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Green Lantern receives CPG for solar array at former Newfane dump

NEWFANE—Vermont-based renewable energy developer Green Lantern recently announced that it received a Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Utility Commission for a 150 kilowatt solar array to be built at the site of the former town dump.

In a news release, Green Lantern said it plans to build and sell ownership of wattage (shares of output capacity) for a group-net-metered community solar array at the town-owned, capped landfill on Browns Road. The array will generate enough electricity to serve between 40 and 50 homes.

Anyone with an electric bill from Green Mountain Power is eligible to buy wattage, including households, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and local government.

When all available wattage has been reserved, Green Lantern said, construction will begin, most likely this summer.

With the potential to significantly reduce electric bills through net metering — and offset electricity obtained from the New England grid with renewable solar electricity generated nearby — the array offers the greatest benefits to people and entities that pay income taxes.

Their investment will pay back within approximately 11 years, with at least 30 percent being recouped quickly through the IRS’s Solar Investment Tax Credit program. All wattage owners also will retain the Renewable Energy Certificates generated by their share of the array, thus ensuring that the renewable attribute of the solar power generated in Vermont stays in Vermont.

Wattage that has been purchased is assignable/transferrable, and all purchasers will have the option to sell it back to Green Lantern or other eligible buyers if they wish to exit from their investment.

Community solar arrays are a convenient way to go solar for GMP customers lacking adequate land or roof space, or who simply don't want to accommodate an array where they live or work. All administration and maintenance is taken care of as part of the license agreement.

Green Lantern says it is offering Newfane residents an exclusive purchase period until April 15, when sales will open to all Green Mountain Power customers. A waiting list for non-Newfane customers has been created.

Although community solar arrays are being developed in Vermont at a slower rate now, due to reduced incentives and more complex regulations, Green Lantern says it is able to offer the Newfane landfill CSA due to economies related to the statewide scale.

In addition, Green Lantern says it has secured 2018 panel supplies for all projects currently slated for construction in the face of new solar panel tariffs imposed by the International Trade Commission, which may diminish solar opportunities for homeowners and businesses in the future.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #453 (Wednesday, April 4, 2018). This story appeared on page A3.

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