The solar array on U.S. Route 4 will significantly reduce the electric bills of Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center. The 500 kW array will serve the equivalent of 100 homes. Over its lifetime—which is warranted for 25 years—it will offset 20 million pounds of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent of 30 million miles not driven in a car.
David Ormiston, Hartland Town Manager, said that Hartland has approved various sites along Route 4 as preferred sites for solar-powered energy and he believes the town has been equally supportive of the State of Vermont’s goal for renewable resources. He said that they are sensitive to the aesthetics of a solar farm.
The site for the Mt. Ascutney Hospital array is in a very good location for the electricity-intensive hospital and health clinic, and that, on a hillside, it will really only be visible in “fleeting glimpses” as cars drive by at about 40 mph.
The site is ideal because of its rolling hill quality, proximity to the highway, and other characteristics of the property, which had been unused for some time, and timbered before they purchased it. They applied for permits for the solar farm in 2017.
Paul Calandrella, COO (Chief Operating Officer) of Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center, said, “We are an Energy Star certified health facility and the new solar array from which we will benefit sends a positive message out to the community we serve. We are committed to health and, environmentally, the more we can reduce the carbon footprint, the better.”
“This is the third foray into solar energy for the hospital,” Calendrella continued. “We have solar credits generated in Springfield, and on our own campus. At the end of the day, we save money, taxpayers save money, we’re helping conservation efforts for the planet…there’s really no downside.”