Virtual Net Metering (VNM) allows entities, such as municipalities, to receive credits on their electric bills for excess energy produced by the entity’s share of a solar project. If approved for participation in the VNM program, the City of Bristol will realize a significant energy cost savings each year by assigning the energy use of several municipal buildings to the cheaper, cleaner energy being produced by Bristol Solar One.
Verogy has also partnered with Ithaca, New York-based Agrivoltaic Solutions, to facilitate sheep grazing on the site. This practice, known as co-location, allows for continued agricultural activity around the solar array, while alleviating the need for typical landscaping maintenance such as grass cutting and weed trimming.
“Verogy and the City of Bristol have charted a path forward to help ensure farming and renewable energy can grow successfully, together in Connecticut.” said Lexie Hain, founding partner of Agrivoltaic Solutions and director of the American Solar Grazing Association.
“The City of Bristol shares our vision of creating healthier communities through renewable energy, and we are grateful for their support of this project,” said William Herchel, Co-Founder and CEO of Verogy. “Bristol Solar One represents a unique collaboration between solar energy and agriculture, and we’re excited to be part of this milestone in Connecticut’s progress toward a carbon-free future.”
The project site was selected and designed specifically to minimize environmental impacts, with no disruption to wetlands or core forest. The project uses an estimated 16 acres of land, leaving 40% of the parcel undeveloped. Further, by using this land to generate solar energy, the landowner has the opportunity to decommission the array and use the land for farming once the solar lease ends.
“Our partnership with Verogy, the City of Bristol, and Agrivoltaic Solutions allows us to preserve farmland while doing our part to address the impacts of climate change right here in our community,” said Mark Minor. “We congratulate our partners on the completion of Bristol Solar One, and thank them for their continued efforts toward a future where agriculture and renewable energy work hand-in-hand.”