In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses throughout Vermont and northern New England suffered significant drops in revenue. Though the federal government provided aid throughout 2020, many businesses still needed more help. Norwich Solar Technologies (NST) stepped in with the Small Business Community Solar Alliance (CSA) to provide additional help to affected businesses.
The alliance was specifically created in response to the coronavirus, and NST CEO Jim Merriam noted that solar savings produced by the alliance could reduce strain. According to Merriam, the hope is to provide an easier means of recovering, despite the complications brought about by COVID-19.
Businesses looking to participate in the CSA can do so with no upfront fee. Throughout the life of the contract, businesses will not incur maintenance or operational costs to keep the program running. As a member of the CSA, small businesses will receive lower-cost electricity, resulting in lower utility bills each month. Net metering credits are applied to the businesses’ monthly utility costs, which are billed by NST in 12 equal payments.
Members of the Community Solar Alliance will play an active role in supporting other small businesses that develop, engineer, design, and construct other solar projects. NST’s program will create money for the renewable energy industry and sink money into local economies throughout New England.
Merriam states that the alliance is intended to simplify the process of partaking in solar energy. Whereas private solar energy, generated through rooftop or parking lot solar arrays, is a costly endeavor, the alliance allows businesses to clean energy without building any facilities. Additionally, participating in the alliance allows businesses that rent their space to reap the rewards of community solar.
Currently in development, when the community solar projects are completed, they will be maintained and managed by RunTime Solar, a subsidiary of Norwich Technologies.
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