Solar Array Approved for Closed Landfill

The Other Paper

SOUTH BURLINGTON -- After being closed and capped almost 25 years ago, the old landfill at the end of Airport Parkway is being repurposed as the location for a newly approved solar project, which is projected to save South Burlington taxpayers millions of dollars in energy costs over the next 25 years. The City of South Burlington has received a Certificate of Public Good from the Public Service Board to install 2.15 MWdc (1.5 MWac) of solar on the eight acre landfill which was closed in 1992.

In 2014, the Vermont legislature under Act 99 expanded the net metering program to permit solar arrays up to five megawatts on closed landfills. Seizing the opportunity for the landfill, the city hired Encore Renewable Energy–a local clean energy company focused on commercial, industrial, and community scale solar PV systems–to develop the project.

Encore Renewable Energy is also responsible for facilitating the net-metering credit purchase agreement with the project’s owner, Altus Power America, a Connecticut-based solar investment company. The energy generated will be sold to the city’s electrical power provider, Green Mountain Power. The city will then receive credits on the electric bills for specific meters at municipal and school district facilities.

The credits will be divvied up in three phases: first the city will use up to a certain amount of credits, then the school board will use the next portion, with the city having access to any remaining credits. Thus, both the city and school district have an opportunity to maximize their credits.

“We will absorb those credits, both city and school, saving millions of dollars over 25 years for the taxpayers,” City Manager Kevin Dorn said. “It’s a win-win-win-win situation for everyone – for Altus, for the city, for the school district, for the taxpayers, for the environment.”

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