Second of several planned facilities shows high demand for community-owned model.
PUTNEY, VT. – (January 28, 2014) Vermont's largest utility, Green Mountain Power, and the nation's leading community solar developer, Clean Energy Collective (CEC), have announced details for another community-owned, utility-scale PV facility to serve Vermont ratepayers. It is the second in a progression of community solar facilities planned for Vermont, making community solar available to some 70 percent of the state's electricity customers.
Area Community Solar Array, the 150 kW, 500-panel array located in Putney, Vt. will have the capacity to serve about 50 residential and business customers in GMP's territory. Expected to be completed by Summer 2014, the shared array is forecast to produce nearly $40,000 in collective savings for its customers in just the first year.
What distinguishes Clean Energy Collective's model from other solar projects in the state is that any customer in the GMP territory can participate. This includes renters, those with shaded property, non-profits, and households with modest incomes. Unlike rooftop systems, purchases in the Brattleboro Area Community Solar Array are scalable to as few as one panel, which cost $1,125 each or $3.75 per Watt, up to as many panels needed to completely offset the entire energy needs of a home or business. Customers are afforded all of the same incentives as rooftop system owners and receive credit for the power produced directly on their monthly GMP bills.
The project plays a role in Vermont's initiative to reach 20 percent renewable energy by 2017 and 90 percent by 2050. "Vermont has great momentum with renewable energy, so we're excited to provide an alternative option for GMP customers where onsite solar isn't possible or practical," said CEC's president Paul Spencer.
CEC developed Vermont's first community-owned solar facility with GMP in 2013, a 144 kW facility also located in Putney, and has another facility under construction in Alburgh to serve VEC customers. At least two additional CEC projects are coming to the state early in 2014.
CEC's community solar model is spreading quickly because it leverages economies of scale, along with an optimally sited and fully maintained array for maximum power production, to deliver the lowest possible price for renewable energy in a given market. Consumers reap the rewards of solar ownership while circumventing the research, construction, maintenance and repair of hosting a system onsite. Community solar customers also maintain the flexibility of having their bill credits move with them if they stay within their utility territory or selling their panels at any time if needed. Low-cost financing options are available through VSECU's VGreen program.
More information about how to participate in the Brattleboro Area Community Solar Array is available at www.VTSolarGardens.com, via email at info@VTSolarGardens.com, or by calling (800) 646-0323.
About Clean Energy Collective (CEC)
Colorado-based Clean Energy Collective is a developer of community-owned renewable energy facilities and a national leader in community power generation. CEC established the first community-owned solar garden in the country in 2010 near El Jebel, Colorado. Since that time, CEC has built or has under development 29 community solar projects with 13 utility partners across 5 states, representing 14.1 MW of community solar capacity. www.easycleanenergy.com