RUTLAND - Green Mountain Power has selected Positive
Energy, a solar developer with offices in Poultney, Vt., and
Granville, N.Y., to build the College of St. Joseph Solar Farm atop
the Rutland college's athletic center.
"Positive Energy provided a very competitive quote, using
American-made materials, local labor and some creative thinking,
and won the contract over a solid field of respected bidders," said
Steve Costello, GMP's vice president for generation and energy
innovation. "This is the third different bid winner in the
four requests for bids we have issued as part of the Rutland Solar
Capital initiative, demonstrating some excellent competition for
these project awards."
Positive Energy will build the system with assistance from
students in the Green Mountain College Renewable Energy and
Ecological Design major, and will use materials largely sourced
from Rutland-area suppliers. Their project proposal included
roof-friendly rubber feet for the solar array ballasts, made from
"Positive Energy's proposal demonstrated the kind of innovative
thinking that is necessary to drive our Solar Capital Initiative
forward while creating additional benefits to the community,"
"We are grateful for the opportunity to work with another
well-respected college in the Rutland area, and to support GMP in
its Solar Capital efforts," Positive Energy President Joe Thomas
said. "Beyond the environmental and economic benefits
associated with solar, helping to make the educational connection
is the most satisfying. Utilizing recycled materials and domestic
resources whenever possible has always been a core operating
The College of St. Joseph signed an agreement with Green
Mountain Power last month to host the company's first rooftop solar
farm in the city of Rutland, a 98.28-kilowatt system, which was put
out to bid in early July.
"I am very pleased that a company with local roots and local
workers won the bid for the project," College of St. Joseph
President Rich Lloyd said. "As the college grows and develops
its connections to the GMP Energy Innovation Center and Solar
Capital Initiative, the economic value of our efforts to the
community will only multiply."
The CSJ project is connected to a larger collaboration between
GMP, CSJ, Castleton College, Green Mountain College and the
Community College of Vermont. The four Rutland County
colleges signed an agreement last month to collaborate on a series
of educational and economic development efforts, including
exploration of renewable development opportunities like the College
of St. Joseph Solar Farm. The project also supports Vermont's
renewable energy goals, which include reliance on renewable energy
for 90 percent of the state's electricity needs by 2050, 20 percent
through projects in Vermont's Sustainably Priced Energy Development
Program by 2017.
Pending regulatory approval, GMP hopes to complete the project
this fall, and will own and maintain it under a 25-year lease
agreement with CSJ. GMP will credit the college for 10 percent of
the project's output. The remaining energy will go onto the local
electric grid and will be consumed by local GMP customers.
The project will help GMP fulfill its promise to make Rutland
the Solar Capital of New England, with the highest solar capacity
per capita of any city in the region, and it will be GMP's first
rooftop project, to be followed shortly by a project on the roof of
the company's new Energy Innovation Center in downtown Rutland.
GMP already operates the Creek Path Solar Farm on a former
brownfield, purchased an interest in the solar farm on the former
Poor Farm off Woodstock Avenue, is in the planning stages for the
Stafford Hill Solar Farm on a former city landfill, and recently
filed for a state permit for the Solar Center at Rutland Regional,
a 150-kilowatt project at the hospital.
The project name, tied to the college itself, follows Green
Mountain Power's practice of naming its Rutland solar farms after
positive attributes within the local community.