Local News
March 12, 2015

Stafford Hill Solar Farm wins 2015 Project of Distinction Award

RUTLAND – Green Mountain Power and groSolar are pleased to announce the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) have awarded the 2015 Project of Distinction Award to Stafford Hill Solar Farm in Rutland. 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.

“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 award and thank SEIA and SEPA for this acknowledgment,” said Green Mountain President and 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, Vt., 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 designed 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: www.pvamericaexpo.com, Green Mountain Power visit www.greenmountainpower.com, groSolar visit www.grosolar.com

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