Below is a list of resources for solar, biomass, hydroelectric, and wind energy.
- Vermonter's Guide to Residential Solar (2018)
- There are many ways to build and finance a solar PV system, and navigating these options can be challenging. This guide (revised since the original 2016 version) aims to help homeowners decide whether it makes sense for them to go solar, and if so, how. The guide, “A Vermonter’s Guide to Residential Solar,” was written by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) for the Vermont Department of Public Service. It is divided into sections so that readers can refer to relevant information at different points in the decision-making and installation process.
- Guidance for Third-Party Solar Projects: Developed by the Vermont Attorney General's Office in partnership with the Department of Public Service, this guidance clarifies the statements that a solar provider may make about the renewable nature of solar projects in which the Renewable Energy Certificates are retained and sold by the solar provider.
- A Consumer's Guide to Buying a Solar Electric System: Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, September 1999.
- Template for Group Net Metering Agreements for Vermont Municipal and School District Solar Projects: Developed in partnership with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, the Vermont School Boards Association, the Vermont Superintendents Association-School Energy Management Program, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, and supporting attorneys, April 2015.
- How to Size A Grid-Connected Solar Electric System: Published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, August 2002.
- How to Install Solar in Vermont: Published by the Northeast Vermont Development Association.
- A Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Nonprofit Project Development: Published by the U.S. Department of Energy.
- The Solarize Guidebook: A Community Guide to Collective Purchasing of Residential PV Systems: Published by the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Photovoltaics as a Line Extension Alternative: For people who need electric power in a remote location, where a utility line extension may be cost prohibitive and photovoltaic (PV) may be a preferable alternative, one possible option before investing in a line extension is an off-the-grid PV power system. For purposes of comparison, it is helpful to understand the life-cycle costs, lifestyle impacts, and expansion possibilities of a PV system.
The Solar Electric Option (Instead of a Power Line Extension) (PDF 1 MB): An overview of how PV technology works, how PV systems are designed, safety issues, three examples of remote applications, and a glossary of terms. Sixteen pages. Published jointly by the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Arizona Department of Commerce Energy Office.
Staff Guidelines on Photovoltaics versus Line Extensions (PDF 219 KB): An explanation of three guidelines one utility used to determine whether a PV system would be cheaper than a line extension over thirty years (overhead single phase, underground single phase, three phase underground). Seven pages. Published by the Arizona Corporation Commission's Utility Division.
Photovoltaics versus Line Extensions: Creating Informed Customer Choices (PDF 822 KB): Discusses implications for service quality and compares the economics of PV vs. line extensions. Twenty-eight pages. By David Berry and Robert Gray, Utilities Division, Arizona Corporation Commission.
- Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network (VECAN) Community Solar Toolbox: This page helps communities and community members understand common models and approaches to community solar in Vermont and provides helpful best practices, case studies, and resources.
- The Leasing Municipal and Private Property for Solar fact sheet from the Solar Foundation contains information that may be useful to Vermonters considering leasing their land for solar development.
- Vermont Solar Consumer Guide from Renewable Energy Vermont and the Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power from the Solar Energy Industries Association.
- PVWatts Calculator: PVWatts Calculator was developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to help individuals estimate the energy production and cost of energy of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) energy systems at their home or business. Homeowners, businesses, and researchers use the PVWatts Calculator to develop quick estimates of renewable energy production at locations throughout the U.S. The PVWatts Calculator uses a map-based interface to allow you to choose the exact location of your PV array. Based on your location, system size, and other variables, the PVWatts Calculator estimates the electricity production you can expect from your system.
- Tracking the Sun: This is Berkeley Lab’s annual report that summarizes installed prices and other trends among grid-connected, distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States. While not a direct substitute for the U.S. Department of Energy's Open PV Project, which was discontinued in 2019, it does contain much of the same data from a variety of sources including utilities, installers, and the general public.
- DOE's Solar America Communities program is committed to developing a sustainable solar infrastructure that removes market barriers and encourages the adoption of solar energy by residents and businesses in local communities. The objective is to develop comprehensive approaches that lay the foundation for a viable solar market and provide a model for communities throughout the United States. The National Community Solar Partnership will bring the lessons learned and best practices from the Solar America Cities partnerships to communities across the United States.
