Vermont Diocese Purchases Rock Point Solar Array
$270K Investment Promotes Environmental, Economic Sustainability
Burlington, Vt.—The Episcopal Church in Vermont recently completed its purchase of the Solar Installation (also known as the Solar Farm) at historic Rock Point. The 35-tracker, 147 kilowatt solar array, which was previously under the ownership of All Earth Renewables, was originally valued at close to one million dollars. The diocese acquired it for $269,700 with the help of early contributions to the Rock Point Partnership Campaign—an ongoing initiative to preserve and improve Rock Point—and a loan from the Bishop Butterfield Loan Fund.
The investment is expected to produce slightly more energy than is consumed on Rock Point and generate a financial benefit of 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 Rt. Rev. Thomas C. Ely, tenth bishop of the diocese of Vermont, said, “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 Farm. Our long-term goal was to purchase rather than lease it, and we are glad to have achieved that goal on the fifth anniversary of the installation.”
During the lease arrangement, and in cooperation with Burlington Electric, the Rock Point Energy Coop paid All Earth Renewables .18 cents per kilowatt hour of energy produced by the solar array, and Burlington Electric credited the electric bills at the rate of .20 cents p/kWh.
The full social and financial benefit of this project will accrue to the Rock Point Energy Coop and its several entities, which include Rock Point School, the Bishop Booth Conference Center, The Bishop’s House and the diocesan offices of the Episcopal Church in Vermont. The Rock Point Energy Coop will also use available funds for other energy saving measures on Rock Point.
Bishop Ely continued, “Care for the environment is an important aspect of our message in the Jesus Movement. The Episcopal Church in Vermont remains committed to environmental stewardship not only in Rock Point but also throughout the wider community.”
In the featured photo: The January 6 check-signing event. Pictured from left to right are David Blittersdorf, President and CEO of All Earth Renewables, and Bishop Ely.