Encore Renewable Energy energizes 2.1-MW community solar project at former auto salvage yard
Encore Renewable Energy and VPPSA have announced the commissioning of a new 2.1 MW communal solar panel at a former car shed. The project was developed as part of a partnership between Encore Renewable Energy and VPPSA to develop, finance and build approximately 10 MW of solar capacity on behalf of VPPSA’s municipal utilities.
The project is expected to produce approximately 3,200,000 kilowatt hours per year, enough to power approximately 375 households annually. The landowners will remain on land that has been in their family for generations as the operational solar project provides both an annual lease payment and the resources to complete the environmental remediation needed to obtain regulatory approval to operate a solar panel on the former. car salvage facility that has served the local community for decades.
“It’s always exciting to see a solar project like this that can breathe new life into a property that offers little to no benefit to the community in its current state,” said Chad Farrell, founder and CEO of Encore Renewable energy. “Our team leveraged our collective expertise, experience and determination to address the very real challenges of developing a solar panel on this type of brownfield property and delivering a project that will bring real benefit to the local community.”
This is the third solar panel to be powered and the second Standard Offer project under the public-private partnership VPPSA and Encore Renewable Energy. All of Salvage Yard solar generation will be sold to Vermont utility companies that are not yet 100% renewable. VPPSA and Encore have agreed to build a 10 MW solar portfolio along with projects spanning multiple utility companies that are members of the VPPSA. Under the partnership, Encore performs all design, development, financing and construction of solar energy projects. VPPSA manages the resulting power generation and maximizes its value to the communities of its member utility companies.
“The Salvage Yard project is yet another example of municipal utilities investing in their communities in ways that promote affordability and environmental stewardship,” said VPPSA Director Ken Nolan. “VPPSA is committed to maintaining an affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity supply for communities in Vermont and is excited to promote projects that meet those goals while supporting local families.”
In keeping with Encore’s commitment by the end of 2020, the soil under the solar panel will be planted with pollinator-friendly ground covers to support vital habitats for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths and other insects critical to future food security. In addition, a pollinator-friendly ground cover increases carbon sequestration, improves soil quality, reduces stormwater runoff and returns stormwater to the underlying aquifers, while addressing the social importance of supporting healthy food systems.
News item from Encore Renewable Energy