The ceremony for the Solar Center at Rutland Regional Medical Center Going On-line was held today, January 14th, 2014, in the rain! And while they could have postponed the ceremony for a sunny day, they went ahead with it in spite of the terrible weather of heavy rain and fog. Philip Allen of SameSun Solar, who built the Solar Center, pointed out that “Steve Costello made an excellent point at the ceremony when he was able to show that the array was producing nicely even in this terrible weather!”
The solar farm, built through collaboration between Green Mountain Power and Rutland Regional Medical Center, is a 140.4-kilowatt system showcasing a touch-screen production monitor, a walking path and educational materials for visitors. Visitors to Green Mountain Power’s downtown Energy Innovation Center can also track the production of the new solar farm on a digital display, which shows how much energy is produced, the amount of coal required to produce the same amount of energy, and related data.
“The Solar Center at Rutland Regional is already making an impact, demonstrating to our employees, patients and visitors that we are committed to environmental sustainability and economic development in the region,” President Thomas Huebner said today at a ceremony marking the project’s completion. “We are proud to be contributing to Rutland’s revitalization, and hope this first project at the medical center is a precursor to other projects.”
“Rutland Regional proved to be a perfect partner on this project,” said Mary Powell, president and CEO of GMP. “Medical center staff were highly engaged and easy to work with, and the project will help meet local peak loads, produce energy close to where it is consumed, reduce our carbon footprint, and help build the local economy. Projects like this are supporting new local jobs and business development in the Rutland area.”
Same Sun of Vermont, based in Rutland, built the Solar Center at Rutland Regional on property surrounding two stormwater retention ponds just south of Allen Street, adjacent to the hospital’s walking path, next to a parking area.
“It’s a meaningful project, fitting in beautifully with the landscape and surrounding buildings,” said Philip Allen, who owns Same Sun with his wife Marlene. “Thanks in part to projects like this, we’ve been able to expand our solar business and open a second one, Same Sun Choice, in Rutland. It’s exciting to be a part of the new solar economy.”
GMP, which will own and maintain the solar farm under a 25-year lease agreement with Rutland Regional, will credit the hospital for 10 percent of the project’s output. The remaining energy will be delivered to other local GMP customers.
The project is part of GMP’s ongoing work to make Rutland the solar capital of New England, the city with the highest solar capacity per capita of any city in New England. The effort supports Vermont’s goals to substantially expand renewable generation, and GMP’s commitment to support new economic development in Rutland.
“With this project and others in various stages of development, we are well on our way to meeting our initial goals, and we’re already looking at other ways to pilot new energy technologies in Rutland, for the benefit of the entire state,” said Steve Costello, GMP’s vice president for energy innovation and customer service. “We see a bright future in Rutland, and are excited about every step toward meeting these goals. Everything we do here also has value for our customers statewide.”
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com), the Solar Electric Power Association’s 2013 Utility of the Year, generates, 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 company in America.