Energy & Environment

Nine towns awarded grants for solar projects

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced the latest grants for renewable energy projects Tuesday at Northern Reliability’s facilities in Waitsfield. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced the latest grants for renewable energy projects Tuesday at Northern Reliability’s facilities in Waitsfield. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

WAITSFIELD -- Nine solar projects were awarded funding from the latest round of grants from the Clean Energy Development Fund.

State and local officials gathered for a news conference at Northern Reliability's test facilities in Waitsfield to announce the grants Wednesday and to celebrate the state’s progress on renewable energy generation.

The town of Waitsfield received $80,000 from the fund to install a 100-kilowatt solar array on the town garage. The power will be used to run the town’s municipal buildings, including the fire station, elementary school, the town office and library.

Town Administrator Valerie Capels said the site has been cleared and the town could begin construction soon.

This was Gov. Peter Shumlin’s latest stop on a “solar summer tour,” in which he is highlighting the state’s transition to renewable energy generation “and proving that we can create jobs as we do it.”

Chris Badger, the town's’ energy coordinator, said the growth in renewable development has resulted in a boom in jobs in the Mad River Valley. He said in the past three years, Waitsfield has doubled the number of systems installed.

The Clean Energy Development Fund provides grants to a wide range of renewable energy projects.

According to a news release, the following other projects qualified for grant funding:

• Richford – Franklin Supervisory Union, roof of high school, 50 kilowatts, $45,500.

• South Strafford – Town of Strafford and Newton School, field at 264 VT Route 132, 65 kilowatts, $32,250.

• Thetford – Thetford School Board, elementary school land, 141 kilowatts, $125,000.

• Warren – Town of Warren, town land near elementary school, 162 kilowatts, $80,000.

• Sharon – Town of Sharon, rooftop project net metered to school, 12 kilowatts, $15,000.

• North Thetford – United Church of Thetford, 15 kilowatts, $13,750.

• Berlin – Town of Berlin, town offices rooftop, 16.8 kilowatts, $20,000.

• Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Mountain School, 25 kilowatts, $31,250.

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John Herrick

About John

John Herrick joined VTDigger in June 2013 as an intern working on the searchable campaign finance database and is now VTDigger's energy and environment reporter. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in Spanish. He wrote for the Vermont Cynic, university’s student newspaper, before interning and later freelancing for the Burlington Free Press.

Email: [email protected]

Follow John on Twitter @herrickjohnny

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