Leading edge Vermont solar farm wins 2015 Project of Distinction Award

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Leading edge Vermont solar farm wins 2015 Project of Distinction Award

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 5:53am -- tim

Green Mountain Power and groSolar have announced that the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) have awarded the Stafford Hill Solar Farm in Rutland the 2015 Project of Distinction Award. The award was presented this week in Boston at PV America, an annual trade show and conference designed to serve and advance the solar PV market by bringing together industry professionals. The award celebrates a major milestone for the Northeastern solar market and recognizes the highest achievement for a PV solar energy project of any scale.

GMP CEO Mary Powell, with Governor Shumlin, announces the Stafford Hill project last year. VBM file.

"SEIA and SEPA commend the recipients of this year's Project of Distinction award, groSolar and Green Mountain Power," said Rhone Resch, CEO and President of SEIA. "Together, and with their partners, they have developed and constructed a very innovative project in Rutland that will provide power to thousands of homes, along with a storage component to power a shelter in the event of power outages. It's projects like this that will continue to help grow the solar industry, and awareness, nationwide with such innovation and cutting edge technology."

Stafford Hill is an exciting new project designed to improve resiliency and safety in communities by generating solar energy that can be stored and used to power an emergency shelter at Rutland High School in the event of weather-related power outages. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the Stafford Hill Solar Farm is the first project to establish a micro-grid powered solely by solar and battery storage, with no fossil fuels. The project also utilizes land atop a closed landfill, which was otherwise unsuitable for development.

"We are very honored by this awar d and thank SEIA and SEPA for this acknowledgment," said Green Mountain President & CEO Mary Powell. "Stafford Hill is a terrific example of how, working together, we can transform space that would otherwise be unusable into something that is critical to the community in times of need. This project will power the city's emergency shelter during storms, providing peace of mind to the people of Rutland."

The project, engineered and built by groSolar, which has offices in White River Junction and Rutland, Vermont, consists of 7,700 solar panels capable of generating two megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to power as many as 2,000 homes. The system includes four MW of battery storage, including emergency power for the nearby emergency shelter.

"We're thrilled to have this project recognized for its national significance and are confident it will lead to similar applications elsewhere. Partnering with Green Mountain Power to develop and build this innovative system is a huge feather in our cap and we are grateful for the recognition from the folks at SEIA and SEPA," said groSolar CEO Jamie Resor. "Completing this project and receiving this award wouldn't have been possible without everyone who was involved in this partnership. It's exciting to see the PV industry grow and mature in Vermont and elsewhere."

Stafford Hill is another important step in the partnership to establish Rutland as the Energy City of the Future, where GMP pilots new technology to empower customers to lower their energy costs by using less energy while improving the comfort of their homes. This project also represents progress towards the goal of making Rutland City the Solar Capital of New England.

"The quality of the partnership between the city, GMP, and groSolar on this project is unprecedented," Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras said. "It is the epitome of good collaboration, with wins for everyone involved."

Dynapower of South Burlington de signed special equipment for the project and the Clean Energy States Alliance helped secure funding from the U.S. Department of Energy along with grant contributions from the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund.

The $10 million solar and battery storage project is set to be completed in May.

For more information about PV America visit: http://www.pvamericaexpo.com/. To learn more about Stafford Hill and other energy projects from Green Mountain Power, visit www.greenmountainpower.com, and find out more about groSolar, including its services and project portfolio, please visit www.grosolar.com

About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (GMP) serves approximately 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and has a vision to be the best small company in America by partnering with Vermonters to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective and reliable power in Vermont. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. In 2014, Vote Solar named GMP a Solar Champion. More information at: www.greenmountainpower.com. Connect with GMP on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GreenMtnPower .

About groSolar:
groSolar is a 15-year experienced industry-leading commercial- and utility-scale solar engineering, procurement, and construction firm serving the 1 to 30 MW market. With megawatt-plus projects and over 2,000 installations nationwide, groSolar's experience includes design and build applications at brownfield/ landfill, commercial, educational, municipal, utility, and manufacturing facilities. groSolar provides a one stop source for solar projects ranging from development services and financing through construction and long-term operations and maintenance. For more information, visitwww.groSolar.com.

RUTLAND, VT--(Marketwired - March 09, 2015) - Green Mountain Power