) use this criterion to deploy town staff time, with the result that pursuing wind energy (currently the most effective way for Concord to reduce carbon) would become the priority, i.e., commit town staff, first, to pursue wind projects, including the possibility of joint wind projects with like-minded towns;

3) monitor investment costs of utility-scale solar and other sustainable technologies, and develop a solar (or other sustainable) proposal when solar (or other sustainable) costs reach rough parity with wind on the determining criterion;

4) present a next proposal to Town Meeting expeditiously -- after coordinating with other appropriate town bodies, studying implementation requirements, and conducting appropriate town-wide dialog, particularly regarding land use; and

5) replicate this style of governance procedure so as to lessen the call for and eventually obviate such future citizen petition Warrant Articles;

or take any other action relative thereto.


For the future welfare of Concord, and of our whole society, we must reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. One essential step is to shift the production of electricity toward sustainable sources that achieve this goal, without undue delay. In the wake of failure of the solar energy project voted by the April 2010 Town Meeting, this article seeks a more effective way to achieve the goal. The article makes the goal explicit, and it identifies wind and solar as the two technologies currently practical for Concord projects. It notes that wind best meets the goal first (see for the studies, here and here), and that town staff time is the key resource to prioritize. Finally, rather than continued Town Meeting oversight, the article requests town government to build on the process model described in the article.