Renewable Energy Success Stories

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As part of our new website effort, we’ll be broadcasting our member’s renewable energy success stories, and collecting them here. We aim to show renewable energy in action around Vermont, and give people a tangible sense of how these technologies are already transforming our state. Stay tuned as we post more, and please get in touch if you have, or know of, a good Success Story we should post.

Ferrisburgh Solar Farm provides utility-scale solar power for the grid

This past November, developers Ernie Pomerleau and Brian Waxler brought the first 1-megawatt, state-incentive-supported solar project online in Vermont — bringing us closer to the possibility of clean electricity without dependence on foreign fossil fuels.

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Overview of the Ferrisburgh Solar Farm under construction, with Lake Champlain in the background.

The 3,806 solar panel system, installed by REV Corporate Member Alteris Renewables at the corner of Route 7 and Monkton Road, will generate enough electricity to power approximately 170 homes per year.  The project was one of a limited number to be helped along by the SPEED and Standard Offer programs, and REV Member Green Mountain Power agreed to purchase the power. The Standard Offer Program guarantees renewable energy producers long-term contracts for the power they produce, at a rate that makes newer renewable energy technologies like solar competitive with older, fossil-fuel-based power sources.

Local residents, including city managers, state representatives, and the nearby Vergennes Union High School (VUHS), voiced their support of the project, as well as satisfaction that the 16-acre parcel the solar array was installed on went to good use. VUHS teachers in particular are excited about the real-world study of renewable energy, environment, math, physics and other subjects, now available to their students right next door. The Solar Farm features an open-to-the-public educational kiosk, and has posted a public view website that tracks solar energy output.

The Ferrisburgh Solar Farm was designed to minimize its the impact on the prime agricultural soils it is sited on. The installation, which required no grading and minimal excavation, used support structures that can be completely removed, allowing the land to return to its natural state after the solar farm ceases operation. By using local contractors and consultants, the project helped support Vermont businesses, jobs, and the economy.

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Now plugged into the grid and powering area homes and businesses, the Ferrisburgh Solar Farm is a point of pride for the community. And for the state, it’s an important showcase of progress in the right direction — evidence that the critical incentives approved by the Vermont Legislature will lead to more utility-scale solar projects, and to a cleaner, locally-produced energy future for Vermont.

For more information on the Ferrisburgh Solar Project, please see their website, the public view website that tracks solar energy output, or stop by the Farm itself, at the corner of Route 7 and Monkton Road in Ferrisburgh, Vermont.

 

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