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Solar Power in Vermont

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Sen. Bernie Sanders was joined on Monday by Gov. Peter Shumlin and representatives of IBM, Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Department of Energy to launch the Vermont Photovoltaic Regional Test Center.

Sen. Bernie Sanders was joined on Monday by Gov. Peter Shumlin and representatives of IBM, Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Department of Energy to launch the Vermont Photovoltaic Regional Test Center. The center located in Williston, Vt., will research ways to cut the cost of solar power and integrate solar energy into Vermont’s statewide smart grid. “We have a bold vision here in Vermont and across the country for an energy transformation phasing fossil fuels out as quickly as possible in favor of clean, renewable energy. Solar energy is a central part of that vision,” said Sanders, who serves on the Senate energy and environment committees. To read the senator’s remarks, click here

Valley News: U.S. Solar Power Testing Site to Be Built in Vt.

By Wilson Ring Associated Press Tuesday, November 5, 2013 (Published in print: Tuesday, November 5, 2013) Williston, Vt. — A seven-acre field in Williston is being converted into an outdoor laboratory where scientists and engineers will study the effectiveness of solar panels when used in areas known for bad weather and long, cold winters, officials said Monday. Once construction is complete, the field will accommodate panels capable of converting sunlight into as much as 300 kilowatts of solar power. The Vermont location, near the popular Taft Corners retail area, will be funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative. It is one of five similar test locations across the country where solar panels will be tested under different climactic conditions. The initiative has a goal of reducing the cost of solar energy by 75 percent by 2020 and helping the country get 15 percent of its electricity from the sun by 2030. “The sun shines in all 50 states,” said Minh Le, program manager of the federal government’s Solar Energy Technologies Program. He noted at Monday’s event that the current world leader in solar power production is Germany, which gets about as much sun as Alaska. Read more

Burlington Free Press: New research center aims to energize solar business in the US

Williston center, one of 5 in country, expected to be operational within next few months   WILLISTON — Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., looked on the bright side of Monday’s finger-numbing cold weather at the announcement of a federal solar panel test center coming to Chittenden County. “There’s sun out there to dispel any rumors Vermont doesn’t get sun in the winter,” Sanders joked. The $3 million Regional Test Center, to be built on about seven acres owned by IBM in Williston, would be one of five in the United States. The others are being built in Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Nevada. The Vermont center is expected to be operational in the next few months. The goal of the center, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, is to help find ways to reduce the cost of solar energy by 75 percent by 2020 and generate at least 15 percent of America’s electricity with solar power by 2030. Read more