Less than five months since breaking ground on a new 2 MW solar project in Brattleboro, VT., Winstanley Enterprises was joined by development team members and supporters to officially mark the project’s completion.
Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott and State Representative Mollie Burke headlined a group of dignitaries joining Winstanley Enterprises, Integrated Solar, REC Solar, Green Mountain Power and supporters and advocates of renewable energy to celebrate this milestone.
The newly constructed solar array sits on a 12-acre parcel owned by Winstanley Enterprises, and is the first project of its size in southeastern Vermont. Over 8,000 ground-mounted photovoltaic panels comprise the 2 megawatt system which on a clear sunny day will produce 40% of Brattleboro’s electrical needs.
“It’s rewarding to realize that this project represents a significant step in Vermont’s bigger picture initiative to deliver clean renewable energy sources across the state,” said Adam Winstanley, a Principal of Winstanley Enterprises. “We are proud of our entire team’s efforts on this project, and applaud the state of Vermont for their unwavering commitment to the environment.”
The project was part of Vermont’s Sustainably Priced Energy Development (SPEED) Program, in which all of the renewable energy produced by the system will be purchased through a feed-in tariff. Vermont has established goals to meet 20% of electricity needs under the SPEED program resources by 2017; 75% of electricity from renewable sources by 2032; and 90% of energy needs across all sectors from renewable resources by 2050.
“I am very proud that we have more than quadrupled the amount of solar energy in Vermont since I became Governor, and today we build on that accomplishment by adding another 2 megawatts of solar to the grid,” Governor Peter Shumlin said. “This project and others like it have helped make Vermont number one in solar jobs per capita, and are contributing to a vibrant clean energy economy for Vermonters.”
The event featured an official ribbon cutting ceremony, a signing ceremony where each participant autographed a solar panel within the newly constructed array, and a presentation of a proclamation sent to the event by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin. The event also had a speaking platform headlined by Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott.
“Renewable energy projects like this solar installation are a boon for our environment and our economy,” said Lt. Governor Phil Scott. “When we invest in projects that reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we grow opportunities for our skilled local workforce – and plant the seeds for Vermont to sustain itself, independent from outside influences. Today’s celebration is a win for our climate, a win for our workers, and a win for the Vermonters who will see savings as a result of this forward-thinking project.”
Integrated Solar, a Vermont renewable energy company, and REC Solar, a national solar solutions provider for commercial customers, constructed the project. REC Solar served as the lead contractor on the project while Integrated Solar installed the system.
Since breaking ground on May 15, 2014, the project has employed a local workforce in excess of 75 people with more than 18,000 labor hours.
“This project has driven home the significance of solar power to Brattleboro’s energy future through its visibility and local business involvement,” said Integrated Solar President Andy Cay. “We are pleased to have been part in this successful collaborative effort with many local businesses and individuals together with a leading national solar company, REC Commercial.”
Making this project a local effort was a priority for Winstanley Enterprises from the start, and the blend of Integrated Solar and REC Solar’s efforts contributed greatly to the project’s overall success.
“The combination of our experience providing end-to-end solutions for a wide range of commercial solar projects and Integrated Solar’s strong local expertise enabled a smooth and successful project development and construction process,” said Mark Bettis, REC Solar VP of Sales and Marketing.
“These partnerships are key to developing high-quality solar arrays on-time and on-budget and helping Vermont reach its clean energy goals.”
Aside from this development, Winstanley and the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital just announced an agreement to collaborate on the construction and operation of a separate 500 kilo-Watt net metered solar power array.