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Editorial: Crisis in siting solar arrays could stall industry's growth

Posted on March 19, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



With Statehouse discussion dominated this session by the $112 million budget shortfall and education reform measures focused on consolidation and improving outcomes, energy-related issues have fallen out of the spotlight to the detriment of Vermonters.

full story

Builders invited to share issues on energy efficiency

Posted on March 12, 2015 |
By Addison Independent



 

MIDDLEBURY — Why does it cost so much to build a new energy efficient house, and what’s up with all of these crazy insulation details?

People who are involved in the building trades are often asked these questions, and some of them ask these questions themselves.

Vermont Integrated Architecture, a Middlebury design and planning firm, is inviting area builders and architects to its “Roundtable for Residential Building Professionals” on March 25 to discuss such questions in an open, roundtable format.

full story

Solar issue could set precedent

Posted on March 5, 2015 |
By Andy Kirkaldy



SolarArray0229.jpg

FERRISBURGH — Residents of the Mile Point lakefront area in Ferrisburgh continue to fight on multiple fronts against what a recently installed 150-kilowatt solar array on a corner of Basin Harbor Club’s 700-acre property — in a case that could have statewide implications.

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Opinion: Solar sets path to renewable future

Posted on March 2, 2015 |
By Kate Williams



When I moved to Vermont years ago I knew I needed to find a way to affordably heat my Leicester home. At the time fuel oil was my only option but just recently I learned of this virtuous combination of having a heat pump and solar panels heat your home.

I love the idea that these two work together to create renewable heating. The affordability of solar heat was enticing but more than anything I wanted a way to reduce my carbon footprint, to help reduce my contribution to climate change. But, my plan hit a snag. My home is too shaded for solar.

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New Haven selectboard candidates say solar is top issue facing town

Posted on February 16, 2015 |
By Zach Despart



NEW HAVEN — Four candidates will face off for two seats on the New Haven selectboard in an unusually busy election season. The races will be decided by Australian ballot on Town Meeting Day, March 3.

Charles Roy and Jim Walsh are vying for a three-year seat, while Susan Smiley and Steve Dupoise Sr. are competing for a two-year seat. Roy, the incumbent for the two-year seat, is seeking the three-year being vacated by Roger Boise.

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Opinion: Middlebury solar array exceeds projected output

Posted on February 16, 2015 |
By Greg Pahl



Regarding the article “Vergennes solar array output comes up short” that ran in the Monday, Feb. 9, issue of the Independent, it’s unfortunate that you used an image of the Acorn Energy Solar One community solar project located off Lucius Shaw Lane behind the Middlebury police station to illustrate the story. That’s because this locally owned, 150-kilowatt array has consistently exceeded its original annual electricity production estimate of 172,000 kilowatt hours by an average of 6.7 percent over the past three years.

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Vergennes solar array output comes up short

Posted on February 9, 2015 |
By Zach Despart



solararray4362.jpg

ADDISON COUNTY — Let’s face it; Vermont isn’t the sunniest of places. On average, there’s only a 51 percent chance it will be sunny here during daylight hours.

So as the state’s infant solar industry grows, how accurately can solar developers project how much energy an array will produce?

full story

Opinion: Solar sector offers jobs for state

Posted on February 9, 2015 |
By Rick Shappy



It seems a week doesn’t goes by without someone in the media bemoaning the lack of job opportunities for young people in Vermont. While Vermont is an attractive place to live, we need professional jobs to keep our population rooted. The solar industry, while not new, has seen remarkable growth as costs have become affordable, and accessible programs like community solar arrays pop up. Turns out that deploying clean, renewable technology necessitates a significant workforce.

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Backers see solar as money maker

Posted on February 2, 2015 |
By Zach Despart



SolarArray.jpg

ADDISON COUNTY — Last year, the Public Service Board approved 26 projects in Addison County larger than 15 kilowatts, the largest of which were a 2.2-megawatt array in Middlebury and a 2.0-megawatt array in Bridport.

As workers proceed with construction of these arrays, soon to be among the largest in the state, many Addison County residents are wondering who’s making money from these large arrays. Landowners get revenue from leases, municipalities get tax revenue, construction firms get business — but how do investors in solar projects benefit?

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Opinion: Solar helps keep young people in Vermont

Posted on February 2, 2015 |
By R.J. Adler



On Aug. 16, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. I was in Jackson, Wyo., nervously awaiting a call from a potential employer, a solar energy company back in Vermont. After leaving Vermont for job opportunities out West, I knew the solar position was my chance to get back to a place I loved: Addison County. This was the job I wanted, in the place I wanted to be.

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