Borrego Solar partners on development of Vermont solar project

Borrego Solar Systems announced April 29 that it has partnered with Soltage Greenwood, a joint venture between Greenwood Energy and Soltage LLC, to develop a solar project, launched by Casella Waste Systems on its Coventry, Vermont, landfill site, which would be the largest project of its kind in Vermont.

The 2.7-MW project will sell power to Vermont Electric Power Producers Inc., a purchasing agent appointed by the Vermont Public Service Board, under Vermont’s Sustainably Priced Energy Development (SPEED) Standard Offer Program—one of the nation’s first feed-in-tariff programs.

The project, initiated by Casella Waste Systems with ownership transferred to Borrego Solar in November 2013, is being designed and built by Borrego Solar and financed by Greenwood Energy. The energy produced by the system is expected to generate approximately 3,199 megawatt-hours annually.

“I am very proud that in three years we have more than tripled the amount of solar energy in Vermont, leading to our number one ranking nationally in solar jobs per capita,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin. “Coventry is already home to a successful landfill gas energy project, and now the Coventry landfill solar array will add another 2.7 megawatts of renewable energy to the grid.”

Now in construction, the 9,018-panel ground-mount solar array will be installed on the site’s buffer zone, which is not slated for waste. The site currently hosts the only active landfill in the state, as well as an 8-MW gas-to-energy generating facility that utilizes the methane captured from both the active and capped sections of the landfill.

“Greenwood Energy has been a strong partner in solar energy development in the region. This is our third project together and we’re very proud to install Vermont’s first landfill solar project, especially as we’ve seen landfill solar installations become a rising trend across the country,” said Joe Harrison, project developer at Borrego Solar. “The site’s vacant buffer distance offers the perfect opportunity to put otherwise unused land to productive, clean energy-generating use. With our proven track record of solar project development around the country, this project is the first of many installations Borrego Solar hopes to bring to Vermont.”

This is Borrego Solar’s sixth wholesale distributed generation (WDG) project, and to date, the company has developed and installed a total of 17.3 MW of solar energy capacity on seven active and capped landfills in the United States.

“We’re pleased to once again partner with Borrego Solar, and are excited to help add new solar power capacity in Vermont,” said Camilo Patrignani, CEO of Greenwood Energy. “Access to upfront capital, long-term project financing through power purchase agreements, and our turnkey approach to development is critical for projects like this one to become a reality while requiring zero upfront costs from Casella Waste Systems.”

“We were pleased to offer our landfill site in Coventry as an asset for a solar energy system,” said John Casella, CEO chairman of Casella Waste Systems. “The installation will allow us to utilize the entire property for energy generation, as the rest of the site is already doing so through methane capture and conversion.”

Established in 1980, Borrego Solar Systems is one of the nation’s leading financiers, designers, developers and installers of commercial and utility solar power systems.

Greenwood Energy is the North American clean energy division of the Libra Group, a privately owned international business group comprising 30 subsidiaries operating across four continents.

Casella Waste Systems, headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, provides solid waste management services consisting of collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services in the northeastern United States.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.