GMP plans solar summit in Rutland
Solar developers, local and state leaders, and Green Mountain Power officials will meet Tuesday for a solar summit – a formal kickoff event for Green Mountain Power’s effort to make Rutland the solar capital of Vermont.
The company will also announce the selection of the contractor that will build GMP’s planned 150-kilowatt Creek Path Solar Farm on Cleveland Avenue, which will be the company’s first major array in the city of Rutland. The event is open to solar and renewable developers, local and state officials and invited guests.
“The summit is intended to bring together a wide range of people with an interest in both solar development and Rutland’s future, so we can lay out our vision to make Rutland a leader in solar development and energy innovation,” said Mary Powell, president and CEO at GMP. “We will explain the vision in some detail, explain how solar developers big and small can take an active role in Rutland, provide resources to developers, and gather feedback from participants.”
Resource packages will include information ranging from listings of local brownfields to office and commercial space available in and around the city of Rutland, as well as contact information for various state and regional government agencies and business groups.
Steve Costello, vice president for energy and innovation at GMP, said the company’s goal is to develop partnerships that will create enough new solar to give Rutland the highest reliance on solar per capita of any city in the northeast and to serve as a catalyst to all kinds of solar development in the community.
“GMP will be a facilitator as well as a solar developer; we want to do much more than build projects in Rutland over the next few years,” Costello said. “We want to serve as a catalyst to encourage other companies to locate in Rutland, and to help facilitate other projects, ranging from significant solar farms to small commercial and residential-scale projects.
“We believe that Rutland can be an example for other communities,” Costello said. “We want to develop programs and relationships that help the community embrace clean, renewable energy, create jobs and provide a new economic development focus, and be a model for others to emulate. We also want to ensure a strong focus on controlling costs, and studying the benefits solar brings to the transmission system by lowering and meeting peak loads.”
GMP’s solar plans are just one part of the company’s pledge to Rutland during the merger process with Central Vermont Public Service. GMP is also assessing several properties that could host a planned Energy Innovation Center in downtown Rutland, working to recruit similarly focused businesses to the area, and developing concepts for future customer programs related to electric vehicles, customer energy management, heat pumps and renewable energy.
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com) transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the state of Vermont. The company, which serves more than 250,000 customers, has set its vision to be the best small utility in America.