Posts Tagged "Vermont"

A Farmer’s View of Solar

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A Farmer’s View of Solar

There has been some fine tuning of policies in Vermont as far as esthetics and sighting for solar go in the state. This comes at a time when the amount of solar installations have grown exponentially in the past few years. Recently VT Senator Chris Bray has brought the siting bill (230) in front on the Senate to iron out some of the issues that have come up. It has been our experience that farmers are more than willing to take on a solar crop and watch it thrive. This can go in tandem with haying and grazing or on its own. Recently an article came out in VT Digger about one Farmer’s point of view of Solar in VT. His name is Brian Davis, a dairy farmer, and he can see the benefits of this change in our environment. He see the value in solar power, but also sees the value of letting the land lay fallow and recover under a ground mounted solar array. He also references the benefit to the quality of water as well as economic benefits for farmers who do choose to site a solar farm. You can read the full article here. A few weeks ago we were approached by a student at Hampshire college who was looking for a solar site to test for changes in nutrients under ground mounted solar arrays. Her professor was under the impression that it may allow for a greater build up of nutrients. We are continuing in this research partnership to look farther into what changes solar installation make to our landscape. Stay tuned as samples are taken and studies throughout the...

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Solar Pioneer Steven Strong To Speak In Brattleboro Sept. 11

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Solar Pioneer Steven Strong To Speak In Brattleboro Sept. 11

Solar Pioneer To Speak In Brattleboro…  Steven Strong, founder of one of the first solar companies in the United States and an acclaimed industry leader and innovator, will speak at the Hooker-Dunham Theater, 139 Main Street in downtown Brattleboro on Friday, September 11 at 7:00 pm.  Strong’s talk will assess the current state of solar in this country, how we reached this point, and what needs to be done in the future to make solar mainstream. It will cover all aspects of solar, from individual residences to large-scale utility solar plants. There is a suggested donation of $10 for the talk. Light refreshments will be provided. The talk is sponsored by Brattleboro Solar Summer, a campaign to support Brattleboro residents and businesses in choosing locally generated solar power. The campaign, which runs until September 30, 2015, offers discounts from five participating local solar companies for installing a home or business system or purchasing shares in a community solar project. For more information, contact Paul Cameron at 802-251-8135, or visit www.brattleborosolarsummer.org. Steven J. Strong is President of Solar Design Associates, Inc. based in Harvard, MA, an interdisciplinary group of engineers and architects dedicated exclusively to the design of environmentally responsive buildings and the engineering and integration of renewable energy systems. He founded the firm in 1974 after serving as an energy-systems engineering consultant on the Alaskan pipeline where he became convinced there were easier, less-costly, more environmentally desirable ways to provide comfort and convenience to the consumer than “going to the ends of the earth to extract the last drop of fossil fuel”. Drawing on his background in engineering and architecture, he has earned the firm an international reputation for the pioneering integration of renewable energy systems – especially solar electricity – with environmentally responsive building design. The firm has completed projects in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Canada, the Caribbean and across the US from Maine to Hawaii for a wide diversity of applications from custom all-solar residences to commercial and utility-scale applications including: 1st all-solar residence to export a surplus of solar electricity to the utility grid 1st solar-powered neighborhood 1st solar-powered Olympics (Atlanta Summer Games) 1st solar-powered US Embassy (US Mission to the UN / Geneva) Three solar systems at the White House (Washington, DC) 1st solar-powered major network TV studio (PBS / Boston) 1st solar-powered major-league sports stadium (SF Giants) 1st wind-powered college campus (MA Maritime Academy) 1st solar-powered net-zero-energy college academic center (Oberlin College) 1st subscriber-owned community solar garden in MA (Harvard, MA) 1st net-zero-energy college laboratory (UMass / Danvers, MA) 1st net-zero-energy government agency headquarters (MA Fish & Wildlife / Westborough, MA) 1st energy-positive mid-rise office building (Seattle, WA) 1st university to be designed from the ground-up to be solar powered (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology / Thuwal, Saudi Arabia) Steven has served as an advisor on energy and environmental issues to 3 Governors, 8 US Senators and 3 presidential candidates as well as a number of electric utilities. He is the author of The Solar Electric House andSolar Electric Buildings, an Overview of Today’s Applications and the editor and contributing author ofPhotovoltaics in the Built Environment, a Design Guide for Architects and Engineers as well as contributing author to Photovoltaics in Buildings, Building with Photovoltaics and, Green Design – From Theory to Practice with Ken Yeang. Articles about Steven and his work have appeared in some 100 publications including TIME Architecture,Architectural Record, Environmental Design and Construction, World Architecture, Popular Science, Spectrum,Wired, Forbes, New Age, Sun and Wind Energy (Germany), Fortune and Business Week and on television and in energy...

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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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Why Spring is the best time to invest in solar…

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Why Spring is the best time to invest in solar…

For many, the end of the year looks like a juicy time to invest in solar. You can squeeze in those tax credits to cover what you owe and make the books look nice and balanced for the coming year. For some this type of thinking isn’t even on the radar. However, when we use a renewable source of energy, the natural cycles come into play in a big way. Everyone who is thinking about going solar, or looking at the state of their solar credits should understand these cycles. Vermont Community Solar makes going solar so simple that many participants forget that their power is actually being generated by the sun. Here’s the scoop… Buying VCS panels is like buying stock in the sun except this market never crashes. It is always in the positive and will always make you money. How much money depends on the season. To put it simplistically, in the stock market, you buy low priced stocks, sit back, watch them grow, and sell them at a higher price. There are similarities when going solar. While the sunshine market is much less volatile, you will see your solar credits grow throughout the summer and dip in the winter. Knowing these cycles is useful when investing in solar. If you buy panels in the fall, you will have minimal return until the following spring when the sun rises higher in the sky and the days get longer. If you buy panels in the Spring, you will watch your return rise to its peak in the Summer. Starting out in the green (or the most green) can be helpful when taking the financing option. This way, you will start out with the maximum amount of credit to weather what minimal volatility there is throughout the year. So, buy panels in the spring and watch your electricity bill dissolve in the...

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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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