SIT Graduate Institute solar project approved


BRATTLEBORO — A solar array can go up at SIT Graduate Institute.

"Solar panels will be placed in approximately 19 rows within a mowed field," the Vermont Public Service Board wrote. "Limited tree clearing will be required to reduce shading of the array and for the transmission line to connect to GMP's existing distribution line."

An order to issue a certificate of public good for the project was entered by the board on Sept. 29. The application, submitted by World Learning Community Solar One LLC on Aug. 17, sought approval for the construction and operation of a 150 kilowatt system located to the west of the Lowey International Center off Dickinson Road on the school's property at 1 Kipling Road in Brattleboro.

The project will fall under Green Mountain Power's "supplemental net-metering program," which came about after the power company had reached its net-metering capacity limit imposed by state law last fall. The Public Service Board suspended its review of applications for net-metering projects until the new program was launched.

On Aug. 15, the board announced it would continue looking at net-metering projects in which interconnection requests were received by GMP before Nov. 13, 2015 or they were accepted into the new program by the power company.

The SIT project was accepted.

"The host customer's consumption from the project is projected to be 100 percent of the project's output," stated a document signed by developer Morgan Casella, of Dynamic Organics. Dynamic Organics is a Putney-based company that designs and develops renewable energy projects.

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources recommended the condition in the permit requiring a 50-foot vegetated buffer along a nearby stream. The agency also asked the applicant to create an inventory of rare, threatened, endangered and non-native invasive plant species with a botanist before site preparation and construction.

"If any RTE (rare, threatened and endangered) plants are detected, the perimeter of those areas shall be shown on the site plans and the project shall be designed to avoid impacting those areas, including impacts from the removal of forest canopy or soil disturbance," the agency said. "If impacts are unavoidable, then the Applicant shall propose and obtain ANR approval for mitigative measures to address impacts. The perimeter of any RTE plants shall be marked in the field so that all impacts will be avoided."

Officials at SIT did not have further details to share on the project.

Call Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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