NORWICH, Vt. — When most people think of a picture of Vermont one of the images that immediately comes to mind are black and white cows grazing on a bucolic hillside with the Green Mountains as the backdrop. Dairy farming is synonymous with the Vermont way of life, but the economics of operating a sustainable dairy farm get more and more challenging every year. According to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, just 10 years ago there were some 972 working dairy farms in the state, but in 2022 that number has dropped to only 583. The prices that farmers get paid for their milk are going down, but the cost of operating their businesses continues to go up. To help alleviate those costs and keep Vermont’s dairy farms going, Norwich Solar has begun offering Community Solar subscriptions that cut the cost that farmers pay on their monthly electric bills.
The first of these Community Solar projects, located in Westminster, Vermont, is going operational this week. This 500 kilowatt ground mounted solar project is just the first of over a dozen similar projects that will be built throughout the remainder of 2022 and 2023. The Westminster project has 9 different dairy farms as subscribers who will be receiving net metering credits on their future Green Mountain Power electric bills. It cost the farms nothing to sign up as a Community Solar subscriber, yet the expected savings for the farmers over the life of the project are estimated to be more than $500,000. There are more than 50 Vermont dairy farms that are already subscribed for future projects.
In addition to the cost savings that the dairy farms will receive through their Community Solar subscription, they can also take pride in knowing that their participation in the program is leading to the creation of new renewable energy projects that strengthen Vermont’s electric grid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Each of these Community Solar projects will generate approximately 950,000 kilowatt hours a year of clean, renewable electricity. That’s enough electricity to power approximately 131 homes a year, and equivalent to 464 tons of CO2 emissions. Taken in total, the addition of over a dozen similar solar projects in Vermont over the next 2 years will have an enormous effect in reducing GHG emissions by 156,000 tons and helping more than 50 Vermont Farm families save $6M over the life of the projects.
About Norwich Solar
Norwich Solar is a leading provider of turnkey commercial and community scale solar and energy storage solutions throughout the Northeast. With a focus on helping schools, municipalities, businesses, farms, affordable housing providers, and nonprofits, Norwich Solar’s extensive experience and community approach has helped us successfully develop, finance, and install hundreds of solar projects for our customers. Visit us at NorwichSolar.com
Norwich Solar is a division of Norwich Technologies and is committed to supporting all communities’ transition to a clean robust future.