Solar firm gets OK for Guilford community project

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Solar firm gets OK for Guilford community project

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 6:12am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Green Lantern, the Waterbury-based renewable energy developer, has received a Certificate of Public Good (CPG) from the Vermont Public Utility Commission and plans to build and sell ownership shares in a new group-net-metered Community Solar Array (CSA) in Guilford. The array, on land beside Guilford Center Road leased from the Margery Evans family, will have a capacity of 252 kilowatts (kW AC), and will be able to serve between 50 and 100 homes or the equivalent. 

Anyone with an electric bill from Green Mountain Power is eligible to buy panels, including households, businesses, non-profit organizations, and local government.  When all panels have been reserved, construction will take place, most likely between late 2017 and early 2018. 

With the potential to reduce electric bills to practically nothing through net metering – and offset electricity obtained from the New England grid with renewable solar electricity generated nearby - the CSA offers the greatest benefits to people and entities that pay income taxes.  Their investment will pay back within approximately 12 years, with at least 30% being recouped quickly through the IRS’s Solar Investment Tax Credit program.  All panel owners will also receive the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) generated by their panels.  Panels that have been purchased are assignable/transferrable, and all purchasers will have the option to sell them back to Green Lantern if they wish to exit from their investment. 

CSAs are a convenient way to go solar for GMP customers lacking adequate land or roof space, or who simply do not want to accommodate an array where they live or work.  The CSA is located remotely, and all administration and maintenance is taken care of. Green Lantern is offering Guilford residents an exclusive purchase period until October 31, at which time sales will be opened to all Green Mountain Power customers.  A waiting list for non-Guilford residents has been created. 

Although CSAs are being developed in Vermont at a slower rate now, due to reduced incentives and more complex regulations, Green Lantern is able to offer the Margery Evans CSA due to our state-wide scale and the economies that go along with that, and because its pre-2017 applications allow it to be grandfathered under better incentives.  In addition, Green Lantern has secured panel supplies for all of our projects currently slated for construction in the face of threatened solar panel tariffs by the International Trade Commission, which may cause panel prices to rise by as much as 50% and significantly diminish solar opportunities for homeowners and businesses in the future. 

Green Lantern is a 100% Vermonter-owned, Vermont-focused, turnkey developer and builder of renewable energy projects.  We stand behind over 60 solar arrays in more than 50 towns around Vermont that are either already operating, or financed and under construction, totaling nearly 25 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity, and we have roughly 20 more in the permitting pipeline at any given time.  In southern Vermont, we have new arrays operating or in development in Brattleboro, Guilford, Vernon, Pownal, Bennington, Springfield, Newfane, Wilmington, Hartland, and Rockingham.  Our traditional business model uses investor financing to develop sites that typically serve schools, colleges, hospitals, towns, waste districts, and other kinds of public and community organizations.  We also have projects with ski resorts and manufacturing companies.  More recently, we started developing community solar arrays, as described above. 

Central to Green Lantern’s strategic vision and daily efforts in this challenging environment is our commitment to making the biggest contribution we can to reducing Vermont’s carbon footprint, transitioning to locally-generated renewable energy, and achieving Vermont’s goal of 90% renewable energy by 2050.  

Green Lantern