Solar Installation Purchase Complete
By the Rt. Rev. Thomas C. Ely
The Rock Point Energy Cooperative, which includes Rock Point School, the Bishop Booth Conference Center and the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, is pleased to report the purchase of the solar installation on the Rock Point property. Five years ago, the Trustees of the Diocese of Vermont (title-holders to Rock Point) entered an agreement with All Earth Renewables, Inc. for the installation of the solar array (some like to call it the Solar Farm), which All Earth Renewables would own, and which the Trustees would lease, for the first five years.
Under this arrangement, and in cooperation with Burlington Electric, the Rock Point Energy Coop has been paying All Earth Renewables .18 cents per kilowatt hour of energy produced by the solar array and Burlington Electric has been crediting our electric bills at the rate of .20 cents p/kwh.
At the end of the five-year lease, we had the option to buy the solar installation (originally valued at close to one million dollars) for a reduced price. We successfully negotiated a purchase price of $269,700. With the help of some early contributions to the Rock Point Partnership Campaign and a loan from the Bishop Butterfield Loan Fund, we purchased the installation on December 15, 2016.
The solar array produces slightly more energy than we consume on Rock Point, and now the full social and financial benefit of this project will accrue to the Rock Point Energy Coop and its several entities. The bottom line is that the financial benefit is more than $40,000 annually, a portion of which will be used to repay the Bishop Butterfield Loan, even as other pledges and gifts to the Partnership Campaign help reduce the loan balance. The Rock Point Energy Coop will also use available funds for other energy saving measures on Rock Point, as we seek to become a model of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability for our diocese and the wider community.
This is a great project for Rock Point, the Episcopal Church in Vermont and the environment!
About Rock Point
Since 1855, Rock Point has served as a unique center of the Episcopal Church in Vermont, welcoming friends and neighbors attracted to its natural beauty and its peaceful, quiet, and social embrace. Each year, nearly 10,000 people come to Rock Point, finding a place to walk, seek solitude, learn, play, sing, pray, think, share, and be. Learn more about this diocesan treasure at http://rockpointvt.org