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Nelson’s solar garden could go in Bonnington

Where would Nelson Hydro’s proposed solar array community energy project go?

Several options have been considered – including Elephant Mountain, the old RDCK lakeside Waste Transfer Station and Davies Street Park in upper Fairview.

But Nelson Hydro’s Energy Co-ordinator Carmen Proctor says the ideal candidate would appear to be at Bonnington near the existing hydro power plant.

That’s based on several factors including social acceptance.

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Proctor says around 200 people have already indicated a willingness to invest in a project that would see a return over time via regular credits against their hydro bill.

One buy-in model being pondered for the pilot project suggests people invest about $4000 over 25 years which would pay itself back within 15 years because of the energy savings.

Proctor says they would need a 75% pre-sales commitment from investors for this arrangement. Council appears likely to give the go ahead to call for investors by late summer.

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