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Locally Funded Solar Project Incorporates Agricultural Opportunities – Vermont, USA

Sept. 28, 2012
Gene Bertsche
PAWLET, VT – Northeast Community Solar, LLC (NCS) announced today that the Vermont Public Service Board has granted a Certificate of Public Good for the innovative 150kW community solar project in Pawlet, Vermont. The locally funded community-scale project will provide power for nearby homes and businesses through group-net metering. The project will also be constructed to create local agricultural opportunities.
“We believe the essence of ‘Community’ is local demand being satisfied by local solutions. We are delighted to offer a project that will utilize local funding for construction, and produce credits from power production that will be sold at affordable rates to local homeowners and businesses to help them offset their electric bills.” Said NCS President and resident of nearby Middletown Springs Gene Bertsche.
Northeast Community Solar was founded by local experts in solar energy, construction, and finance, with the idea that community based solar energy production could play a large role in allowing Vermonters to reduce their dependence on foreign energy sources and avoid other sources that have significant environmental impacts. NCS shares this
vision with groups like Energize Vermont who are actively catalyzing the local small-scale energy movement.
Funding for the project will be derived from local investors that can benefit from a variety of state and federal tax incentives. The finance structure that NCS has created allows for the construction of the project with no up front costs to the community.
Through net-metering, the power produced from the project will be fed into the local Green Mountain Power grid. The company will then offer subscriptions for the power output to area homes and businesses at rates competitive or below their current GMP rates. This means people in Pawlet and the surrounding towns can utilize solar energy in their businesses and homes, and save money at the same time.
The company said the Pawlet project site plan incorporates local agricultural opportunities as well. “A key goal of the project is to insure that farm land is not taken out of production for the sake of power generation. Local produce will be grown on the site and sold to local consumers. We believe this project will serve as an example of how small scale commercial solar energy installations can co-hebetate quite well with farming.” Said Bertsche.
Northeast Community Solar wishes to thank the people of Pawlet and the team at Energize Vermont for their efforts on behalf of this project, and to the folks at Rutland Area Farm and Food Link and NOFA for their efforts in local farming and local food solutions.
“When completed, we hope that this project will be a point of pride for the community of Pawlet, and believe it will show how we can how we can build small-scale energy solutions with minimal environmental impact and substantial local benefit.” Said Bertsche.
For more information about the Pawlet Community Solar project, including investment opportunities, how to become a “Community Subscriber”, or to inquire about how Northeast Community Solar, LLC can bring community solar to your town, contact Gene Bertsche at 802-235-1139 or via email at .
Source: VTDigger (

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