Solar project is producing electricity

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BRATTLEBORO -- Southeastern Vermont's largest commercial solar array is producing power, and when the sun is at its strongest about 40 percent of the town's electricity will be produced by the sun.

The 2.0 megawatt solar project along Interstate 91 has been completed and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, state Rep. Mollie Burke, and developers and engineers involved in the project met out on the site Wednesday to officially mark the project's completion.

Winstanley Enterprises, the development company that owns the 12-acre parcel off of Technology Drive in North Brattleboro, broke ground on the solar project five months ago and there are now more than 8,000 ground mounted photovoltaic panels producing electricity for Brattleboro.

"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 solar project was included in Vermont's Sustainability Priced Energy Development, or SPEED, program which ensures that Green Mountain Power will purchase all of the electricity produced by the array.

Vermont wants to meet 20 percent of its energy needs through the SPEED program by 2017, 75 percent of its energy needs by 2032 and 90 percent of its energy needs by 2050 through sustainable power sources.

"Renewable energy projects like this solar installation are a boon for our environment and our economy," Scott said. "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."

Integrated Solar of Brattleboro and REC Solar, a national solar provider for commercial customers constructed the project. REC Solar was the lead contractor and Integrated Solar installed the system.

Since work started on the site in May, more than 18,000 labor hours for about 75 people were created for the installation.

Integrated Solar president Andy Cay said it was his company's priority from the start to involve as many local workers as possible in the work.

"This project has driven home the significance of solar power to Brattleboro's energy future through its visibility and local business involvement," Cay said. "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."

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 279, or hwtisman@reformer.com. Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.


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