The future is bright at one Vermont school. Conservation Law Foundation joined other Vermont environmental groups and a class of fifth grade students to highlight the success of solar energy in Vermont.
We gathered at the Crossett Brook Middle School. The solar project there provides the school with electricity, stable power costs, and a great learning tool. As students play sports on the fields, or look outside their school windows, they see how their school is helping transform Vermont’s power supply and reduce global warming pollution.
The students’ future is certainly bright. They live and go to school in a community with some of the highest per capita production of solar energy in the nation.
Vermonters’ enthusiastic embrace of solar energy advances the state’s green energy economy. There are now more than 58 solar companies based in Vermont, employing more than 1,500 people, and contributing more than 76 million dollars last year to Vermont’s economy. The 138 MW of solar energy currently installed or permitted in Vermont is enough to power more than 22,000 homes while reducing greenhouse gas emissions roughly equivalent to taking 14,000 cars off the road in one year.
Solar power makes sense for Vermont and New England. The cost of solar power has declined more than 30% in the last year. Solar panels can attach to rooftops, industrial sites, or be placed on open land.
By providing power at times when it is most needed, increasing our reliance on solar helps reduce costs for all electric customers. Since solar power is generated close to where it is used, increasing our reliance on solar also reduces our need for expensive new transmission projects to bring power to Vermont from far away places.
With climate change bearing down on all of us, it is refreshing to see how students and local communities are leading the way.