Vermont’s Largest Solar Farm Opens

South Burlington Solar Farm

Yesterday, Governor Peter Shumlin activated Vermont’s largest solar farm, located up in Burlington. The 2.2 MW installation, which contains 382 solar trackers, which contain over 9000 panels. The instalation as a whole will provide 40% more power than fixed panels, as these orient themselves towards the light for the maximum efficiency.

From the Burlington Free Press:

Blittersdorf is president and chief executive officer of AllEarth Renewables in Williston, which designed and built the trackers that now stand in South Burlington at the end of Dubois Drive.

“I told you I’d get tough things done if you elected me governor,” Shumlin quipped as he pressed the button Wednesday afternoon.

After a delay of a few seconds, a flattened 20-by-22-foot panel began to turn on its tower with the click and whir of a small electric motor, then tilted slowly downward, stopping when it squarely faced the sun in the western sky. A crowd of more than 75 supporters, contractors who worked on the project and state officials applauded as the last tracker in the 25-acre meadow locked into place.

Blittersdorf said the GPS-controlled panels making up the 2.2 megawatt farm produce 40 percent more power than fixed panels by tracking the sun. There are 9,000 solar panels mounted on the 382 trackers, producing enough power for more than 400 homes, Blittersdorf said.

“There are towns in Vermont with that many homes,” he said.

Earlier, Shumlin praised the solar farm as “an extraordinary example of how to get it right in Vermont,” citing the genesis of the solar tracker as an idea Blittersdorf sketched out on a napkin several years ago while eating at a restaurant in Burlington.

Read the full article here.

The installation is owned and operated by AllEarth Renewables, the product of many years of work and planning. The organization has a long history with renewable energy, going back to the 1982s, working with both Wind and Solar power:

AllEarth Renewables has over 25 years of experience designing and manufacturing wind and solar renewable energy systems. It began with the pioneering vision of its founder, David Blittersdorf.

David grew up in Pittsford, Vermont within view of Grandpa’s Knob, the site of the world’s first large-scale wind turbine, which inspired his early fascination with creating clean energy from the wind. During his teenage years, David began tinkering with model wind turbines for fun. His hobby became a passion in 1973 during the Arab Oil Embargo. With his first driver’s license in hand and gasoline in short supply, the effects of our nation’s oil addiction became painfully clear. So, for his senior year engineering project at the University of Vermont, David built his first working wind turbine.

In 1982, when the wind energy industry was in its infancy, David founded NRG Systems, a pioneering manufacturer of wind measurement systems. Today, NRG products can be found on every continent, in more than 130 countries, serving electric utilities, wind farm developers, research institutes, government agencies and universities.

In 2005 David founded Earth Turbines to pursue his passion for designing a reliable, durable small-scale wind turbine. In 2009, Earth Turbines introduced the AllSun Tracker and added solar energy systems to the company’s product portfolio, which required an update of the company name to AllEarth Renewables.

Today, AllEarth Renewables is a dedicated team that brings this heritage of engineering expertise, marketing experience and commitment to renewable energy full circle: developing small-scale wind and solar energy systems that promote a secure energy future for individual homeowners, businesses and the planet.

For more information on their work, go here.

2 thoughts on “Vermont’s Largest Solar Farm Opens

    • It’s hit most of the main news outlets that I’ve seen – just happened yesterday. The Burlington Free Press covered it, and I’m pretty sure that I heard something about it on VPR.

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