First two Vermont munis build solar projects
Two Vermont towns have become the first in the state to build municipally-owned solar plants.
The municipal utilities of Hyde Park and Stowe are building a combined total of 2.7 MW of solar capacity and will own the projects.
- The projects were funded with U.S. Treasury Department’s Clean Renewable Energy Bonds program.
In the wake of passage of a renewable portfolio standard last year, two Vermont cities have embraced solar power just as the bill is poised to take effect in 2017. There are 16 municipal utilities in Vermont.
“I hope that we’re a path for other small municipals and large municipals to be able to work together,” Carol Robertson, general manager of the Village of Hyde Park and Hyde Park Electric, told Vermont Public Radio.
The Stowe Electric Department and Hyde Park Village Water & Light will own the solar projects at a per kWh cost below market rates for purchase-power agreements for similarly sized third-party owned projects.
Encore Renewable Energy of Vermont developed the projects in conjunction with the utilities. Namaste Solar provides engineering, procurement, and construction. Yaskawa-Solectria Solar is providing the inverters for the projects.
Vermont's investor-owned utility, Green Mountain Power, has made a point of embracing solar and other DERs as well. The company formed a partnership with Tesla last year to offer on-bill financing for residential batteries and a peer-to-peer solar sharing program with Yeloha.
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