About Windsor, Vermont
Better known as the birthplace of Vermont, Windsor is the location of the framing of Vermont’s first constitution and acted as the first capital and meeting place of the Vermont General Assembly until 1805. The school Supervisory Union comprises four Vermont village and town school districts for students from pre-kindergarten to grade twelve. Educating students from Windsor, West Windsor, Hartland, and Weathersfield, school structures include one K-6 elementary school, two K-8 elementary/middle schools, one K-12 school, and a supervisory union-wide early childhood educational program.
With a combined total of $139,650 in electricity bills representing 710,000 kilowatt hours per year, the Windsor Schools have long been looking to reduce their operating expense as well as their carbon footprint with renewable energy but didn’t have the $1.5 million in the budget necessary to invest in a solar photovoltaic (PV) system.
Norwich Solar proposed the idea of a Net Metering Agreement (NMA) whereby the Windsor Schools would get a significant discount on their power bill with no upfront capital expense. After seven years they have the option to purchase the array or continue to take advantage of the Net Metering Credits from the nearby Juniper Hill project at a reduced rate for an additional 18 years.
With no upfront cost, the Schools are now saving enough to fund $19,000 in other programs annually, with lifetime savings projected to top $900,000. The NMA also provides predictable energy bills for 25 years. Additionally, the local solar array provides Clean Tech learning opportunities for the School’s STEM programs, boosts the Supervisory Union’s environmental impact, and contributes to Vermont’s Clean Energy Goals.
In addition to the Schools, the Town of Windsor also offsets some of its electricity needs from the local array on Juniper Hill for its water and sewage department pumps, along with some other town loads. And since the project is sited in Windsor, it will bring in around $5,000 in Municipal Taxes yearly – totaling more than $150,000 over 25 years.
A project this size typically brings these benefits to Vermont as well:
- $1 million directly invested in the Vermont labor economy.
- 11 Fulltime Job Equivalents.
- Employment of local businesses and independent contractors in
construction, electricians, utility crews, electrical supply, concrete,
civil engineering, building supply, fence companies, attorneys, real
estate agents, accountants, property managers, and landscapers.
- $150,000 in utility upgrades by the solar company.