Pawlet pursues community-based solarOctober 02,2012By Lucia Suarez
PAWLET — A 150-kilowatt solar initiative is taking shape north of town — one that its developer, Northeast Community Solar, hopes
will be the first of several in the area.
“We are excited about it,” said Gene Bertsche, president of Northeast Community Solar (NCS). “The goal is to allow local residents to have access to solar energy without any up front cost and with only the responsibility of paying their bill every month.”
NCS was founded by local experts in solar energy, construction and finance with the idea that community-based solar will play a role in allowing Vermont to reduce its dependence on foreign energy sources. According to Bertsche, they began pursing a project in
Rutland County about a year ago after being introduced to Energize Vermont, a local group that advocates for community solar projects.
“We saw what they want to do and thought it was a good idea,” Bertsche said.
Identifying property was key for the project. NCS is focusing on projects in Rutland and Windsor counties he said, and after looking at several properties, they settled on a 9-acre property on Route 30, just south of the Wells town line.
“We thought about leasing but to any property owner the idea of leasing is daunting,” Bertsche said. “I decided to go buy property.”
The solar project is designed for 150 kilowatts which would include just under 600 panels in the 9 acres. It is expected to cost about $750,000.
Through Vermont’s net-metering law, the power produced from the project will be fed into the Green Mountain Power local grid.
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