WAMC News, North Country News
12:04 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Diocese Dedicates Largest Solar Array in Burlington

The largest solar installation in the city of Burlington is now on-line and has been dedicated by the state’s Episcopal Diocese. The 35 solar trackers were installed at the Rock Point School, a small boarding school owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont.  The 147 kilowatt array will provide about 66-percent of the power for the campus. The system is connected to the Burlington Electric Department, which will also use the generated power.  As the panels moved into position, Vermont Episcopal Bishop Thomas Ely dedicated and blessed the installation.

Congressman Peter Welch applauded the diocese for what he calls its unity of spiritual aspirations and material needs.

Keynote Speaker Bill McKibben says the project is not only power coming from the sun, it’s also a reminder that religious communities are becoming a big part of the political fight over renewable energy and  climate change.

The solar array is the largest in the city of Burlington, and is something Mayor Miro Weinberger said needs to be replicated.

Bishop Ely says while this is the largest solar installation in Burlington, it is not the only renewable installation in the statewide diocese.

The 35 solar arrays were manufactured in Vermont and financed in part by federal grants.  That Treasury program, which has awarded nearly 5 billion dollars in 47 states for solar projects, has now expired.