Green Mountain Power Corporation (GMP) — Vermont’s second-largestutility company — has contracted Alteris Renewables to build solarenergy systems throughout the state in order to meet a company goal of10,000 panels installed in 1,000 days.
The plan began with a 58-kilowatt (KW) installation at WestminsterService Center and a 4-KW system at Colchester headquarters for plug-inhybrid cars. Just three days ago, GMP turned three more installations live, bringing its total number of solar energy systems to five andsurpassing the 10,000 panel goal ahead of schedule. GMP President andCEO Mary Powell could not be more pleased about surpassing the company’s own expectations, though she recognizes there is far more work to bedone:
“We are proud to have topped our 10,000 solar panelgoal. We are now at 14,000 panels and aiming high. Our customersclearly want more solar and we are determined to help provide it.”
One of the three new installations is a 138-kilowatt (KW) system that rests atop GMP’s own facility in Montpelier.
Another is a 150-KW “solar orchard” at Shelburne Farms and the thirdis now Vermont’s largest system — a 200-KW array near GMP’s 50-megawatt(MW) fossil fuel-generating plant in Berlin. GMP says the fossil fuelplant only operates during peak hours – the time when customers areusing the most energy.
There are two reasons for such a large number of installations atonce. One is because GMP has committed to helping Vermont reduce itscarbon footprint. The second reason is to meet demand. According to GMP, solar installations among its customers – approximately 175,000 peopleand businesses – has more than quadrupled since the beginning of 2009.