Note; This is a lightly edited version of a press release from Vermont Law School – I cut out the gratuitous quotes – but it seems pretty legit.
Mascoma Meadows, a 50-unit resident-owned manufactured-home cooperative in Lebanon, N.H., will soon use solar power to generate some of its electricity.
Mascoma Meadows has contracted with Brentwood-based ReVision Energy to install a 132.48-kilowatt (DC) solar array, which is forecast to save each of the co-op’s participating low- and moderate-income households nearly $270 annually. The ground-mounted array will consist of 384 solar panels and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. The project is expected to generate 176,507 kilowatt hours of electricity annually.
The array will be built on a half-acre of land donated to the co-op by the neighboring Abundant Life Church of God. The project’s cost is covered in part by a $168,000 grant from the Renewable Energy Fund managed by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
In addition to the PUC grant, the project will be financed by an impact investor through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), allowing the parties to leverage tax incentives. The PPA enables Mascoma Meadows co-op to access the long-term economic and environmental benefits of solar electricity, while providing an opportunity for investors who share their values. After five years, Mascoma Meadows can purchase the array, at a discount, with financing from the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.
“Manufactured-home communities like ours are perfect places for sustainable-energy projects, and it will make the homes here even more affordable,” said Mascoma president Calvin Goude.
ROC-NH, a program of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, is coordinating the project, with contributions and pro bono work from Atty. Elijah Emerson of Primmer, Piper, Eggleston & Cramer, and Vermont Law School’s Energy Clinic.
The model developed for Mascoma Meadows, leveraging the cooperative structure and tax incentives, helps break some of the barriers to lower-income residents owning solar,” said Christa Shute, Vermont Law School’s Energy Fellow for Climate Justice. “The exciting part of this project is creating a model not just for New Hampshire resident-owned communities, but for ROCs across the country. The VLS Energy Clinic looks forward to seeing Mascoma Meadows into production and finding the next ROC to benefit from community-owned solar.”
The Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School provides accessible resources on contemporary energy law and policy with a focus on a cleaner and more resilient grid of the future. The IEE distributes scholarly, technical, and practical publications; provides forums and conferences for professional education and issue development; and serves as a center for graduate research on energy issues, with environmental awareness. IEE research associates are selected from students in the energy and environmental programs at Vermont Law School, top-ranked in the nation for environmental law. For more information about the IEE, visit vermontlaw.edu/iee.