Vermonters are proud that Rutland, Vermont now has the most solar per capita of any city in New England. Together with local officials, business leaders and residents, we’re powering a city with solar and growing economic opportunity in the process.
The City of Rutland, with Green Mountain Power’s support, made history in 2015 when it became the Solar Capital of New England, with more solar per capita than any other city in New England. This incredible achievement was the result of a unique partnership between Green Mountain Power and the Rutland community to make energy innovation a key to economic development and the city’s revitalization. “Rutland has shown that when a community focuses on moving away from fossil fuels it leads to stronger economic growth for businesses and for families,” said U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. “The leadership that Green Mountain Power and the city of Rutland have shown should be the envy of every American city.” And that’s just the start – we are working to make Rutland the Energy City of the Future using new energy technology to change the way power is generated and used, making the city stronger and more vibrant.
“Rutland has shown that when a community focuses on moving away from fossil fuels it leads to stronger economic growth for businesses and for families.”
There are 51 homes, businesses and other projects currently generating clean energy in the city. Projects include Rutland Regional Ambulance, Farmers Food Center, The Paramount Theatre, Rutland County Parent-Child Center, College of St. Joseph, Rutland Regional Medical Center, and many more. Green Mountain Power has worked with many stakeholders and energy leaders throughout Rutland and beyond to make this possible.
Rutland has seen significant economic growth in recent years and as crime rates have declined, downtown occupancy rates have gone up to 96% and city initiatives like Rutland Blooms, Pack the Paramount and Gift-of-Life Marathon bring the community together. Green Mountain Power has invested in the downtown by locating its Energy Innovation Center on Merchants Row.
“Mary Powell, Mayor Louras and all involved with this project have shown the world it is possible to achieve community renewal through renewable generation,” said U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. “I have said for years that fully embracing renewable generation and conservation will yield many benefits including jobs, better housing and new businesses. Rutland has worked hard to make that prediction a reality.”
The crown jewel of Rutland’s Solar Capital of New England effort is Green Mountain Power’s Stafford Hill Solar Farm. Located on top of the decommissioned Rutland City landfill, it is the first known solar storage project in the country to repurpose brownfield land once used to bury waste for the siting of renewable energy. Stafford Hill is the largest project online in Rutland, generating 2.5 MW of energy; enough energy to power about 2000 homes.
What sets Stafford Hill apart is the 3.4 MWH of battery storage for solar generation. This large scale, cutting edge paring of solar generation and battery storage allows for the disconnection of an entire circuit from the grid to provide critical power for an emergency shelter at Rutland High School.
An additional customer benefit is that Renewable Energy Credits from Stafford Hill and most larger generation facilities are sold, and all proceeds are used to reduce electricity costs for customers. It’s a triple win for Rutland and for all of Green Mountain Power’s customers.
Helping Rutland become the Solar Capital of New England is an important milestone, and we are already looking forward to more innovations to help Rutland become the Energy City of the Future. GMP continues to bring new technology and innovation to Rutland at our Energy Innovation Center, as we develop products and services like eHomes, Tesla Powerwalls and heat pumps to help our customers achieve their personal energy goals to save money, reduce their energy consumption and lighten their carbon footprint.
We won’t stop with Rutland. Green Mountain Power is committed to bringing energy transformation to more towns in the near future.