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Minutes of Utilities Task Force, 07/02/2015

AGENDA: Utilities Task Force

RECEIVED 07/09/2015 11:11am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk


Present: Susan Clark, Donald Cullman, Wes Higgins, Leon Karvelis, Henry Polio

Leon called the meeting to order at the conference room in Town Hall at 2:01 pm

Motion: To approve the minutes of the June 18 meeting of the Task Force. Polio, Cullman. Approved 5-0

Goeff Slavin of Fuel Cell Energy of Danbury began a presentation accompanied by slides explaining the operation of fuel cell technology. Powered by a chemical reaction of natural gas and oxygen that produces electricity, heat, and water the technology generates very little pollution. Electricity costs 14-15 cents per kilowatt hour unsubsidized. Each unit is about the size of a tennis court and produces 1400 kilowatts. The cell stack lasts 5-7 years before replacement and costs roughly $7-8 million.

Susan Clark led a discussion on high speed fiber optics/high speed access. She attended the Ct Gig Project Conference at Yale on May 4 2015 that reviewed the efforts led by the mayors of West Hartford, New Haven and Stamford to introduce high speed internet access to Connecticut residents. Macquarie Capital has been chosen as the private partner to assist the municipalities in pursuing three potential options: Macquarie is hired to install fiber optic cable, the municipality installs the cable and Macquarie provides financing assistance, or the Municipality installs the cable and leases to a cable company to operate the network.  Leon asked if a map exists of the fiber optic trunk line and how useful it might be to Redding. He indicated that the Task Force would seek a presenter on the topic in September.

Wes gave a brief summary of the 2009 court decision between Yankee Gas and the developer of Meadow Ridge. Of particular interest was the judge’s summary of the history of the gas line installation including cost data and the role of Southern Ct Gas.

Wes provided the group with a brief summary of the efforts of the Malloy administration to increase gas use in CT, as provided for in Public Act 13-298. The Ct Office of Legislative Research published two excellent summaries on the subject. The specific goal of the legislation is to expand Ct gas users by 280,000 in ten years, focused particularly on those living within 150 feet of an existing gas distribution main.

Leon indicated that he had contacted the First Selectman of Weston and Ridgefield to discuss their town’s experience with gas utilities. He indicated that he hoped to bring into the August meeting representatives from Redding’s Highway and WPCC, as well as a representative of CNG.

Don provided an update on Wilton’s construction progress with their gas main expansion, now digging on Wolfpit Road

Motion to Adjourn. Clarke, Polio. Agreed, 5-0. The meeting adjourned at 3.20 pm.

Submitted by Wes Higgins