During the Highlands Town Board’s regular meeting Tuesday evening, Kevin O’Donnell of Nova Energy Consultants Inc., Highlands’ consultant for electrical utility information, discussed recommended amendments to the town’s contract with Duke Power. “Everything we do is in response to Duke’s cost increases,” O’Donnell told the commissioners. The proposed amendments deal with two areas.
The first involves REPS (Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards). According to state statute, all electricity providers in the state must use a certain percentage of their power from renewable energy sources. This year that percentage is .001%.
O’Donnell says that it is possible for the town to go out and purchase the renewable energy itself. “However,” he said, “this would be quite a hassle and would probably end up being very expensive. The statute specifically requires a portion of this renewable energy to be burnable chicken waste and a portion to be burnable hog waste. Finding such waste for a town the size of Highlands will not be easy.