White River Community Solar
Working in collaboration with the Energy Clinic at Vermont Law School, BALE is developing White River Community Solar, a 150-kilowatt community-owned solar project in the region. Working with local solar contractor, Catamount Solar, and community members and businesses interested in investing in true community solar, this project is scheduled to go online in the fall 2020.
Because of the new regulatory environment created by the State of Vermont in recent years, it has become far more expensive to launch community-driven project like this, especially if you want to keep your “renewable energy certificates” (meaning you can claim your power comes from solar energy). Due to the added costs, starting a true community solar project such as this is difficult. BALE, together with the Energy Clinic, won a $15,000 grant from the Vermont State Employees Credit Union that creates a revolving seed fund within BALE available for any future community solar initiative to use to pay for the upfront costs of getting such a project going (the project then pays the revolving seed fund back at time of its formal launch).
This recently received grant allows the White River Community Solar to go forward as planned and will create an opportunity for future similar projects to succeed as well. The nominal annual cost of this project covers the financial management expenses and small promotional budget (spreading the word of the funds availability).