Protracted Vineyard municipal solar projects in Tisbury and West Tisbury now have a less certain future following the news that Broadway Electrical, the company contracted to construct the projects, is closing. The news adds additional strain to an already tight schedule.
Boston-based Broadway was contracted to cover the old West Tisbury town landfill with a 773 kilowatt solar array and install a 64 kw array at the Tisbury department of public works building. The most recent start date for these projects was this month.
The projects must be completed by June 30, 2014, to qualify for state energy credits that will make them economically viable, according to West Tisbury selectman Richard Knabel, a critic since initial discussions began in 2011 of town involvement with the contracting entity, Cape and Vineyard Electrical Cooperative (CVEC) .
CVEC, an energy cooperative affiliated with and presently funded by Cape Light Compact, a Cape-based public aggregator of electricity, was founded in 2007 to oversee renewable energy projects on the Cape and Vineyard that Cape Light Compact could not legally manage.
CVEC special projects coordinator Liz Argo told The Times Tuesday in an email, “On January 14, 2014 CVEC became aware of rumors circulating about Broadway Electrical Inc. and its future. CVEC promptly contacted Broadway who has confirmed that it is winding down its operations.” She did not know what the future of the projects is. “We just don’t know anything more until the dust settles. The future of the projects is in the hands of the lawyers,” she said.
“CVEC’s agreements with Broadway authorize Broadway to transfer the projects to its financiers,” she said. “Broadway’s financiers are G&S Solar Installers, Inc. and RNK Capital, LLC. CVEC is actively working with Broadway and G&S to transition the development and construction of the projects to the financiers.”
Ms. Argo said she did not know if the projects would have to go out to bid again. The previous bidding process took about three months, she said, which would give only two months to complete the projects.
The towns of Edgartown and Tisbury both broke ground for solar panel arrays with CVEC in November of 2013 using American Capitol Energy (ACE) as their electrical contract. Neither of these projects are affected by the Broadway closing.