Vermont to Add 13 MW of Community Solar in Innovative Program

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Solar in Vermont is going strong. Earlier this month, the state was ranked in the top ten for per capita solar capacity. The state does not plan to stop there.

Yesterday, Kyocera announced plans for a new 13 MW Community Solar Array in the state.

This program differs from traditional community solar programs. Rather than building a large solar farm, Kyocera is partnering with Kendall Sustainable infrastructure (KSI) and SunCommon to build 50 small-scale solar projects around the state.

The projects, averaging about 200 kW each, will be situated on individual properties. Landowners can arrange with their electrical service provider to build a solar array on a portion of their land. Each acre of panels generates enough electricity to power about 30 homes.

This benefits the environment, homeowners who are unable to support their own rooftop system, and landowners who can earn money from the sun.

As Hitoshi Atari, President of Kyocera Solar, Inc., says, “This Community Solar Array Program offers a tremendous opportunity for Vermonters to benefit from solar energy, even if their rooftops don’t provide ideal conditions…. With our partners, we’re able to implement best practices, including integration of residential solar, flexible participation terms and deep community engagement.”

“With the help of Vermont’s supportive solar policies, we can offer Community Solar with no up-front purchase cost,” said SunCommon co-president Duane Peterson. “CSA participants simply sign up for the program for a monthly payment that’s actually less than their former power bill. It turns out that doing the right thing while saving money is a popular offering.”

“This pioneering program combines mature aspects of the power and solar industries with innovation, and is the right opportunity to put our impact investors’ capital to work building clean energy,” said John Chaimanis, Managing Director of Kendall Sustainable Infrastructure. “SunCommon has put together an excellent program in Vermont and is a detail oriented community partner; combined with world-class solar power equipment and sophisticated financing, our capital is making a direct impact both for Vermont ratepayers and the global climate.”

This is a great option for Vermont community solar. The state has been experiencing some backlash against the impact of solar farms on the landscape.

The first 12 projects are expected to be operational by the end of 2015, and all 50 should be on-line by the end of 2016.

 

 

Photo Credit: Sterling College: Sunflower Solar at flickr.com