AllEarth Renewables announced this week that it would begin siting and permitting solar installations on 10 Vermont state-owned facilities.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said the state is moving forward with a long-delayed contract that local Vermont company, AllEarth, won in a competitive bidding process back in 2011.
Shumlin initiated the project two years ago, before Hurricane Irene, with the goal of reducing the state’s energy costs. The guidelines of the request for proposals included 10 state facilities. The RFP was open to any technology that could save the state at least 5 percent on its electricity bills without requiring any upfront investment.
“Moving Vermont from fossil fuels to renewable energy is critical,” Shumlin said. “The state is leading by example, using solar projects to improve the environment, create jobs for Vermonters and hold down energy costs for taxpayers.”
AllEarth Renewables, which is best known for its GPS-enabled AllSun Tracker solar installations, signed a 20-year contract with the state that guarantees a 5 percent cost savings over existing electric rates and 10 percent savings at sites where the solar generation I located on state-owned land.
AllEarth is financing the project and the state will pay the company for the energy it uses from the solar installations. The Vermont government will have the option to buy the systems after seven years and at various other points throughout the duration of the contract.
AllEarth Renewables works directly with Timberline Electric and Engineers Construction Inc. for system installations. Andrew Savage, a spokesperson for AllEarth, said the company would most likely continue working with Timberline for the installations at all the state facilities, including seven prisons and the Pavilion building that houses the governor’s offices.
“This is an exciting initiative for Vermont’s renewable energy industry,” Savage stated. “Not only will the state be producing local solar energy with a guaranteed taxpayer savings through each of these contracts, but that work will trigger an entire supply chain of business activity throughout Vermont.”
The 10 state facilities are expected to be the first of many to come. If these projects are successful, the state is expected to issue RFPs for future renewable energy contracts at other state facilities.
“This is Vermont at its best; a Vermont company partnered with a Vermont manufacturer producing renewable energy to support Vermont state government,” added Michael Obuchowski, Vermont State Commissioner of Buildings and General Services.