By Lisa Loomis
The town of Waitsfield and the Vermont Public Service Board received the application last week.
The project is a collaboration between Nils Behn of Aegis Renewable Energy in Waitsfield and Eric Brattstrom and Dotty Kyle of Warren. The project will allow individuals in the community to purchase panels to offset their electricity use at their homes via group net-metering. It will be a private, member-controlled LLC.
"You can see the property from the Big Pic parking lot. It's a big, open, scrub-brush-dotted piece of land that lies behind Allen Lumber – barely visible from Route 100," Kyle said.
The panels will be fixed panels, versus trackers, and the farm will produce 150 kW, enough power for approximately 30 to 40 families. The solar farm location is in close proximity to the large electrical transmission lines needed to bring the power into the grid.
There are wetlands on the lots and the modules will be mounted on driven piles to avoid disruption of the soil.
Kyle said that the way the project is planned, when people buy the panels to offset their power use at their homes, they can retain ownership of the panels if they move, or they can sell them with their property.
The panels are designed for 25 years but generally last closer to 30. Those who purchase them can expect to spend between $6,000 and $10,000 for panels, depending on whether they want to offset some or all of their electricity use and depending on how much they use.