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Bistro Henry is Southern Vermont’s First 100% Solar-powered Restaurant

Staff Article

A system at Bistro Henry in Manchester, Vermont is the largest solar tracking project in the region. It will provide all the energy needed for lighting, refrigeration, and air-conditioning at Bistro Henry, with some left over for heating. With 60kW of PVs, mounted on ten dual-axis AllSun Trackers, the system will produce about 87,000kWh annually. The net-metering credits it produces will be shared with the Inn at Manchester and the owner’s household.

“I am proud to say that Bistro Henry is the Greenest Restaurant in Manchester and has been a leader in sustainable business practices,” owner Henry Bronson said. “In 2010, we installed a solar thermal system to heat the restaurant’s water and now we are thrilled to have our restaurant become solar powered, too!

“We’ve taken many steps to save energy and to be a green business. We’ve been recycling for 20 years, compost our food waste, and burn used vegetable oil in the diesel truck. Two years ago we installed LED and highly efficient modern fluorescent lighting. We have brushless fans in our coolers and do regular cooler gasket maintenance. Low-flow toilets and faucet aerators, as well as a highly efficient propane furnace, add to these green improvements. The bottom line for us is that they save us money! It makes good business sense to be smart and save energy.”

Bistro Henry’s 60kW PV system is producing power for the restaurant, inn and the Bronson household -- Manchester, VT

Bistro Henry’s 60kW PV system is producing power for the restaurant, inn and the Bronson household — Manchester, VT

Frank Hanes of the Inn at Manchester added, “We support all efforts that create opportunities for sustainable alternative energy options. It’s forward thinking. Utilizing local surplus power from the sun helps us lessen the footprint that The Inn at Manchester leaves on the planet – that’s important to everyone here.”

Bistro Henry’s system is connected to the grid through a net-metering agreement with Green Mountain Power. Excess energy is sent to the grid during peak production periods. The restaurant draws power from the grid as needed. Green Mountain Power credits full retail value for energy sent to the grid plus 6¢/kWh.

The innovative system was designed, built, and installed by Solar Pro of Arlington, VT and AllEarth Renewables of Williston, VT. Solar Pro has installed over 75 solar systems in southern Vermont. Karen Lee of Solar Pro commented, “The Bistro Henry solar tracker project is an exciting project for us. Solar Pro is proud to be a part of their Green Success Story. We’re pleased to be able to offer our customers a highly innovative product, manufactured in Vermont, that will provide energy savings from the sun.”

The highly innovative AllSun Tracker system is manufactured by AllEarth Renewables in Williston.They have installed over 1,600 systems over the past four years.

Bistro Henry can be contacted at (802)362-4982 or by visiting www.bistrohenry.com.

Solar Pro’s website is www.hotonsolar.com.

AllEarth Renewables’ site is www.allearthrenewables.com

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