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Sorting Out Solar

Toby Talbot
The solar energy boom in Vermont is leading to big debates about siting, plus some thorny technical issues.

Vermont's solar boom is here, and it's only getting bigger. The state's push for renewable energy means more solar projects, of many different scales, coming down the line. And there's a lot left to work out, on many fronts.

Municipalities across the state are wrestling with thorny issues of where projects are sited. These debates, involving developers, towns, and private citizens, can pit neighbor against neighbor. And the purely technical issues of how the grid will adapt to handle increasing amounts of solar power pose their own big challenges.

We're talking to Peter Rothschild, a member of the planning commission in New Haven about his experience of how his town has been navigating the path to solar. We're also joined by Kerrick Johnson of VELCO to talk about the transmission issues involved in increasing solar power generation.

Also in the program, we take a tour of the Moran Plant in Burlington. Originally built as a coal-powered plant to supply electrical power to Burlington, for the past 30 years, the Moran has mostly been an eyesore on the waterfront. But plans are afoot to redevelop the historic old building and turn it into a community gathering point. We explore the concept and the structure with New Moran Inc. developers Tad Cooke, Erick Crockenberg, and Charlie Tipper.