Acorn Energy Solar 4 (AES4)
A Community-Owned Solar Project in Hinesburg, VT
Acorn Energy Solar 4 (AES4), will be a 150 kW solar array on the capped former municipal landfill located at 179 Observatory Road in Hinesburg. On July 20, 2022, the final review of the Vermont Equity Crowdfunding documentation for AES4 was completed by the State for the public offering of shares in the project. This review allows Acorn Energy Co-op to begin marketing shares in the project to Vermont residents with an electric meter in the Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) service territory. These investors will receive the project’s net metered credits on their VEC bills, and ultimately take ownership of the project.
The Hinesburg landfill is ideal for solar development since it has good solar exposure from the south. In addition, this type of “brownfield” site receives favorable treatment from Vermont’s energy permitting and approval agencies. Acorn Energy Co-op applied for a Certificate of Public Good for the project from the Public Utility Commission which was issued by the Commission on July 6, 2021.
Acorn Energy Co-op, and Aegis Renewable Energy of Waitsfield have developed the plan for the approximately $602,545 Hinesburg project. The project’s design calls for 360 solar panels, 540 watts each, which will cover a little over one acre of the capped Hinesburg landfill site.
AES4 site plan on Obervatory Road in Hinesburg
Our innovative investment model calls for two initial categories of investors in AES4: a single Series A Member, and multiple Series B Members. Union Mutual Insurance Company of Montpelier will be the Series A investor. The Series A investor will provide approximately 29% of the capital to construct the project and in return will receive federal tax credits for their project participation. Their involvement helps to keep the costs down for the Series B investors.
The remaining equity funding will come from the Series B investors (Vermont residents, businesses, churches, and organizations with an electric meter in the VEC service territory) from Hinesburg and surrounding communities, who will be project participants. These investors will receive net metering dollar credits applied each month to their VEC electric bills based on the amount of electricity produced the previous month for the number of investment units they have purchased.
Six years after the Hinesburg project begins electricity production, the equity structure will “flip” and the individual investors may take full ownership of the project, making AES4 one of a small number of truly local, community-owned net metered solar projects in the state.
A series of weekly informational meetings (via Zoom) will be held for prospective investors alternating between Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m.
Thursday, September 29
Wednesday, October 5
Thursday, October 13
Wednesday, October 20
Thursday, October 26
Need more details? Contact our coordinator, Mary Mester, at email@example.com or call at 802-385-1911.