Greenbacker Renewable Energy Co. has purchased a 6.5MW DC-to-be-constructed solar plant from Encore Renewable Energy through a wholly-owned subsidiary. The South Street solar project, located in Middlebury, is now GREC’s largest solar asset in Vermont. All of the clean energy produced by South Street will be distributed to Middlebury College once it is completed.
Green Mountain Power (South Street’s utility offtaker) intends to add onsite energy storage. In addition to installing traditional turf grass on the land, plans are in place to plant the land with pasture mix for local livestock and pollinator friendly vegetation.
South Street is the largest project that Greenbacker has acquired in Encore’s 2020 Vermont portfolio. The solar power produced by South Street is expected to provide about 30% of the Middlebury College’s total energy needs.
“We’re proud that South Street’s renewable power and responsible land stewardship will help facilitate a sustainable future in Vermont,” says Charles Wheeler, CEO of GREC. “And it’s an honor to power an educational institution like Middlebury College. Encore’s solar development expertise has been integral to the project’s success, and we look forward to partnering with them again down the road.”
South Street, like the other projects in this portfolio, has a long-term power buy agreement. It was purchased at the preconstruction stage and is expected that it will be commercially operational in the second half 2022.
“Greenbacker has been a great partner in developing agrivoltaic solutions and this project is a model for the expanding benefits that a solar array can offer, including pollinator-friendly ground cover and a location for grazing farm animals, as well as a potential interactive learning opportunity for Middlebury students in the future,” says Chad Farrell, founder and CEO at Encore Renewable Energy.