NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – The Northbridge Board of Selectmen unanimously agreed Monday to a 20-year contract with Con Edison to purchase 1.25 million megawatts of power each year at a reduced cost.
Con Edison proposed a $7 million solar power development at 92 Milford Road on the Grafton/Northbridge town line several months ago.
Town Manager Theodore Kozak said Con Edison has already pulled the necessary permits and he expects construction to begin soon. He estimates completion will take three to four months.
The development will produce 4 million megawatts of power. Northbridge will purchase 1.25 megawatts; the town of Milford will purchase the remainder.
Depending on the increase in energy costs over the 20 years of the contract, the town will save between $418,000 and $2 million, Kozak said.
In addition, Con Edison will pay the town about $39,000 per year in lieu of taxes.
Voters at the 2012 fall town meeting approved the payment in lieu of taxes proposal with the agreement the money go into a building maintenance fund.
The plan needed state Legislature approval, which the town received this week, Kozak said.
He noted the Solar Energy Advisory Board, which met Monday afternoon, endorsed the plan.
Selectman James Marzec, a member of the advisory board, said the agreement was reached after “a lot of careful questioning’’ and with many safeguards in place to protect the town.
In a related matter and at the suggestion of Selectman Jay Athanas, Kozak said department heads will be asked to take an inventory of repairs needed at each town-owned building.
“That was one of the goals when the fund was formed,’’ Kozak said.