Acorn Renewable Energy Co-op joins forces with Encore

MIDDLEBURY —The Acorn Renewable Energy Co-op of Middlebury has signed a joint development agreement with Encore Redevelopment LLC of Burlington to collaborate on the development of local solar projects in Addison County.
“When the Energy Co-op began developing its first Community Solar project, Acorn Energy Solar One (AESO) in 2011, we contacted Encore Redevelopment LLC of Burlington to assist us,” says Energy Co-op President Peter Carothers. “With Encore’s help, we brought that 148 kW project to commissioning on time and below budget.”
In the meantime, Encore formed alliances with several financial groups who will underwrite similar and larger projects (up to 500 kW). “Encore approached us with this joint development agreement that blends our talents with theirs to develop additional local solar projects in Addison County, and possibly beyond,” Carothers says.
The one-year joint development agreement, which was signed last week, calls for Acorn Energy Co-op to locate hosts who can provide the land, as well as off-takers for the power produced by the solar arrays. Those initial agreements with land owners and off-takers will then be turned over to Encore who will complete the development process (e.g., obtaining permits, hiring solar installation contractors, coordinating utility interconnection efforts, arranging project financing, and performing other tasks required to bring the project on line). In return, the co-op will receive a development fee that will provide working funds to investigate additional renewable energy projects, and help support the operations of the co-op.
“We are very pleased with this agreement and the opportunities it affords us to increase the local generation of renewable energy more quickly than we could do by ourselves,” Carothers says.
The Acorn Energy Co-op is a member-owned cooperative serving residents and businesses in Addison, Rutland and Chittenden counties. The co-op provides education, outreach, services and products that help members take steps to make the transition from our present reliance on fossil fuels to greater use of renewables and local solutions.

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