Cold Brook joins Miller Road solar project

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WILMINGTON — A key financial partner has been found for a new solar array coming to Miller Road: The Cold Brook Fire District.

"It seems to be coming together well," said Ralph Meima, director of development for Green Lantern Solar. "What we like about it is it's on town land in an area next to the transfer station, a part of which was not being used for anything."

Meima described the land as "a boneyard" for culvert and bridge parts, and other items. He said it was nice to find a municipal entity like Cold Brook, which serves a large number of properties in the community, to take the bulk of the net-metering credits associated with the array.

Kimberly Hicks, administrator for Cold Brook, said the committee that governs the Wilmington-based water and sewer district made a decision to join the project at its Feb. 2 meeting.

Meima expects Cold Brook will use all or most of the net-metering credits to be produced from the 142.5-kilowatt array, which will be built on a little less than an acre.

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"We're expecting to break ground very, very soon," he said. "In fact we're just getting these last bits and pieces together for the financing."

Meima said his group and Green Mountain Power are now discussing easements for powerline interconnection. He anticipates testing in a week or two will see "how much of the ground is soil or porous and how much of it is ledge."

The array is expected to be up and running by mid to late spring.

Meima estimates that about 90 percent of Cold Brook's electric energy consumption will be offset by the local array's production. His group typically suggests customers sign up for credits to cover 85 to 90 percent of their average annual electrical usage so none go unused.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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