New Year, New Renewable Energy Installations

The Windham Regional Commission received funding from the Clean Energy Development Fund in 2017 to run another round of the successful Windham County Renewable Grant Program. The last round yielded five projects ranging from combined heat and power units to rooftop solar arrays, experimental agriculture in solar fields, to a feasibility study for an anaerobic digester. The projects began their construction last May and have taken great strides since (project details below).

With the second round of funding, the Energy Committee selected six projects to fund. The application process was competitive with over $700,000 in requested funds. The projects which received funding fit the WRC Energy Committee’s priorities (listed on the RFP) best. The projects are:

  • Grafton Community Solar: Credits generated by 360kW solar array on brownfield site will be incentivized and allocated to local low income community
  • The Retreat Farm District Heating System: Funds will go towards installing a biomass district heating system on the Farm’s campus. The installation will be installed in increments as the historic buildings are renovated and repurposed and will serve as a regional demonstration for modern wood heat.
  • SEVCA Solar: SEVCA will deploy and integrate a 150kW, 100% low-income community solar array into its energy assistance program to demonstrate a new model of low-income energy assistance that is both fiscally responsible and environmentally appropriate. By using community solar subscriptions for low-income energy assistance, SEVCA can more permanently address energy poverty and foster energy security among low-income communities.
  • Sidelands Sugarbush Solar: Install a net metered Solar array to supply electrical needs of 25,000 tap sugarbush as well as abutting neighbors.
  • Windham County Integrated Resource Recycling Center Anaerobic Digester: a 300 kW food waste anaerobic digester facility to supplement the declining biogas production at the existing landfill gas to energy site on the Windham Solid Waste Management District (WSWMD) landfill site and adjacent properties (the “BOE Site”). Funds will be used specifically towards the development and functionality of the anaerobic digester and energy generation.
  • Windham Windsor Housing Trust Flat Street Affordable Housing Rooftop Solar: the rooftop solar PV array on new development 29 Flat St will power a high performance multi-family apartment building in downtown Brattleboro.

Round 1 Projects:

Allard Lumber: Allard in Dummerston has been working towards installing a higher working pressure biomass fueled boiler. WCREP funding will fund directing this steam into a steam engine & generator, with the resultant electricity being put onto the local grid. This combined heat and power unit will be utilized for the kiln and to generate electricity.

Alpenglo: Rooftop solar installation on the Vermont Distilleries building in Marlboro which will power 4 businesses and 2 residences. It will also include educational exhibits in the distillery and museum. This project is installed and generating energy.

Great River Terrace: The Great River Terrace project is a redevelopment of the Lamplighter Inn, Putney Rd in Brattleboro, by Windham & Windsor Housing Trust. The project will consist of 22 affordable apartments, 11 of which will specifically be designated for homeless populations. The grant funds will go towards rooftop solar installation which will power the units.

School for International Training: A 150 kW array on SIT’s campus will supply the campus’s electrical needs and will also be a demonstration site for crops integrated into the solar field. The site will be an educational resource with speaker series and classes focused on the layered use of the land. The solar array is fully installed, the plantings will take place in the spring time.

Windham County Integrated Resource Recycling Center: WCREP funds will go to the feasibility study of an anaerobic digester located at the Windham Solid Waste Management District in Brattleboro. The study will identify the quantity and quality of food waste from multiple commercial generators, estimate methane gas production, and project electrical generation. The resulting project could help the Windham Region meet the new solid waste management rules regulating organic materials. The feasibility report proved the project is feasible and the project has received funding to implement.

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