New solar array transforms Hardwick gravel pit into pollinator-friendly renewable energy resource
May 23, 2022
Hardwick Electric Department and Encore Renewable Energy celebrate new solar array delivering affordable, reliable and carbon-free electricity to community
Hardwick, VT — Hardwick Electric Department and Encore Renewable Energy celebrated a new 1.65 MWac solar array located at a former Hardwick gravel pit with a ribbon cutting with Representative Chip Troiano, Senator Jane Kitchel, and Chair of the Hardwick Electric Department Board of Commissioners Lynne Gedanken. The solar array is expected to produce enough carbon-free electricity to power approximately 340 homes annually. 100% of the renewable generation will serve homes and businesses that receive electricity from Hardwick Electric Department.
“This new solar array on an underutilized gravel pit will bring tremendous value to Hardwick Electric customers,” said Hardwick Electric Department General Manager, Michael Sullivan. “Delivering renewable, reliable, and most of all affordable electricity to our customers is paramount and our community can feel confident knowing that Hardwick Electric has invested in cost-effective solar energy.”
The project site, owned by Hardwick Electric Department, has recently gone unused. Consistent with Encore’s promise at the end of 2020, construction of the solar array includes pollinator-friendly ground cover to support vital habitat for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, and other insects while improving soil quality and increasing carbon sequestration.
“Municipal utilities like Hardwick Electric are responding to their customers’ desires for more sources of clean energy and are leading the energy transition here in Vermont,” said Chad Farrell, CEO and Founder of Encore Renewable Energy. “This new array is a prime example of solar delivering triple bottom line value by converting a former town owned gravel pit into an income generating asset for the Town of Hardwick and its municipal electric customers.”
This is the fourth solar array to come online since the partnership between Encore Renewable Energy and Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (VPPSA) partnership formed in 2018. Under the partnership, Encore will construct approximately 10 MW of solar capacity across VPPSA member utility territories and VPPSA will manage the electric generation, maximizing its value and moving Vermont closer to its commitment of 90% renewable energy by 2050.
*The array is 1.65 MWac /2.3 MWdc , learn more about AC vs DC power outputs in solar here.