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Solar farm revenues to fund ‘Watts for Wishes’

BRISTOL — A new solar farm powering a local retirement community is helping fund the gift for a Make-A-Wish child in Vermont.
The 500kW solar project sited on the farm owned by Bristol’s Livingston family now powers 20 percent of operations at Wake Robin, a nearby continuing care retirement community.
Vermont-based AllEarth Renewables manufactured solar trackers locally and oversaw design/construction for the project, and SolarSense served as the developer of the project. Addison County-based contractor Smith & McLain installed the project.
Through its “Watts for Wishes” charitable donation program, SolarSense is donating $7,500 to Make-A-Wish Vermont to help fund a future wish. The Watts for Wishes charitable donation program connects the renewable energy industry with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to provide children with life-threatening illnesses the funding to fulfill their wishes.
A busload of Wake Robin residents joined the event and received an educational tour of solar energy at the farm.
Of hosting the project on his family’s farmland, Stan Livingston said, “Having grown up farming, using the sun to produce power for peoples’ homes and businesses is fantastic. It’s a great alternative and compatible use of the land and it goes a long way to paying my taxes and keeping this land open.”
The project, which was installed utilizing local labor, will also help the community by paying both local and state property taxes.
Patrick McKee, CEO of Wake Robin, said, “Our residents and staff are constantly seeking creative ways to incorporate earth-friendly practices into our community. We are proud of the impact that the locally-sourced solar energy has on this goal.”
“We are honored to sponsor the Watts for Wishes charitable giving program, and to donate the funding for a local wish in celebration of the Livingston’s solar farm for Wake Robin,” said Chris Fraga, founder and CEO of SolarSense, and a 23-year volunteer, donor and six-year Make-A-Wish board member.
“It’s extremely gratifying to be involved in a project that not only contributes to Vermont’s energy future, but contributes to meaningful community programs like Vermont’s Make-A-Wish Foundation,” added David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables.
To learn more about how to support Make-A-Wish Vermont, visit vermont.wish.org.

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