White River Junction Solar Farm:
Grant Family gets Award for Fastest Development of 2.2 MW Solar Project in Vermont – EVER!
There was a Grand Opening celebration for the White River Solar Project on Saturday November 10, 2012. Bob Grant of CRL Solar LLC, the developer, was on hand at the site to talk about the development of the project. CRL Solar was awarded a SPEED Standard Offer Contract on September 9, 2011. Bob is an experienced real estate developer. His first step was to identify a team of knowledgeable solar consultants; engineers, lawyers and bankers. With this team in place Bob was able to apply his experience as the Engineering/Procurement/Contractor entity. This approach resulted in very rapid and successful deployment of a relatively large solar energy infrastructure project.
Bob pointed me to a viewing location at the lower end of the site. The first thing you notice is the huge number of solar panels installed. In fact, there 10296 panels rated at either 245 watts or 250 watts per panel. The panels are manufactured by Trina Solar.
The racking system employed is a pretty straight-forward driven H pile-type rack. The racking system was manufactured and installed by RBI Solar. A big part of the project consisted of site preparation for the racks. The site was extensively re-graded in 7 different “tables” to provide optimal conditions (N-S slope, E-W level) to maximize output and ease of rack installation. Cassella Construction performed the site work.
There are five inverters housed in a partially open steel building. The inverters are manufactured by Solaron Advanced Energy and consist of 3-500 kW inverters and 2-333 kW inverters. Adjacent to the inverter building is a 2,500 kVA transformer. Approximately 2,100 feet of new 3-phase distribution line was required to interconnect the project with the existing 3-phase line on Route 5. The interconnection work was performed by Green Mountain Power Company.
Inverter Building with Solar Panels on Roof
After the site visit, the guests joined Bob, his wife Barbara and their family at the Quechee Inn for an evening of celebration. The project was a family affair for the Grants. Bob was the project manager, Barbara handled the finances, while their two sons and daughter made various contributions to the project either on-site or with web site development.
Pam Allen, interconnection engineer extraordinaire from GMP, presented Bob with a GMP blanket that was embroidered with the saying “GMP, generating possibilities together”.
I gave Bob the award for the “fastest development of a 2.2 MW Solar Project in Vermont - EVER”.
Others in attendance included Jeanne Blackmore, Matt Kerns and others from the Gravel and Shea legal team, solar expert Hilton Dier of Solar Gain, LLC., John Zigler of Mascoma Savings Bank, Gordon Stockwood, G&B Electrical, Ian Jewkes Krebs&Lansing.
The night ended with Bob and Barbara cutting the “Solar Cake”. Nice job Grant family!