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Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply harvest the sun for emission free power and lower energy costs

Posted by Carolyn Cooke on Mar 9, 2015 12:00:00 PM in 2014

Williston, VT, October 29, 2014

resizedimage600442-Pulling-Solar-Project-Photo

The 144kW solar installation of AllSun Trackers at Pulling Farm in Addison, Vt. provides emissions free solar energy for Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply Company, two iconic national companies based in Vermont.

Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply Company, two nationally recognized Vermont-based specialty companies have turned to the sun for emission-free power.

Danforth Pewter is a family-owned fine pewter crafter based in Middlebury, Vt.  Gardener’s Supply, headquartered in Burlington, Vt., is an employee-owned company providing environmentally friendly gardening products and information through its website, catalogs, and retail stores.  The two companies will share the output of the newly installed solar array.

The 144kW (ac) system, constructed on the Pulling Farm in Addison, Vt., features dual axis AllSun Trackers, manufactured in Williston, Vt. by AllEarth Renewables, SunPower 345-watt solar panels, and a Power Purchase Agreement by SolarSense, LLC, a provider of clean, reliable and affordable power.

The ground-mounted solar systems, installed under Green Mountain Power’s net metering program, will provide emissions-free, net metered solar electricity for each company at below-market rates through long-term energy contracts financed, owned, and operated by SolarSense, LLC.  

The project was constructed utilizing AllSun Trackers, which track the sun throughout the day to maximize energy production, and the most efficient solar photovoltaic (PV) panel commercially available from SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR), a leading solar technology and global energy services provider based in Silicon Valley, Calif.    The optimized design has proven to be a winning combination.  In live “test energy” production the system produced 1,660kwh per kilowatt, a 36% output premium over traditional fixed-tilt racking and standard efficiencypanels.

As part of the project, SolarSense will grant a Vermont Make-A-Wish Foundation child his or her wish as part of their “Watts for Wishes” charitable giving program.

“This is a win through and through for Vermont and the stakeholders in the project,” said Chris Fraga, Founder and CEO of SolarSense LLC, the project developer.  “Not only will two of Vermont’s leading specialty firms embrace emission-free power as part of their sustainability objectives; AllEarth Renewables supplied the AllSun Trackers and provided engineering and construction services from their Williston headquarters; numerous Vermont suppliers and service partners provided products and construction services; the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) provided debt financing for the project; Green Mountain Power interconnects yet another solar PV system in their mission to make Vermont a leader in sustainable energy; and a Make-A-Wish child from Vermont will have his orherwish fulfilled and funded by SolarSensevia the “Watts for Wishes” charitable giving program.   This project epitomizes our mission of socially conscious energy development, and we could not be more honored to be part of this initiative.”

“AllEarth Renewables and SolarSense made it really easy for Danforth to become, as far as we know, the world's first solar-powered pewter workshop,” said Bram Kleppner, CEO of Danforth Pewter.  “We have been working on reducing our impact on the environment for a long time, and the creation of this solar farm allowed us to wipe out most of our electric energy carbon emissions in one fell swoop.  Since the solar project is sited on land owned by one of our employees, this project really hit a sweet spot: Danforth gets reduced electricity costs, the employee who's hosting the installation reduces her power bills more or less to zero, and the atmosphere stays a little cleaner. The fact that we're partnering with our friends at Gardener's Supply as we both convert our businesses to renewable energy just makes it that much sweeter."

“The employee owners of Gardener’s Supply could not be more pleased to partner with Danforth Pewter, AllEarth Renewables and SolarSense to develop 100 percent renewable solar energy to power our Williston garden center,” said Jim Feinson, president of Gardener’s Supply Company.  “Gardeners are truly America’s backyard environmentalists, improving the world one garden at a time. They also have a very intimate relationship with the sun!  Now Gardener’s Supply can say we are improving our own “backyard,” and every garden center customer can feel even better shopping with us knowing the substantial electrical energy needed for our greenhouses and store is coming from solar.”

“We are thrilled to partner with SolarSense to provide locally-produced solar power for two iconic Vermont companies.  Both Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply have strong national reputations and their decision to go solar sends a strong message about the economic and environmental benefits of business-led renewable energy leadership,” said David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables.  “By utilizing our tracking technology with high efficiency SunPower panels, we can maximize production within the state’s net metering limit, boosting the total solar savings for Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply and the economic returns for each project.  It’s a real winning combination.” 

Danforth Pewter designs and handcrafts jewelry, ornaments, oil lamps and a wide variety of other home and personal accessories from 100% lead-free fine pewter in our workshop in Middlebury, Vermont. With retail stores in Middlebury, Burlington, Woodstock, and Waterbury in Vermont, and in Williamsburg, Virginia, and an online store atwww.danforthpewter.com, we are proud to be growing the art and tradition of American metalcraft into the 21stcentury.

Founded in 1983, Gardener's Supply is 100% employee-owned and serves gardeners locally at two garden centers, in Williston and Burlington’s Intervale and nationally as an online and catalog products retailer.  Gardener’s Supply (www.gardeners.com) is known for providing award-winning innovative garden-tested, earth-friendly products combined with practical information.Headquartered in Burlington, Vermont, the company has won many awards for its patented products and progressive management style and recently became B Corps certified.  The company donates eight percent of profits to gardening-related initiatives and organizations working in the areas of sustainable agriculture, the environment and hunger relief. 

SolarSense, and its affiliate Alternative Energy Development Group, help commercial-scale clients reduce their energy demand, reduce their energy supply costs, and become more sustainable and resilient.   Our clients, who span mid-market to Fortune 500 entities in the for-profit, not-for-profit, and public sectors have entrusted us to generate 543,000,000 kWh’s of clean, reliable and affordable power under long term contracts.  Our singular focus is solving customers’ energy needs by utilizing proven technologies that deliver meaningful financial, sustainability & resiliency benefits.  For more, visit www.aedgonline.com

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