Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (“VPPSA”) and Encore Renewable Energy recently announced a partnership to pursue development of approximately 10 megawatts of solar capacity on behalf of VPPSA’s member municipal utilities. Under the partnership, Encore will lead design, development, financing and construction of solar projects at locations in at least three of VPPSA’s member utility territories. VPPSA will assist identified host communities in managing the resulting generation to maximize its value. The agreement also allows for Encore and VPPSA to partner in seeking additional development sites in other Member service territories and represents a significant milestone in the VPPSA Members’ transition towards economic, locally sourced, renewable energy resources.
VPPSA’s members own and operate several small-scale hydroelectric facilities within their service territories, in addition to a 19% stake in the McNeil generating facility in Burlington, VT. They also hold contract rights to several other hydroelectric, solar and landfill gas facilities located throughout New England. When constructed, the proposed solar arrays will add to this portfolio by producing more than 13,000 MWh per year, enough electricity to power 1,900 homes annually. The solar projects are expected to be built at costs in line with the utilities’ existing cost of power, or about 60% of the cost the utilities would pay for solar under the state’s revised net metering program rules. In addition, the projects will help the VPPSA Members meet their requirements under Vermont’s Renewale Energy Standard and will move the state closer to its 90% renewable by 2050 goal.
Burlington-based Encore Renewable Energy won a competitive solicitation to provide its services to VPPSA. “With every new solar panel raised, Vermont is embracing the rapid transition to a democratized, distributed energy generation model and lighting the path toward energy independence,” said Chad Farrell, Encore’s Founder and CEO.
In June, Citizens Bank announced that Citizens Commercial Banking led a new credit facility for SunCommon, Vermont’s largest provider of residential, community and commercial solar systems. The funds will fuel growth after SunCommon’s acquisition of Rhinebeck, N.Y.-based solar provider Hudson Solar. Citizens is the sole lender.