Alburgh, VT – (January 7, 2014) This fall Putney, VT celebrated the launch of the first community-owned solar facility in the state, developed by solar garden pioneer Clean Energy Collective (CEC). CEC executives announced this week that a deal has been finalized to build the state’s second shared utility-scale solar PV facility in Alburgh to serve Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) customers. Several more projects are in the pipeline with other cooperative and investor-owned utilities that will make community-shared solar available to a majority of electric ratepayers across the state.
The new 155 kW Grand Isle Community Solar Array, to be located off of Route 2 in Grand Isle County, will provide affordable access to renewable energy for any residential or business customer that pays an electric bill in the VEC service area. Individual 250-Watt panels are expected to cost $938, or $3.75 per Watt. Purchases are scalable to as few as one panel or enough to completely offset a customer’s energy needs.
Renewable energy is in high demand among ratepayers in the VEC, the largest locally-owned electric distribution utility in Vermont, serving 32,000 member-owners in eight northern Vermont counties and 74 towns. VEC has reached its 4% net metering cap set by Vermont legislation. CEC’s community solar project falls under the cap which allows any VEC customer to participate.
With community solar, CEC can provide VEC’s customers with a renewable energy option. The relatively new distributed generation model pioneered by CEC allows any customer in a participating utility territory—renters, those with shaded roofs, people with modest incomes—the opportunity to own panels in a shared, medium-scale solar facility without having to build a stand-alone facility on their home or business. Community solar customers receive all of the same rebates and incentives as rooftop system owners, and similarly receive credit for the power produced directly on their monthly utility bills.
Since community solar projects are sited and maintained for maximum production and lifespan, they produce more electricity for longer than most renewable energy options. The projected year-one savings, or payback, for a solar purchase in the Grand Isle Community Solar Array is estimated at 7.08%
The array is expected to sell out quickly. Refundable reservations can be made by contacting CEC at (800) 646-0323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 pioneered the model of delivering clean power-generation through large-scale facilities that are collectively owned by participating utility customers. CEC's proprietary RemoteMeter® system automatically calculates monthly credits and integrates with existing utility billing systems, enabling all utility customers to easily have clean, renewable power credited directly on their monthly utility bills, without modifying their home or office. www.easycleanenergy.com
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