Norwich Solar is pleased to announce receiving a Certificate of Public Good (CPG) from the Vermont Public Utility Commission for a 500 kW AC solar array in Barnet, VT. The ground-mounted system will generate enough renewable clean energy to power approximately 135 homes per year, and offset the carbon emission equivalent of almost 150 cars per year.

The  Milarepa Center, off Route 5 in Barnet will host the array. The Milarepa Center is a Buddhist retreat named for an 11th century Tibetan yogi famed for attaining enlightenment in a single lifetime.  The center was founded in 1981 by students of Lama Thubten Yeshe and of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Barnet Selectboard, Planning Commission and the Northeast Vermont Development Association, the regional planning commission all granted “preferred siting” for the location.

Martha Staskus, Chief Development Officer for Norwich Solar said, “ We’re looking forward to moving this project forward in collaboration with the Milarepa Center. They’ve been an enthusiastic supporter from the start and we’re glad to be seen as a trusted partner.”

Dawn Holtz is the Director of the Milarepa Center. She recognized the potential for solar to be a good use of the open field adjacent to the existing transmission corridor on the property. This solar project offers a solution that aligns with the Center’s commitment to sustainability.

Holz stated, “As a donation-based non-profit, hosting the solar array  will help the Center meet its financial goals for the next 25 years, and we’ll continue to have  meadows for our use.” She also adds that “the Center’s unanimous approval by its board members exemplifies the Buddhist practice of ‘bodhichitta’  because of the good will that will spread through renewable solar energy generation for the community.”

The net metering credits generated from community solar arrays are allocated to a variety of Vermont customers. This project has allocated a mix of small businesses, mostly agricultural producers, through Norwich Solar’s Small Business Community Solar Alliance. The project has several more milestones to complete before physical work is expected to begin next spring, including permitting, final design and procurement.

Barnet 5 Solar Preliminary Site Plan

System Specifications

  • Type of System: Ground
  • System Capacity: 500 Kilowatts AC
  • Projected Date of Commissioning: December 2023
  • Location: Barnet, Vermont