The Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (VPPSA) and Encore Renewable Energy on Sept. 9 announced the commissioning of a new 2.1-megawatt (MW) community solar array located at a former auto salvage yard.
The project was developed as part of a partnership between Encore Renewable Energy and VPPSA to develop, finance, and construct approximately 10 MW of solar capacity on behalf of VPPSA’s municipal utility members.
The project is expected to produce approximately 3,200,000 kilowatt hours per year. “The landowners will remain on the land that has been in their family for generations, as the operational solar project affords both an annual lease payment as well as the means to complete the environmental remediation required to address the regulatory approval for operation of a solar array on the former auto salvage facility which served the local community for decades,” VPPSA said.
This is the third solar array to be energized and the second project under a VPPSA and Encore Renewable Energy public-private partnership.
All generation from Salvage Yard solar will be sold to Vermont electric utilities that are not already 100% renewable.
VPPSA and Encore have arranged to build a 10 MW solar portfolio together with projects sited across multiple VPPSA member utility territories. Under the partnership, Encore performs all design, development, financing, and construction of solar projects, while VPPSA manages the resulting electric generation and maximizes its value for its member utilities’ communities.
The ground beneath the solar array is being planted with pollinator-friendly ground cover to support vital habitat for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, and other insects critical to future food security. In addition, pollinator friendly ground cover increases carbon sequestration, improves soil quality, reduces stormwater runoff, and channels storm water back into underlying aquifers, while addressing the social importance of supporting healthy food systems.
VPPSA provides municipal electric utility members with a broad spectrum of services and solutions, including regulatory assistance, financial planning, and power supply.
VPPSA members include Barton Village, Village of Enosburg Falls, Hardwick Electric Department, Village of Jacksonville Electric Company, Village of Johnson Electric Department, Ludlow Electric Light Department, Lyndonville Electric Department, Morrisville Water & Light Department, Town of Northfield Electric Department, Village of Orleans, and Swanton Village Electric Department.