City’s Wastewater Dept. to Save Estimated $300K on Power

Orlando Pacheco with Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini after Pacheco's 2014 hiring as city purchasing agent.

Orlando Pacheco with Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini after Pacheco’s 2014 hiring as city purchasing agent.

The city’s newest fixed-rate solar power purchase agreement is expected to bring another $300,000 or more in annual cost savings for the wastewater department, when compared to any future rate increase from utility provider National Grid.

Haverhill city councilors Tuesday approved, by an 8 to 0 vote, a 20-year agreement between the city and Lodestar Energy, Avon, Conn., to purchase electricity generated from a solar facility in West Stockbridge at a fixed 12 cents per kilowatt hour. Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien was absent. When in place, the 2.9 megawatts in power generated by the facility will complement a smaller, 650,000 kilowatt solar power agreement for the water division last year with Bluewave Capital Castle Neck River, Bethesda, Md., for a solar array in the upper Hilldale Avenue industrial park. Combined, they would provide about a third of the 10 megawatts of electricity used by the wastewater treatment plant in Bradford, according to Purchasing Agent and Energy Manager Orlando Pacheco. During council discussion, he explained to Councilor Michael S. McGonagle the projected savings from a current 18.5 cent per kilowatt hour charge from National Grid.

“I think that the variance there will be a little bit greater because the city, come December, will be paying less and National Grid’s rates, I think, are going to increase. They’ve recently filed with the (Department of Public Utilities) a distribution rate increase. I want to say it’s up, 20-plus percent is what they’re requesting. It’s hard to believe they’ll get that without a fight from the (attorney general’s) office. But I expect they’ll get some increase, probably in the seven to ten percent range,” Pacehco said.

Pacheco also hinted of another solar power agreement which could possibly come before the council soon.

“We’re hoping to mirror this with another contract – hopefully we’ll have it to you in a couple of weeks – from Seaboard Solar, (New Milford, Conn.) same terms, 12 cents, no escalator. So this price today is going to be the same in 20 years,” Pacheco said. Further details were not disclosed.

One thought on “City’s Wastewater Dept. to Save Estimated $300K on Power

  1. More promises…more spin….more lies…..

    Last year the mayor and Orlando Pacheco promoted headlines that the city was going to save over $100K a year on retrofitting lighting at city hall….which was literally impossible. The two of them then promoted an electricity aggregation program which they touted would save Haverhill residents 30% on their bill. The truth is that program was saving homeowners only 4% on their bill. I even called Pacheco and asked him why the two of them were promoting such inflated savings and his response was…”yea, there’s a lot of misinformation out there”. When I asked why he wasn’t going public with the truth he had nothing to say.

    Pacheco was hired by the mayor based on compensation of a salary and then bonuses based on savings he brings to the city. Is it possible that he is being compensated for “expected” savings based on numbers “he” comes up with, and not actual savings? All of the public pronouncements made by the mayor and Pacheco about energy saving programs have been complete lies. Is anyone on the city council looking into how this guy gets paid? Is anyone asking for an audit of bills to see that the city is saving what he says its saving???