Vermont Business Magazine SunCommon of Waterbury, joined by Governor Scott, unveiled its latest innovation, the Solar Canopy, at the first public installation at Montpelier’s Hunger Mountain Co-op, a local grocery store, on Monday. The timber frame solar structure is a first for Vermont and expands solar options beyond the traditional rooftop and backyard. SunCommon said in a statement that the Solar Canopy’s versatility allows Vermont households and small businesses to go solar over their driveways, parking lots, patios, or woodpiles, or create a new, functional outdoor space.
“SunCommon is focused on driving change in our energy economy and that mission fosters innovation,” said James Moore, co-founder of SunCommon. “As Vermonters we appreciate our built environment, from our historic downtowns to bucolic barns dotting our roadsides. I designed SunCommon's new Solar Canopy to be both beautiful and functional, embracing Vermont’s classic heritage and its clean energy future.”
A single bay Solar Canopy, which covers two parking spaces, generates enough solar power for the average Vermont home. Karen Glitman, a Solar Canopy homeowner in Jericho said: “This is exactly what we’ve been waiting for. The Solar Canopy will generate the solar power we need to stabilize our energy costs and have our home heating, electricity and transportation powered by sunshine. And, it’s just really pretty!”
The Solar Canopy can be scaled up to meet the power needs of local businesses while stabilizing their energy costs. “The Solar Canopy suits our bottom line as a smart, sustainable investment,” said Kari Bradley, General Manager of Hunger Mountain Co-op. “We are reducing our electric bill for years to come and expect these panels to generate power for at least 25 years, long after we’ve paid for this project.”
Hunger Mountain Co-op is using the Solar Canopy not only to provide their customers with electric vehicle charging and shelter from inclement weather, but also to inspire.
“Our goal is to motivate members of our community and our 8,000 Co-op members to pursue their own solar projects. The Solar Canopy is a beautiful statement of what’s possible with renewable energy and serves as a daily reminder that the Co-op cares about sustainability,” said Bradley.
Governor Phil Scott speaks at the ribbon cutting the Solar Canopy at the Hunger Mountain Co-op in Montpelier on Monday. SunCommon photos.
Vermont Governor Phil Scott echoed the sentiment and added that solar is driving business innovation and growth while attracting Vermont’s younger workforce. Speaking to the SunCommon staff at Monday’s unveiling, Scott said, “We want to attract young professionals, like yourselves, and working families to Vermont. Companies like SunCommon that are creating jobs and innovating here in Vermont are exactly what we need. SunCommon has had a lot of success in recruiting and hiring Millennials – I see many amongst the group here – as well as many graduates from our state colleges and universities.”
Governor Scott compared the versatile Solar Canopy design to the creative approach needed in working with racecars.
“I love when you can accomplish two things at once. I hope to see more [of this ingenuity] in the future. Congratulations to SunCommon and Hunger Mountain Co-op for this tremendous project.”
Source: SunCommon 1.9.2017