Posts Tagged "vermont businesses"

Selling out already!

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Selling out already!

Construction is again underway in Townshend on another Vermont Community Solar project. Over the winter we drummed up enough interest and support that we are happy to announce this project is already selling out! We could not do this without our local community support. This includes our invaluable Soveren Team that go above and beyond to make these projects possible, our participants who are willing to take a chance on our unique program, and the good old fashioned word of mouth buzz that keeps the wheels turning in any small VT business. We are blessed to be able to continue this work for another installation season. There are many irons in the fire and we are continuously working towards a cleaner, more resilient Vermont. If you have any questions about what we are doing at Soveren or any of our up coming projects, please contact us at info(at)soverensolar(dot)com or use the Contact page. You can also call and talk to a real person at (802) 869-2500. Happy May day!  ...

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PV America Award

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PV America Award

On Monday we were recognized by PV America as having a “Project of Distinction”. This project is the Vermont Community Solar project in Brattleboro, VT: Soveren Community Solar 1. It was recognized for its dedication to local labor and financing, as well as its working relationship with two organizations in Brattleboro, the Vermont Agricultural Business Education Center and Brattleboro Savings & Loan. Without the support of these organizations, this project would not have been possible. Also, thank you to PV America for the chance to bring Vermont Community Solar to a wider audience.                   Read the Press Release here....

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FTC Won’t Investigate GMP

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In the past few years Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) have become a heated topic in Vermont. So much so, that it peaked the interest of Vermont Law School (VLS) and elicited a letter from the Vermont Attorney General. If you have been following the story about the sale of RECs within Green Mountain Power (GMP) territory, this update will be of interest to you. According to a February 10th article in Times Argus, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) decided not to investigate GMPs marketing of RECs, but said that communication to the public should remain clear. [A GMP Press Release from September 19th 2014 is available here] Kevin Jones, a VLS professor was not happy with these results. Last year VLS challenged GMP handling of their RECs, and specifically aimed this criticism towards Vermont’s SPEED law saying that, “From an environmental and electric rate (perspective), the SPEED program has been a failure”. Kristen Carlson, a GMP representative, addressed this issue by bringing to light that the sale of RECs allows for clean energy to be bought at a lower price. Thus boosting the sale of clean energy and allowing Vermont to become a leader in clean energy production. Rates are in fact lowered through the out-of-state sale of RECs. In turn the environment has greater protection through financial support, not greater pollution. [More about GMP on RECs can be found here] As the issue became more public, it morphed into a criticism of the definition of “credit”. While companies that sell energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydro are creating renewable energy, they are selling the “credits”. Thus, selling the right to call them renewable. This is no way negates the fact that these energy sources are in fact creating energy from a source that has renewable attributes, only that the jargon used, must reflect the credit exchange. In essence, this is what the issue has boiled down to. Meanwhile, those of us installing solar and wind generators in Vermont are happy to sell RECs out of state, to insure that Vermont resident’s get lower clean energy rates and that our environment is protected for future generations. Maybe we use “clean energy” instead of “renewable energy”, but the effects are the same. On Thursday a letter was sent from the FTC to a GMP lawyer saying, “Although no findings have been made that these claims [made by VLS] violate the law, we urge GMP in the future to prevent any confusion by clearly communicating the implications of its REC sales for Vermont customers and REC purchasers.” To this end, we attempt to clarify the issues here and educate our Vermont Community Solar participants on the function of RECs. Read the entire article...

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Community Solar for Businesses

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Community Solar for Businesses

Vermont Community Solar is now offering businesses the opportunity to purchase capacity in group net metered solar farms in southern Vermont. Capacity in these solar farms is available to any business that is served by Green Mountain Power legacy. Ideal candidates will have the ability to take advantage of federal and state tax credits, and have at least $130/month in electricity expenses. The solar farm pictured above is located in a field owned by the Scholl family, 1¼ miles north of the Putney General Store on Rt. 5. The site has been secured through a 50-year land lease agreement, which will remain intact in the event the land changes hands. Soveren Solar is the developer and installer of the Scholl Solar Farm, and provides the ongoing operations and maintenance of the facility. In addition, Soveren Solar serves as the group administrator, handling all group billing and administrative duties. Businesses who purchase capacity in a Vermont Community Solar Project will become owners of specific solar equipment, and members of the larger net-metering group. The electricity produced by the solar farm will be metered by Green Mountain Power, and net metering credits will be assigned to each group member in proportion to their ownership stake in the solar farm. Prospective member-owners of Vermont Community Solar Projects should be: Located in Green Mountain Power’s utility service territory Includes heritage CVPS customers Must be in good standing with GMP regarding on time payment of bills Able to use commercial tax incentives Business must be registered as a corporation or other acceptable taxable entity Possess federal and state tax liability in order to benefit from tax incentives Committed to working cooperatively with the group of owners Willing to pay share of land lease, taxes, and maintenance costs Net metering credits from these systems may be applied to any utility bill in Green Mountain Power utility service territory. Participants in Vermont Community Solar can be either commercial or residential. However the incentives for commercial participants are significantly higher. Ownership in the solar farm may be sold or transferred at any time. An average system size is 6kW, which will produce an average monthly net metering credit of ~ $130. Capacity in these systems are available on a first-come first-serve basis until the entire project is reserved. Soveren Solar will provide a waiting list for businesses interested in purchasing capacity at a future sites. Soveren Solar is pleased to offer area businesses the opportunity to purchase capacity in an offsite solar farm. Offsite solar preserves all the same ownership and tax benefits as onsite solar, and is an attractive option for any business with an electric bill, a tax bill, and nowhere to put a solar system.   Scholl Solar Farm: Solar Array Layout   Locals know to look for Gary Scholl’s playful and encouraging messages, which he mows into field each summer. In 2012, Gary mowed “PLAY ON.”  [UPDATE: 10/8/14 This array has been installed and all capacity in the system has been sold. Soveren Solar has built three more Vermont Community Solar projects this past summer and is looking for residential and commercial participants. If you are interested in being part of one of these projects, please get in...

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