Greenwood Energy celebrated the opening of its newly-completed 7.0 MW DC Elizabeth Mine Solar project located in Strafford and Thetford, Vermont, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, September 22, 2017. Around 100 people attended to hear about the long term development of the project and to tour the site. Dori Wolfe, of Wolfe Energy, lead the event and Greenwood Energy’s Stephen Campbell gave the closing remarks.
The project is built atop a former copper mine that was declared a Superfund site in 2001 by the Environmental Projections Agency (EPA). According to the EPA, Elizabeth Mine operated from the early 1800s through 1958 during which it produced over 3.25 million tons of ore. It was once the largest copper producer in the United States. Development of the project began in 2010 by Wolfe Energy, which was later joined by Brightfields Development. Wolfe Energy worked with the EPA and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources to repurpose the site during the environmental remediation so that it would be compatible with later solar development. The result was a prime location for a solar project. Greenwood Energy joined Wolfe Energy and Brightfields Development in 2015 to finish development, design and project contract negotiation, eventually purchasing the project outright to bring it into final construction.
Construction was undertaken by Conti Group beginning in late May 2017 and the project achieved Mechanical Completion in August 2017. The facility uses ballasted foundations so that it sits upon the remediation cap without disturbing the underlying ground. It comprises of 19,990 solar modules made by Hyundai and is expected to commence commercial operation in October 2017. Energy production and renewable energy certificates will be sold to Green Mountain Power under a long-term power purchase agreement.