September 10, 2013

Vt. town to use solar power for buildings

The Associated Press

PUTNEY, Vt. – Officials in the Vermont town of Putney have chosen a company to build a new solar array that would provide electricity for the town's buildings.

The Brattleboro Reformer reports that Integrated Solar is building a 500-kilowatt solar array in Westminster. Putney will get about 185 kilowatts to provide power for Town Hall, the fire station, garage, public library and wastewater treatment plant. The town has about 2,700 residents.

"It is really exciting to actually be moving ahead with this," said Town Manager Cynthia Stoddard. "I did not hear any negative comments about this. I think it was clear that the town wanted to move ahead with this project."

The town expects to save about $4,000 every year by buying the solar power from Green Lantern Capital, an investment firm that will own the equipment and maintain it. The town has the option to purchase the equipment in the future.

The Westminster array is expected to begin producing electricity in the spring of 2014.

Michael Whigham, head of system design and sales at Integrated Solar, said Vermont's net metering law allows municipalities and school districts to use solar to generate power for themselves and reduce their energy bills by putting excess electricity back on the grid.

He said of the Putney agreement: "We are anxious to get underway with this project. This is a good deal for everyone. I think you will be seeing more and more of this happening down the road."


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