Vermont Public Power, Encore Renewable complete their first solar project as partners

encore renewables VPPSA

Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (VPPSA) and Encore Renewable Energy have completed the 855-kW Trombley Hill Solar project, the first developed under their partnership formed last year. Sited on property owned by Morrisville Water and Light, it is the first utility project to come online under Vermont’s Standard Offer program in 2019. Trombley Hill Solar is expected to produce approximately 1,500,000 kWh per year, enough to power approximately 208 homes.

The project is the first of an initial portfolio of projects which add up to approximately 10 megawatts (MW) that VPPSA and Encore are working on together. Under the partnership, Encore will lead design, development, financing, and construction of solar projects at locations in VPPSA’s member utility territories. VPPSA will help host communities manage the resulting electric generation capacity to maximize its value. The agreement also allows for Encore and VPPSA to partner at other sites. It represents a significant milestone in VPPSA members’ efforts to meet their requirements under Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard, and will move the state closer to its overall goal of 90% renewable electricity by 2050.

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“We are thrilled to see the Trombley Hill Solar project completed and remain impressed with Encore’s ability to overcome the challenges presented in developing this location,” said Ken Nolan, General Manager of VPPSA. “The success of Trombley Hill Solar reinforces our confidence in this public-private partnership. We look forward to further projects with Encore that will help VPPSA bring Vermont closer to its renewable energy goals.”

The Standard Offer Program was established in 2009 to promote the rapid deployment of small renewable electricity generation through long-term, fixed-price contracts. The total program capacity of 127.5 MW is distributed annually by a least-cost auction. Costs are allocated among Vermont utilities based on their share of electric sales.

— Solar Builder magazine

Vermont Public Power, Encore Renewable complete their first solar project as partners

encore renewables VPPSA

Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (VPPSA) and Encore Renewable Energy have completed the 855-kW Trombley Hill Solar project, the first developed under their partnership formed last year. Sited on property owned by Morrisville Water and Light, it is the first utility project to come online under Vermont’s Standard Offer program in 2019. Trombley Hill Solar is expected to produce approximately 1,500,000 kWh per year, enough to power approximately 208 homes.

The project is the first of an initial portfolio of projects which add up to approximately 10 megawatts (MW) that VPPSA and Encore are working on together. Under the partnership, Encore will lead design, development, financing, and construction of solar projects at locations in VPPSA’s member utility territories. VPPSA will help host communities manage the resulting electric generation capacity to maximize its value. The agreement also allows for Encore and VPPSA to partner at other sites. It represents a significant milestone in VPPSA members’ efforts to meet their requirements under Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard, and will move the state closer to its overall goal of 90% renewable electricity by 2050.

Don’t miss our Solar + Storage issue in July — subscribe to Solar Builder magazine (print or digital) for FREE today

“We are thrilled to see the Trombley Hill Solar project completed and remain impressed with Encore’s ability to overcome the challenges presented in developing this location,” said Ken Nolan, General Manager of VPPSA. “The success of Trombley Hill Solar reinforces our confidence in this public-private partnership. We look forward to further projects with Encore that will help VPPSA bring Vermont closer to its renewable energy goals.”

The Standard Offer Program was established in 2009 to promote the rapid deployment of small renewable electricity generation through long-term, fixed-price contracts. The total program capacity of 127.5 MW is distributed annually by a least-cost auction. Costs are allocated among Vermont utilities based on their share of electric sales.

— Solar Builder magazine

This former silk mill in Keene, N.H., is now part of city’s 100 percent renewable electricity goal

encore renewables

The mill produced decorative silk yarns from textile factory waste in the early 20th century, and today is a mixed-use commercial space for light manufacturing, office, storage, and retail tenants. Tousley Property Management, owner of the building and the new solar project, will cut its energy costs and lock in long-term savings on electricity through the system. Also, over the next 25 years, it will offset 2,375 metric tons of carbon dioxide, equal to the emissions from 5.8 million auto miles, and help the city of Keene meet its commitment to utilize 100% renewable electricity by 2030.

Encore has installed over 60 solar projects in Vermont. This is the Company’s first commercial-scale project in New Hampshire. The 140-kilowattpeak (kWp) roof-mounted solar array was made possible in part by a Commercial & Industrial (C&I) Solar Incentive Program Grant designed to increase the deployment of non-residential “net-metering” projects in New Hampshire that put clean energy onto the grid. Encore secured the grant to increase the appeal of the investment to Tousley.

“We reached out to Encore Renewable Energy to design, develop and construct a solar project that we were interested in pursuing in Keene, due to their significant experience in the New England commercial-scale solar market,” said Toby Tousley, of Tousley Property Management, LLC. “The Encore team delivered this important project for our company, which will allow us to minimize our annual electricity expenses while supporting statewide renewable energy initiatives.”

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Encore coordinated and managed all aspects of the project including navigation of complex roof issues, project design, financing services, permitting, interconnection, and construction.

