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School nixes gas energy project with South Boston

Negotiations are over. The school will not partner with the Town of South Boston in its landfill gas self-generation project since South Boston Elementary School will not realize any savings from the project, school board members were told at their regular monthly meeting Monday night in Halifax.

According to Director of Operations and Maintenance Larry Roller, since the April school board meeting “a lot of time and energy have gone into negotiations by all parties involved, and I regret to report we are at an impasse.”

The school board had considered partnering with the Town of South Boston in a landfill gas self-generation agreement approved by a 5-3 vote in April.

ED-6 school board trustee Fay Satterfield, ED-1 trustee Phyllis Smith and ED-7 trustee R. K. “Dick” Stoneman opposed the partnership when the April vote was taken. 

Essentially, the agreement between the school and town would have made the gas generated at the former South Boston landfill available to South Boston Elementary School for generation of energy, thermal and/or electricity.

The town intends to build a pipeline from the landfill to a delivery point located near South Boston Elementary School.

Under the agreement, the town would deliver and sell up to 58 mmBTUs of landfill gas produced from the landfill per day to the elementary school for a fee of $1 per year during the terms of the agreement.

The initial terms of the agreement were for 15 years with the school being granted the option to extend the agreement for an additional period of five years following the expiration of the initial terms, provided that the gas flow from the landfill would be sufficient to permit the buyer to continue generation of energy at the renewable energy facility.

But Roller told school board members Monday evening the 15 to 20 percent energy reduction figures originally presented would not be met, and based on energy consumption data, energy costs would actually increase within the first year with proposed operator fees.

“I would like to thank the board for approving the project and giving us the opportunity to participate and wish things had worked out differently,” said Roller.

Board members showed their appreciation to Roller for negotiating the process.

“Thank you for doing your homework,” said ED-1 trustee Phyllis Smith.

“Thank you for looking out for the best interest of the school system,” added ED-3 trustee Kimberly Farson.