The solar industry is all about tying things together, whether that is new energy sources to old utility grids, adjacent renewable energy sources with interested commercial entities, or in this case, energy savings with additional social giving.
What are we talking about? A new 500 kW solar farm built to power a Vermont correctional facility has helped fund the wish for a local Make-A-Wish child. Vermont-based AllEarth Renewables manufactured solar trackers and oversaw design/construction for the project, and SolarSense served as the developer of the project.
The solar project adjacent to the prison is part of a broader solar initiative for state facilities spearheaded by Governor Peter Shumlin, which supplies solar energy for state buildings and provides taxpayer savings from reduced electric bills at the facilities. Previously completed solar projects include the Northeast State Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury and Southeast State Corrections Facility in Windsor.
Through its “Watts for Wishes” charitable donation program, SolarSense is donating $6,500 to Make-A-Wish Vermont to fund a wish for local wish child. The donation is being made in the name of the State of Vermont, as the benefactor, in recognition of its leadership in initiating the St. Albans correctional facility project.
The “Watts for Wishes” charitable donation program connects the renewable energy industry with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to provide children with life-threatening illnesses the funding to fulfill their wishes.
Taylor, of Franklin County, who previously took a Make-A-Wish sponsored Disney cruise with her family, spoke at the event about the value of these wishes. The new donation will fund a future wish child.
“When a child is sick, a family is sick and when a family is sick a community is sick. This gift from SolarSense will not just give one of Vermont’s children and family hope and strength to face a life threatening illness, it will lift an entire community,” said Jamie Hathaway, CEO of Make-A-Wish Vermont.
Make-A-Wish Vermont has granted over 700 wishes to Vermont’s children facing life-threatening illnesses and no eligible child is turned away.
“We are thrilled to serve the State of Vermont and to be part of the State’s realization of the aggressive renewable energy initiative,” said Chris Fraga, founder and CEO of SolarSense, and a 23-year volunteer, donor, and six-year Make-A-Wish Board Member. “On a personal note, we are honored to sponsor the Watts-for-Wishes charitable giving program, and to donate the funding for a local wish in celebration of the Northwest facilities project and State sponsors.”
“We are excited to be partnering with SolarSense to provide locally-produced solar power for the State of Vermont, helping our state move forward as a national leader in renewable energy and save taxpayers money. It’s also gratifying to be involved in a project that contributes to important and meaningful community programs like this support to Vermont’s Make-A-Wish Foundation,” added David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables.
— Solar Builder magazine