RANDOLPH CENTER, Vt, December 17, 2015
Vermont Technical College will further its use of renewable energy and help reduce its operating costs while providing the institution new educational opportunities with the installation of a 500kW solar farm.
This month, the 500kW project was awarded its Certificate of Public Good by the Vermont Public Service Board, green-lighting the project to begin construction immediately. It is scheduled to be complete by February.
The project on Vermont Tech’s campus will consist of one hundred 5kW AllEarth Series 20 dual-axis solar trackers, manufactured by AllEarth Renewables, Inc. of Williston.
Consistent with its technical career-oriented mission, Vermont Technical College is increasing renewable energy programs and facilities. The college offers an innovative bachelor’s degree in Renewable Energy, and a Continuing Education division that delivers a slate of courses and workshops focused on the renewable energy industry. Joining the college’s 375 kw anaerobic digester, dubbed “Big Bertha” by students, the solar project will provide students with real-world experience and an additional educational tool right on their campus.
In addition to the locally manufactured product by AllEarth Renewables, students will gain first-hand exposure to the company's Vermont supply chain for components.
Vermont Tech is the only solar training provider in Vermont acknowledged by Interstate Renewable Energy Council, which provides nationally-recognized training and credential programs. Clean energy will be a big part of Vermont communities going forward, and Vermont Tech’s Randolph campus is poised to be a model for local renewable energy education and training.
"I am enthusiastic about this project and the future of this college as a hub for teaching and learning the vital skills connected to clean energy in Vermont,” said Vermont Tech President Dan Smith. “Degree programs in agriculture, horticulture, environmental engineering, and energy position Vermont Tech graduates to play a vital role in Vermont’s environmental and energy future.”
Vermont Technical College will receive the net metered energy credits, thereby saving on electric costs. The solar array will also benefit the Green Mountain Power distribution system by acting as a load reducer during peak periods in the summer months when market electricity costs are highest to the utility.
The project is expected to produce nearly 1 million kWh of clean, Vermont renewable energy annually. The Renewable Energy Credits for the Vermont Tech project will be retained and retired in-state.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Vermont Tech to provide solar power at the Randolph campus. The college site is an ideal location to not only to create renewable energy, but also invest in the next generation Vermont workforce," added David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables.
AllEarth Renewables is also completing a solar initiative for Vermont state government that will save taxpayers more than $2.5 million in energy costs over twenty years with no state investment, while producing over 7 million kilowatt hours per year of clean, Vermont-made solar electricity.
About Vermont Tech
Vermont Tech is a leading public college with a mission of applied education. One of the five Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Tech serves students from throughout Vermont, New England, and beyond at its two residential campuses in Williston and Randolph Center, regional campuses in Brattleboro and Bennington, and at six nursing campuses located throughout the state. Vermont Tech takes an optimistic, rooted and personal approach to education to support students in gaining the confidence and practical skills necessary to not only see their potential, but to experience it. Our academic programs encompass a wide range of engineering technology, agricultural, health, and business fields that are vital to producing the knowledgeable workers needed most by employers in the state and in the region. www.vtc.edu.