Letter: Getting to a Net-Zero Concord Middle School

April 20, 2023

I am writing in response to last week’s letter by Dinos Gonatas, who wrote that adding solar generation to the middle school is unwise. He suggests that some other potential sites might be less expensive, which could be true, and that Concord should take a “holistic view to power generation.”  In fact, Town Meeting Article 22 (Municipal In-Town Solar Generation Task Force) proposes exactly that. With Article 22, the town together with CMLP would develop a plan to complete 20 Megawatts of solar array installations at several municipal locations by 2030. The proposed solar array with battery storage at CMS (Article 21, but with a revised cost much lower than printed in the warrant) will pay for itself over time, offsetting any burden to taxpayers. The storage battery will also help address CMLP’s power grid issues. We should do our part to generate more renewable power within Concord rather than rely on development outside of town, and we should get started now.

Another point of Gonatas’ with which I disagree is that the CMS solar facility would be “unsightly.”  Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but the people I know who’ve seen the solar canopies at the schools in Carlisle, Lincoln-Sudbury and Wayland generally admire them and wonder why we can’t have them in Concord. In my mind, the new CMS is an ideal location for solar generation precisely because it is so visible. I hope that my fellow residents will be proud of what our town has done in making a net-zero school, with minimal climate impact and energy costs, and that they will be inspired to make similar efforts in their homes.

Please support Articles 21 and 22 at Town Meeting on April 30th, to support in-town solar generation.

Brad Hubbard-Nelson

Nashawtuc Rd

Member, Concord Climate Action Committee