Green Mountain Power Corp,Green Mountain Power today issued a request for proposals from companies interested in providing detailed engineering and design services for the Stafford Hill Solar Farm, which GMP hopes will be the largest solar farm in Vermont upon completion. The project, to be built on Rutlands former landfill behind the Stafford Technical Center, is part of Green Mountain Powers effort to make Rutland the solar capital of New England. The project will also contribute to the larger statewide goal of producing 90 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2050, said GMP President and CEO Mary Powell. Were looking for a designer who can help us maximize production at the site as affordably as possible. Earlier this fall, GMP agreed with the city on a 25-year lease on the former landfill, which is renewable for an additional 25 years. We see this as a win-win-win, said Steve Costello, GMPs vice president for generation and energy innovation. It creates a productive use of long-fallow land, provides an income to the city, and generates clean, renewable energy for our customers in line with state energy policy and goals. GMP is seeking an experienced firm with a background in designing and engineering solar projects, specifically on landfill and brownfield sites. The design and engineering work will include photovoltaic arrays, site improvements, electrical work in conformance with the National Electrical Code, coordination with GMP staff and consultants, and verification of all dimensions and conditions at the site. The site is adjacent to the existing Rutland County Solid Waste District drop-off facility, which will remain in place. Bids are due by 5 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2013. The RFP issued today comes just days before GMP will commission the Creek Path Solar Farm, a 150-kilowatt solar site adjacent to East Creek and Cleveland Avenue. That project, which is expected to come on-line Monday, was also built on a brownfield site that housed an old coal-to-gas plant back in 1901 and sat largely empty for several decades after the 1950s. While we continue to examine a host of sites and encourage others to do so as well, we are focusing our initial development efforts on brownfields, Powell said. Site selection is a critical part of good solar development, and we believe the Creek Path and Stafford Hill locations are perfect initial sites given the lack of alternative uses and the benefits they will produce. The projects are part of GMPs plan to create and inspire construction of enough solar to provide Rutland with the highest installed solar per capita of any city in the northeast. This solar development is another foundation stone that we hope will stimulate others to join us to create new economic opportunity for Rutland and Vermont, Powell said. Added Costello: We expect several announcements in the coming months about other projects, some independent of GMP and some involving us directly, which will contribute to our goals in Rutland. In addition to the solar capital effort, GMP is building a new Energy Innovation Center in the former Eastmans Building, where the company expects to develop new generation and pilot new customer programs, efficiency ideas and educational opportunities for students and customers statewide. GMP is also recruiting new business such as Small Dog Electronics to locate in Rutland. Vermont Energy Investment Corp. and Neighborworks of Western Vermont announced plans to co-locate some staff at the EIC last week. About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com(link is external)) transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the state of Vermont. The company, which serves more than 250,000 customers, has set its vision to be the best small utility in America.
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