Minster Village Council Hears About Opportunity for More Solar

Staff Writer

Minster’s  $20 million solar field and battery storage system, completed  west of the village earlier this year by S & C Electric and funded by Half Moon Ventures of Chicago, brought the village of Minster a way to save money on its electric bill. About 13 percent of Minster's electrical load is now provided by solar and the village  noted savings during peak load this summer.

Mike Hastings of Half Moon Ventures, presented possible next steps for the village at the Tuesday, Dec. 6 council meeting.

"As far as we can tell, the system is working great," Hastings said. "There's still room to improve it. There's still additional stuff we can do to help you towards the concept of a micro-grid.”

Hastings said the village would be under no obigation to put money into the project, but would need to share the revenue the system creates by charging and discharging the grid through Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Interconnection (PJM).

Hastings and S & C Electric's director Dan Girard explained the proposal for more solar and new stations.

“The first two projects cost us about $20 million. The next three we propose would cost $30 to $50 million that would be invested directly into Minster," Hastings said.

“There’s no financial risk to you,” Hastings told the council. “It’s all on our shoulders."

"I know the first time we met you were skeptical we were going to get this solar thing built," Hastings added. "We did that, plus the energy storage. We feel we’re a good team to help you execute on this. Our proposal is simple. It’s going to help you keep the lights on, plan for the future and create value from energy trading. The overall benefit to you is a lower cost.”

Minster’s village council agreed to discuss its options and get back to Half Moon Ventures before its next council meeting on Dec. 23.