“We are committed to serve as a leader in the burgeoning solar market in New Hampshire, and to assist the key stakeholders in the state in developing a framework, similar to that in our home state of Vermont, that will support a robust market over time,” said Chad Farrell, CEO of Encore, which is based in Burlington, Vt. “Working with Tousley Property Management on our first project outside of Vermont was a terrific opportunity for Encore, as it allowed us to leverage our clean energy experience in a way that helped them make meaningful progress toward their strong sustainability objectives. It is always exciting for us to work with environmental stewards such as Tousley.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Community solar project developed on a brownfield at Long View Forest’s Vermont headquarters

encore renewable community solar long view forest vermont

Long View Forest, Inc. and Encore Renewable Energy announced the commissioning of a 745 kWp community solar array on three acres at the new Long View headquarters and woodyard on Ferry Road in Hartland, VT. The project is on a 28-acre remediated “brownfield” property formerly used as a saw mill and lumber treatment facility. Brownfields, because of prior environmental contamination, are deemed prime solar sites under Vermont regulations.

The project is expected to produce approximately 900,000 kWh per year, enough to power approximately 125 homes annually. Long View, an employee-owned forest management and contracting company, selected Encore as its turnkey partner to develop and construct the project based on Encore’s proven track record of reclaiming undervalued real estate for community-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

Mascoma Bank, a local leader in sustainability, provided the debt-financing for the project and entered into a long-term agreement to purchase the net metering credits generated by the project. The project first generated electricity in December, and is now generating savings for Mascoma as well as the Montshire Museum of Science located in Norwich, VT. Together, Mascoma and the Montshire Museum of Science will realize approximately $700,000 of savings on their electricity bills over the 25-year term of the agreement.

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The Renewable Energy Certificates produced by the project will be conveyed to Green Mountain Power to help meet Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) to produce 75% of the state’s electric generation with renewables by 2032.

“The solar array was a critical part of Long View’s plan to redevelop the brownfield site as a ‘forestry business park,’” said Jack Bell, General Manager of Long View. “The Ferry Road site is a prime location for our headquarters, log merchandizing yard, and other businesses that support jobs and sustainable forestry in the Upper Valley and beyond. We’re excited to continue our work to redevelop the Ferry Road site and generate renewable power.”

“As a 120 year-old mutually owned bank and a Certified B Corporation®, Mascoma Bank is committed to being a force for positive change,” said Clay Adams, President, Mascoma Bank. “We feel that with this project, right here in our backyard, we can both inspire other funders to consider investing in renewable energy and show energy consumers how they can close the loop and save money by committing to purchase energy from renewable sources. It’s been a fantastic experience to work with both Encore Renewable Energy and Long View Forest and we look forward to continued partnerships with both companies.”

“Developing solar projects on undervalued real estate is an emerging market for community-scale solar systems because it’s a good deal for everyone involved,” said Chad Farrell, CEO of Encore Renewable Energy. “It turns land that has previously been neglected into an economic driver for the community, supports Vermont’s transition to a clean energy economy, and saves customers money long-term. It’s a win-win-win proposition.”


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— Solar Builder magazine

Encore Renewable Energy nets $1 million in new funding for community-scale solar PV projects

Encore renewable energy

The Flexible Capital Fund (Flex Fund) of Vermont, Coastal Enterprises (CEI) of Maine and New Hampshire Community Loan Fund (Community Loan Fund) announced a joint investment of $1 million in Encore Renewable Energy, a Vermont-based clean energy company with a proven track record of reclaiming undervalued real estate for community-scale solar PV systems.

The $1 million of permanent working capital will enable Encore to make targeted new hires which will support their ongoing geographic expansion in the Northeast, strengthen strategic partnerships and provide greater tactical flexibility across their development acquisition activity. The financing is a collaboration of three New England Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) – a model which the Flex Fund would like to encourage more of to align values and mission.

The Flex Fund is an impact investor providing risk capital in the form of subordinated debt and royalty financing to growth companies in Vermont’s food system, forestry and clean technology sectors. This is the second investment the Flex Fund has made in Encore. In 2016, the fund invested $400,000 in royalty financing, also known as revenue-share financing, as an alternative to equity investment. The Flex Fund’s initial investment helped Encore with their initial phases of regional expansion and to make strategic hires in support of their solar project development.

CEI and Community Loan Fund joined this round of investment because the organizations believe in Encore’s mission to create quality jobs in New Hampshire and Maine while furthering the company’s work and in helping the Maine and New Hampshire economies grow sustainably.

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“This was the ideal financing at this exciting time in the growth of Encore’s business, and we are thrilled to have closed the transaction with this outstanding group of impact investors,” said Encore President, Chad Farrell. “The Flexible Capital Fund’s initial investment was an important part of catalyzing the strongest years of growth in the Company’s history, and we believe that opportunity is amplified in this instance through the inclusion of CEI and the Community Loan Fund, as their home states are two of Encore’s most important new markets. This capital will allow us to accelerate our activities in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and elsewhere, which is going to drive the climate impact and creation of high quality jobs which all of our organizations are sharply focused on.”

Project updates

Encore is currently approaching completion of its first commercial scale project in New Hampshire, which is a rooftop project located in Keene. Encore successfully applied for and was awarded a Commercial and Industrial $/w grant issued by the PUC to help maximize the financial returns to the project owner. Encore hopes to build on this momentum in the new-market and offer its turn-key development services to other building owners throughout the State of New Hampshire.

Having successfully completed 63 projects, Encore has brought over 33 megawatts of renewable energy online since the company started in 2007, including many innovative and first-of-a-kind projects. In aggregate, the environmental impact of Encore’s projects have offset 200 thousand tons of C02, which is equivalent to eliminating the use of 200 thousand barrels of oil or 213 million auto miles.

— Solar Builder magazine