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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Massive Grand Isle Solar Project Gets the Go-Ahead

Posted By on Tue, Jun 6, 2017 at 1:30 PM

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A solar array that will be one of the state's largest will be built this summer in Grand Isle, the project developer announced Monday.

Shelburne-based Bullrock Corporation received a certificate of public good from the Public Service Board on May 25, clearing the way for the five-megawatt-plus project at 109 Allen Road.

The project, which includes 16,952 individual solar panels, will span approximately 25 acres leased from Dreamwalker Farm in Grand Isle, according to documents filed with the PSB.

Construction is expected to begin in July and will take approximately six months to complete, the company said in a news release. Once online, the massive array could generate 5.7 megawatts to 6.2 megawatts of direct current power — enough electricity for approximately 1,000 Vermont homes, according to the company. The Vermont Electric Cooperative will purchase its electricity.

That, said Bullrock, will make it the largest solar project in the state meant to produce energy for Vermonters. The Coolidge Solar project, which is five times as big, has been approved to be built in Ludlow and Cavendish. But its energy will be sold to a Connecticut utility.

Gregg Beldock, Bullrock's owner and CEO, told Seven Days that the Grand Isle array will not be visible from the road — a key factor in picking the site.

Dreamwalker owner Peter Johnson said he and his wife, Jocelyn Dubuque, are "accidental farmers" who raise chickens, turkeys, pigs and horses — while also working 9-to-5 jobs. The couple wanted to keep the tract of land undeveloped, so they leased to Bullrock.

“This latest solar project is another sign that Vermont is a leading voice in the renewable energy market,” Bullrock president Andy Thomas said in a statement. “We are excited to get shovels in the ground, and for the project to come online before the end of the year.”


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Sasha Goldstein

Sasha Goldstein

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Sasha Goldstein is Seven Days' deputy news editor.

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