Solar Conference planned for Stratton

WINDHAM - The Windham, Rutland, Bennington and Southern Windsor regional planning commissions are partnering with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to bring a SunShot Solar Workshop to Vermont.

The workshop, which will be held on September 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Green Mountain Room at the Inn at Stratton, will be to provide information, and answer questions, regarding "overcoming barriers to solar energy development and implementing a successful local solar program in [the community]," according to an official press release.

Some of the topics that will be covered include an overview of solar technology, the viability of solar energy in the region, regulatory issues, and innovative financing options.

The workshop will be split in to four different portions: a basic introduction to what solar power actually is and the technology behind it, Vermont policy regarding solar power including the SPEED program and Net Metering, how to finance solar projects, and a final open discussion. The workshop will be interactive, between those who attend and a panel of local leaders and experts from the region, who will discuss and answer questions about their experiences with solar projects in Vermont.

"Each module will be interactive," said Regional Planner Cullen Meves. "There will be different hands-on activities."

The activities range from creating a model solar project to assessing a solar project under Vermont's policies or best practice methods. Each module will be moderated by two trainers, Jayson Uppal and Jim Kennerly.

The fourth module will be moderated by a panel of local leaders and experts from the region: Paul Cameron, the Executive Director of Brattleboro Climate Protection, Peter Thurell, President of Soveren Solar in Putney, John Tedesco, from the Energy Innovation Center at Green Mountain Power, and Karen Lee, co-owner of Solar Pro of Arlington.

Each panel member will give a five-to-seven minute summary of their background before opening up the floor for questions from attendees. "This is more for large-scale, municipal projects... school... and community projects," said Meves. "It's for a larger scale than homeowners." Registration is open through their website, where more information including panel and trainer biographies can be found, at


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