Release: Major National Guard Solar Project at Burlington Airport

Sen. Sanders and Gen. Dubie Announce Solar Project
 
BURLINGTON, March 2 – Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today announced a $5 million grant for the Vermont National Guard that could result in the largest solar energy project in the state and one of the largest in New England.

“This project will not only help the Vermont National Guard reduce its electric bill and carbon footprint, but will be a major step forward in moving our state toward a greener economy which relies more and more on sustainable energy,” Sanders said.

“There is little doubt in my mind that in the years to come the energy mix in this state will be very different than it is today – with a far greater reliance on sustainable energy.  I hope that this project becomes a model for what can be done and a catalyst for further action,” he added.

Sanders is the chairman of the new Senate Subcommittee on Green Jobs and New Economy. He secured the $5 million in the 2009 Department of Defense appropriations bill.

Sanders thanked Major General Michael Dubie, the Vermont adjutant general, for the guard’s support of the project and for its “willingness to help make the Vermont National Guard a leader in this state in sustainable energy.”

Although the project is still in the design phase, it is likely that the centerpiece will be a large array of solar photovoltaic cells at the Vermont Air Guard’s facilities at the Burlington Airport to generate a significant amount of the facility’s electric power.

“As President Obama has made clear, and as many political leaders have stressed for decades, we must fundamentally transform our energy system.  We need to move aggressively to energy efficiency so we use less fossil fuel, and we need to develop such sustainable energies as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and others,” Sanders said.

“As we make that energy transition we will not only improve our geopolitical position in the world and reverse global warming, we also will create, over a period of time, millions of good-paying jobs throughout our country.”