Camels Hump Middle School to serve as test site for solar program

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corp,Camels Hump Middle School is well on its way to hosting a $500,000 solar installation that could serve as a statewide model for power generation and renewable energy education. Thanks in large part to federal funding secured by Senator Sanders and grants from the state’s Clean Energy Development Fund and Green Mountain Power, the Chittenden East school district will convert the roof of the 37 year-old school into a 72kW solar array.”In 1992, we were one of the first schools in Vermont to convert to biomass heating,” said Chittenden East superintendent Jim Massingham. “We are looking forward to taking this next step in showing the way to greater efficiency and hope that our project will help make it easier for other schools to make the best use of their resources. Having a system like this operational on our campus will also provide an invaluable educational resource for our students.”Like many of the schools built in the 1960’s and 70’s, Camels Hump features a large, flat roof, and was originally heated using electricity, which required a particularly good connection to the power grid. This combination provides the perfect environment for a large-scale solar installation. The school’s location in full view of Interstate 89 makes it an excellent demonstration site as well.”Their proposal fit perfectly with our Solar On Schools plan and Green Mountain Power’s ongoing effort to help build out solar capacity in Vermont,” said Mary Powell, Green Mountain Power president and chief executive officer. “By working with schools, we can help to provide a direct community benefit through cost savings while also cutting carbon output and bringing us closer to our goal of installing 10,000 panels in 1,000 days.”David O’Brien, Commissioner of the Department of Public Service, said this project fits in with Vermont values: “We know from our public engagement process that Vermonters want to see more in-state renewable energy projects. We’re pleased to see the state and federal government, private industry and public schools all come together to build renewable energy in our communities.”The project received $260,442 in federal funds secured by Senator Sanders, $250,000 from Vermont’s Clean Energy Development Fund and $25,000 in funding and technical support from Green Mountain Power, making the project cost effective for the local community. “This project will not only help the Camels Hump Middle School reduce its electric bill and carbon footprint, but will be a major step forward in moving our state toward a greener economy which relies more and more on sustainable energy,” Senator Sanders said. “There is little doubt in my mind that in the years to come the energy mix in this state will be very different than it is today — with a far greater reliance on sustainable energy. I hope that this project becomes a model for what can be done and a catalyst for further action.”The 345 panels will generate about 82,551 kWh each year or 12% of the schools’ annual electric usage. Over the 25-year life of the system, almost two million pounds of carbon dioxide will be offset. The school is also investigating simultaneous replacement of the building’s original power transformers that are nearing the end of their operational life.”We hope that the success of this project will lead to similar improvements at the other schools in our service territory and throughout the state,” said Ms. Powell.About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com(link is external)) transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont’s population. It serves more than 200,000 people and businesses. Source: GMP. COLCHESTER, VT–(Marketwire – April 16, 2009) –last_img

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