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