Greenbacker Renewable Energy Co. (GREC), through a wholly owned subsidiary, has purchased a 6.5 MW DC to-be-constructed solar project from Encore Renewable Energy.
The South Street solar project, located in Middlebury, is now GREC’s largest solar asset in Vermont. Once completed, 100% of the energy South Street produces will be allocated to Middlebury College.
Green Mountain Power (South Street’s utility offtaker) intends to add onsite energy storage. Additionally, rather than installing traditional turf grass, there are plans to plant the land amid the solar arrays with pasture mix for local livestock to graze and pollinator-friendly vegetation that supports native bee and butterfly populations.
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 has a long-term power purchase agreement in place, as do the other projects in the portfolio. It was acquired at a preconstruction stage and is expected to reach commercial operation in the second half of 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.