Vermont Press Releases

VSECU Finances Purchase of Solar Array Powering Woodchuck Cidery

News Release — VSECU
May 3, 2016

Yvonne Garand, Senior VP Marketing & Business Development
[email protected] / 802-371-5197

The award-winning 150kW solar project features local products, local lending and local ownership

MONTPELIER, VT, MAY 3, 2016 – VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union for everybody in Vermont, today announced the completion of a project to finance a 150kW solar array in Bridport, Vt. Savage Solar purchased the project, which will continue to power Vermont Hard Cider Company’s Woodchuck Cidery, based in Middlebury, Vt.

“We are very excited to work with VSECU on this project, which helps one of Vermont’s most recognizable brands, Woodchuck Hard Cider, to sustainably power its cidery as part of its commitment to environmental responsibility,” said Andrew Savage, Managing Director of Savage Solar and Chief Strategy Officer at AllEarth Renewables. “We could not have found a better partner than VSECU to secure our financing. The credit union’s commitment to green lending, and understanding of financing solar projects in Vermont was clear throughout the process, and helped us move forward quickly and easily with their team.”

The Bridport-located “solar orchard” consists of 26 Vermont-made pole-mounted dual-axis solar trackers, and produces approximately 250,000 kWh of solar energy per year. The solar trackers supply approximately 10 percent of the power needed for the Woodchuck Cidery, and are manufactured in Vermont by AllEarth Renewables.

The unique solar orchard was named Project of Distinction, Fan Favorite by the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Solar Electric Power Association in 2014.

“As part of our environmental mission, VSECU works to provide products and processes that empower our member-owners to live sustainably, and protect our environment,” said Scott Nichols, Vice President, Business Lending at VSECU. “We’re thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Savage Solar to finance a project that positively impacts our environment and enables a Vermont business to achieve its renewable energy goals.”

VSECU offers numerous discounted solar and energy improvement loans through its VGreen loan program, as well as low-cost Business Energy Loans through Efficiency Vermont. Businesses seeking financing for energy efficiency improvements can learn more at

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  • Jessie McIndoe

    So this means that the cidery will only be in operation on sunny days? If this is the sort of thing VSECU is financing then I suspect it will soon be going the way of bankrupt Sun Edison. And why do business with Blittersdorf’s company? Doesn’t VSECU know that Blittersdorf has been less than honorable in his business dealings? Not a very public-spirited company at all.