Green Mountain Power has selected Positive Energy, a solar developer with offices in Poultney, Vt., and Granville, N.Y., to build the College of St. Joseph Solar Farm atop the Athletic Center.
“Positive Energy provided a very competitive quote, using American-made materials, local labor and some creative thinking, and won the contract over a solid field of respected bidders,” said Steve Costello, GMP’s vice president for generation and energy innovation.
Positive Energy will build the system with assistance from students in the Green Mountain College Renewable Energy and Ecological Design major, and will use materials largely sourced from Rutland-area suppliers. Their project proposal included roof-friendly rubber feet for the solar array ballasts, made from recycled tires.
“Positive Energy’s proposal demonstrated the kind of innovative thinking that is necessary to drive our Solar Capital Initiative forward while creating additional benefits to the community,” Costello said.
“We strive to make our projects clean from a materials standpoint as well as a generation standpoint,” Positive Energy President Joe Thomas said. “As we help reduce the impact of energy generation, we also look for ways to reduce the impact of our projects by using recyclable materials and local sourcing whenever possible.”
College of St. Joseph signed an agreement with Green Mountain Power last month to host the company’s first rooftop solar farm in the city of Rutland, a 98.28-kilowatt system.
“I am very pleased that a company with local roots and local workers won the bid for the project,” College of St. Joseph President Rich Lloyd said. “As the college grows and develops its connections to the GMP Energy Innovation Center and Solar Capital Initiative, the economic value of our efforts to the community will only multiply.”
The CSJ project is connected to a larger collaboration between GMP, CSJ, Castleton College, Green Mountain College and the Community College of Vermont. The four Rutland County colleges signed an agreement last month to collaborate on a series of educational and economic development efforts, including exploration of renewable development opportunities like the College of St. Joseph Solar Farm. The project also supports Vermont’s renewable energy goals, which include reliance on renewable energy for 90 percent of the state’s electricity needs by 2050, 20 percent through projects in the state’s Vermont’s Sustainably Priced Energy Development Program by 2017.