Georgia Mountain Community Wind
Georgia Mountain Community Wind (GMCW) is a locally developed 10 megawatt 4-turbine project that provides long-term, clean electricity and environmental benefits to Vermonters. It was constructed in 2012 by Jim Harrison of Georgia, VT, owner of Harrison Concrete Const. and Redi-Mix Corp., and David Blittersdorf of Williston, VT, CEO of AllEarth Renewables and founder of NRG Systems. In 2017, GMCW was acquired by Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company, LLC.
The project is sited upon land owned by the Harrison Family of Georgia, VT and the Green Crow Corp., a forest products company based in Waterbury, VT to harness power from the wind flowing through the Champlain Valley. It sells its entire output to the Burlington Electric Department under a long-term power contract to meet the needs of 30% of Burlington Electric Department's residential customers.
As the team leader and project manager for GMCW, VERA led the project from it's early developmental phases through permitting, construction, and into it's current operations. We recently shepherded the project through a successful sale and transition to Greenbacker.
Our feasibility analysis for this project evaluated key development aspects and sought to identify and mitigate potential "fatal flaws". We also assisted in the acquisition rights to develop neighboring land, directed the interconnection study, managed the power purchase solicitation and agreement, directed wind turbine procurement, developed and secured the turbine supply agreement, and solicited and secured outside financing.
We designed and managed the wind resource assessment program for our client, including permitting and installation, to generating complex computer models to calculate each of the four wind turbine's wind and energy production potential and micro-site each turbine based on production optimization.
Working closely with our client, we assembled a development team comprised of Vermont technical experts. The hallmark of this community project is the local participation in all major aspects of development, include the sale of electricity to a local Vermont utility, Long-term financing for the project was provided from the project's owners and Vermont's Merchants Bank.
In 2012, VERA assumed the role of project manager and owner's representative throughout the construction and commissioning process. In these efforts, we acted as liaison between the project owner, turbine supplier, balance of plant contractor, ISO-New England, as well as numerous engineering and transportation firms in order to minimize costs and ensure the project was completed efficiently on all fronts.
Since the project entered the operational phase, VERA has continued to work closely with GMCW. Our weekly and monthly performance reporting analyzes energy production compared to on-site wind speeds. Our close relationship with the Project enabled us to work quickly and efficiently during the Project's sale and transition to Greenbacker.