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Solarize Upper Valley Recruits Additional Towns

By Allison E. Rogers Furbish

Bailey-Kellogg - 3.5kW - Strafford, VT

Bailey-Kellogg – 3.5kW – Strafford, VT

“You took down all the barriers and made it easy.”

“What an exciting time for us – we’ve just become our own power company!”

“I’ve been thinking about solar for a while now. This program is helping me do something about it.”

“We thought the program was just a great opportunity and were very excited to be able to jump right in. It’s cool to see how much electricity we’ve already generated, too. We sure hope the enthusiasm keeps building and spreading throughout the communities.”

These are all quotes from homeowners who have gone solar this spring thanks to Solarize Upper Valley, an initiative of Vital Communities. The accessible resources, easy process, support from local volunteers, and financial incentives offered through Solarize Upper Valley are all working together to move the initiative toward its ultimate goal: doubling the amount of residential solar PV in Solarize communities.

Solar Capacity is Growing

Coburn - 3.825kW - S. Strafford, VT

Coburn – 3.825kW – S. Strafford, VT

Homeowners in Thetford and Strafford, VT, and Cornish, Plainfield, and Lyme, NH – the first communities selected to take part in the pilot program – are really getting on board with Solarize Upper Valley. Working with partner installers Catamount Solar/Integrity Energy, Solar Source, and RGS Energy, as of late May residents had:

  • Requested 365 solar site visits
  • Received 203 solar system proposals
  • Signed 48 contracts, for a total of 228kW new capacity of residential solar energy!

One advantage of Solarize Upper Valley: as more people sign up to go solar in each community, the cost comes down for everyone. If you’re interested in going solar in one of these communities, the deadline to take advantage of the special pricing is June 30. You can learn more and sign up for a free site visit at vitalcommunities.org/solarize.

Get Your Town Involved!

Fifield – 6kW – Strafford, VT

More residents have the opportunity to get involved with the Solarize Upper Valley initiative right now, as Vital Communities recruits towns for the fall round. Vital Communities will host two Solarize Upper Valley events in June for residents and installers interested in the program:

Community Information Session, June 12, 5:30-7 p.m., Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, VT

Installer Workshop, June 24, 7:30-9 a.m., Kilton Public Library, West Lebanon, NH (RSVP to sarah@vitalcommunities.org).

Proposals from interested communities must be submitted by Monday, July 21. Installer bids will be due Friday, September 12, and volunteers in the selected communities will vet the bids and select their partner installer. The public outreach portion of the fall round of Solarize Upper Valley runs October 2014 through January 2015.

If you’d like to learn more, visit vitalcommunities.org/solarize to sign up for updates and review the request for proposals from towns, or contact Vital Communities Energy Program Manager Sarah Simonds at sarah@vitalcommunities.org  or (802) 291-9100.

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