The new Thetford Community Solar (TCS) array is the second mixed-use community solar project in Thetford. The 150 kW-AC array is 100% community owned, and benefits not only shareholders, but also the nonprofits Thetford Library Federation and the Thetford Water Co-op.
TCS is a member-owned company created to build and operate a community solar array in Green Mountain Power (GMP) territory. The solar photovoltaic (PV) system is designed to generate approximately 270,000 kWh in the first year.
The project was constructed by local Vermont and New Hampshire contractors and equipment suppliers, utilizing the Upper Valley’s existing expertise, while fostering local economic activity and capacity development.
The project is fully subscribed by residents who have purchased shares. Each share represents 3 PV modules. The subscriber’s GMP utility bills are credited with 85% of the electricity created by their share of the solar farm. The remaining 15% is credited to the nonprofits, who buy the power at a discount.
The array is in an existing field near I-91 mostly screened by surrounding trees. The field will be brushhogged once or twice yearly or used to graze sheep from local farms.
About Community Solar
Community Solar offers an option for participants who do not own their home or business location, do not have a suitable solar site because of shading or because of the condition or orientation of their roof. Community Solar is also a great option for individuals and businesses who want to own, support, and benefit from local clean energy generation but prefer to have their solar system at a centralized location.
In some projects, participants buy and own some of the solar panels, then receive a monthly credit on their electric bills for 20 or 25 years or more, depending on the agreement.
In other Community Solar projects, community groups like the Thetford Energy Committee, individuals, and businesses work with companies such as Norwich Solar to lease panels in the system or purchase a portion of the power the array generates.
About Wolfe Energy
Dori founded Wolfe Energy to share her extensive knowledge and passion for energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. Since 2012, she has been actively working to bring community solar projects to fruition. In 2015, Wolfe brought on-line the 110 kW-DC community solar array benefiting five local non-profits in Strafford VT. In 2017 in Strafford, Vermont, Wolfe co-developed a 7-MW array. It is the largest superfund solar project in the northeast. In 2018, Wolfe brought on-line the first “hybrid” community solar array in Thetford, VT—fully owned by the shareholders while benefit the town as well.