Aquinnah voters approve solar array at town landfill

— File photo by Tim Johnson

Aquinnah voters last Wednesday night approved a solar array on the town landfill by a vote of 29 to 13.

The turnout on a dark December night was impressive in a town that often struggles to attract a quorum to special town meetings. Town clerk Carolyn Feltz said town administrator Adam Wilson and selectmen made a concerted effort to encourage voters to attend the one-question special town meeting on Dec. 7.

The proposal approved by voters would give Vineyard Power a 10-year lease on less than an acre of land at the town landfill. Vineyard Power will build a 50-kw, $330,000 solar generating installation. The town will receive lease payments for the land of about $400 a month over the term of the lease, in addition to savings on its annual municipal electricity bill of $14,000-plus.

At the end of the lease term, the town will have the option to buy the installation at its then-value.

A total of 49 voters, or 12 percent of the town’s 399 registered voters, were present when the meeting began just past 7 pm. Much of the time was taken up by questions and discussion.The meeting ended at 8:45 pm.