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Three Rutland nonprofits awarded $20,000 solar grants

RUTLAND - Three Rutland nonprofits will be going solar thanks to $60,000 in grants from Green Mountain Power. Each nonprofit was awarded $20,000 to begin using the sun to create energy - and there's still one more opportunity for another nonprofit to win a grant.
The matching grants that will help these non-profit organizations build solar projects are part of GMP's effort to make Rutland the Solar Capital of New England.
"These non-profit groups will not only rely on the sun for a portion of their energy needs, they will help inform their clients and the general public about the benefits of solar energy," said GMP President and CEO Mary Powell. "We want to demonstrate solar in a wide variety of settings, so we are particularly pleased to award these grants, which will support three very public projects and important local institutions."
Grant winners are the Vermont Farmer's Food Center on West Street, Rutland Regional Community Television in Howe Center, and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Hillside Road.
The Food Center is quickly becoming an important part of the western gateway to downtown Rutland, with hundreds of people visiting weekly. The TV station will document the installation of its new solar array and air programs about it multiple times on three cable access channels.  Good Shepherd will use its array to teach students about energy at its Little Lambs Early Learning Center.
"Each of these projects will have significant environmental and economic benefits for the nonprofits, and will help engage the community at large," said Steve Costello, GMP's vice president for generation and energy innovation.
Nonprofits interested in applying for the fourth $20,000 matching grant from GMP should contact David Dunn at 353-1456. The deadline for applying is Aug. 27 at 5 p.m.
GMP already operates the 150-kilowatt Creek Path Solar Farm on a former brownfield; just received a permit for an 18-kW solar project on the roof of the planned Energy Innovation Center in downtown Rutland; purchased an interest in the 150-kW solar farm on the former Poor Farm off Woodstock Avenue; is in the planning stages for the 2.3-megawatt Stafford Hill Solar Farm on a former city landfill; has filed for a state permit for the 150-kW Solar Center at Rutland Regional; recently signed an agreement to build a 75-kW solar array on the College of St. Joseph gymnasium roof; and has just issued a request for proposals for an approximately 75-kilowatt solar project on the roof of the company's Electrical Maintenance facility on Green Hill Lane.