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Solar projects move forward

GUILFORD—The net-metering solar project at 120 Tinker Hill Road should begin this autumn, according to Dan Ingold of GLC Powersmith Solar. Net metering credits the owner of a solar energy system for the electricity they add to the grid.

Ingold said his company has applied for its Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Service Board.

Ingold told the Guilford Selectboard at its July 27 regular meeting that his company has applied for a temporary driveway to allow construction crews to reach the Blanchard Hill Solar project —€• formerly known as Tinker Hill Solar. He said the access road would lie between the Evans farmhouse and Vermont Electric Power Company’s transmission lines.

“It’s a much safer way to approach up there,” Ingold said.

He assured the town he was working with the road commissioner on the project, and “when we’re finished with construction, we’re going to put [the area] back the way it is."

Ingold also told the board one of Green Mountain Power’s utility poles has “orange circle-y tape around it.” This, he said, is where the solar project’s point-of-connection will be.

In response to an earlier concern by residents that maple trees on the corner near the connection point may have to be removed to allow for the connection, Ingold told the board that is no longer necessary. The maple trees will be left alone.

Ingold also gave the board a 45-day notice about an additional 500 kilowatt photovoltaic group net-metering facility solar project his company is working on. This one, on John Seitz Drive, lies on the Guilford-Brattleboro border, he said, and is accessed through the Exit 1 Industrial Park.

Because “98 percent of it is in Guilford,” Ingold said, “the tax benefit will be for Guilford because all the solar panels will be in Guilford.” He said the tax is a “capacity tax,” and the town and the state each get 50 percent.

The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) owns this land, Ingold said, and is leasing it to GLC Powersmith Solar because BDCC does not need it for its original intended purpose: to build a road.

He assured the town “nobody will really see it” from area roads because of the project’s location, and his company is working to maintain vegetation to keep it from view.

Board member Sheila Morse asked Ingold how Guilford residents can access the benefits of the solar project. He said there is an opportunity for them to participate and lower their electricity bills, but Soveren Solar, not his company, is the entity residents should contact.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #317 (Wednesday, August 5, 2015). This story appeared on page C1.

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