Our family dairy farm has been farming our fields since 1924. As Vermont dairy farmers, it’s very important for us to budget our expenses to remain a viable business. Since milk prices are unpredictable, we were looking for ways to invest in our farm to maintain some predictable expenditures. This is why we chose to host a Community Solar Array on our land.
By hosting a Community Solar Array, not only have we secured predictable, constant electricity rates for our farm, but we’ve also developed a new form of the working landscape.
– Molly Magnan, Magnan Brothers Dairy Farm.
Want to explore joining a Community Solar Array?
What are RECs?
Renewable Energy Certificates document the environmental attributes produced by renewable energy sources, and can be sold to contribute funds needed to build a solar project like a CSA. Currently, Vermont does not have a renewable portfolio standard that provides a market to buy or sell RECs within Vermont. So, the RECs may be sold to utilities in neighboring states. Where SunCommon sells RECs associated with a CSA, the buyer of the Renewable Energy Credits may claim the environmental attributes. Given the way electrons flow, the power from the solar array typically flows to neighbors of the array. A CSA Member does not receive solar energy, but receives solar credits in the form of cash on her/his utility bill.
RECs are one of the financial attributes that are bundled together to make it possible to offer CSA membership at a low monthly payment and guaranteed savings. We expect Vermont to adopt our own renewable portfolio standard in 2017, after which the RECs associated with the electricity generated by CSAs will support Vermont’s clean energy goals.