The following comment was made on about the proposed solar microgrid project at the West Windsor municipal site.

There are several technical, legal and financial issues/problems with this proposal that need to be addressed. I had sent my questions to the administration many weeks ago and they are waiting to get back answers from PSE&G. I will wait to get answers before I make up my mind. Here is a list of questions I forwarded to the mayor.

First the solar grid and battery backup will be controlle dby PSE&G and is mainly for their use for load management. Thus at any given time PSE&G controls what percentage the battery is charged. First as someone pointed out, using solar powered system as an emergency backup is a big question mark. More important if I am using the system as an emergency backup, I would want the batteries to be charged 100 percent all the time. That is simply not going to be the case as PSE&G will control the system using their software. It is mainly for their use to adjust load and generation.

On the legal front, there is a question as to whether the township can lease land to a for profit corporation for this purpose. That issue needs to be addressed at some point.

On the financial front, the compensation for the township has been changed lower in three different versions I have seen. If we are ever going to have this system installed, I would like the West Windsor taxpayers fairly compensated for this. There are several models you can use to determine fair compensation. What sense does it make to get paid lower dollars per KWH for this system while purchasing power from PSE&G at a higher rate for our own use (at least use net metering). Second, what’s the price of SRECs generated by this system. West Windsor should be compensated at least to that extend if not more.

It is equally important to note that the payment to the township is not guaranteed. Thus, the township is assuming risk as to how much energy would be generated by the system. If the township is assuming that risk they need to be compensated for it.

Most solar structures are unattractive to look at (no offense to anyone). The structure is going to sit right outside our municipal building for everyone to see. That is certainly a big negative for the project.

— Hemant Marathe

Marathe is a member of West Windsor Council