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) provides comprehensive information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote solar energy. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Program, DSIRE provides solar-specific policy information to consumers, policy-makers, businesses, utilities, researchers and other stakeholders.
- Biomass Energy Development Working Group Final Report: VT Legislative Council
- State Forest Resource Assessment: VT Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation
- Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study: Manoment Center for Conservation Sciences
- Vermont Biofuels Initiative: Local Production for Local Use to Supply a Portion of Vermont's Energy Needs
- Biomass Energy Resource Center
- VT Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation
- VT Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
- VT Sustainable Jobs Fund Bioenergy Initiative
Vermont Small Hydropower Assistance Program
This program is no longer active, but the resources below may assist those considering hydropower development to better understand the federal permitting requirements and process and the role of state agencies in that process.
- Vermont Small Hydropower Assistance Program Overview
- Step 1 Screening Criteria Summary and Application Instructions
- Step 1 Application Form
- Step 2 Site-Specific Determinations Summary
The draft screening criteria, combined stakeholder comments, and summary of comments with reply comments are also available.
- Act 165 Report: A Biennial Report to the Vermont General Assembly on Procedures for Facilitating Development of Small and Micro Hydroelectric Projects: VT Department of Public Service (2018)
- Act 165 Report: A Biennial Report to the Vermont General Assembly on Procedures for Facilitating Development of Small and Micro Hydroelectric Projects: VT Department of Public Service (2016)
- Act 165 Report: A Report to the Vermont General Assembly on Progress Toward an MOU Program for Expediting Development of Small and Micro Hydroelectric Projects: VT Department of Public Service (2014)
- An Assessment of Energy Potential at Non-Powered Dams in the United States: U.S. Department of Energy
- U.S. Hydropower Resource Assessment for Vermont: Idaho National Laboratory
- The Development of Small Hydroelectric Projects in Vermont: VT Agency of Natural Resources
- The Undeveloped Hydroelectric Potential of Vermont, Appendix A, and Potential Sites: Lori Barg, Community Hydro, 2008
- Vermont Hydroelectric Development Handbook: VT Public Utility Commission
- Hydropower Primer: A Handbook of Hydropower Basics: U.S. Department of Energy & Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 2017
- Introduction to Hydropower: Home Power, 2004
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Small/Low Impact Hydropower Projects:This website provides resources for hydropower developers on federal permitting regulations for small (generally < 10 MW) and low-impact hydropower projects.
- Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) - Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Watershed Management Division Hydroelectric Power website: This page describes ANR's involvement in hydroelectric project permitting and includes links to the DEC's Clean Water Act § 401 Water Quality Certification Practice document and application.
- Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO): This page lists resources including how to appeal to the SHPO for a project review under § 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
- U.S. Department of Energy's Hydropower Assessment Program. Offers best practices for operations and assessments for efficiency opportunities.
- Small Hydropower in Vermont. Materials from the workshop hosted by ANR on 4/26/07.
- Estimating the Hypothetical Wind Power Potential on Public Lands in Vermont. Prepared for the Department of Public Service by Vermont Environmental Research Associates, Inc. in December 2003.
- Commission on Wind Energy Regulatory Policy Final Report & Attachments
- Utility-Scale Wind Energy Planning Resources: This is the product of the Wind Siting Consensus Building Project sponsored by the Department of Public Service to build consensus on the appropriate siting of utility-scale wind energy in Vermont, published in 2002.
- Small Wind Electric Systems: This is a consumer guide by the U.S. Department of Energy on small, residential-scale wind systems (published in 2002).
- Residential Wind Siting Handbook: This is a guide to siting residential wind turbines published by the Vermont Public Utility Commission.
- Small Wind: Is it Right for You?: This is a fact sheet which provides information about the planning and permitting process for small-scale wind turbines.
- Wind Energy and Vermont's Scenic Landscape: This is landscape architect Jean Vissering's discussion paper based on the Wind Siting Consensus Building Project.
- 2011 Wind Technologies Market Report: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory publishes an update to this report about trends in wind turbine technology, policy, and pricing every year.
- A Visual Assessment Process for Wind Energy Projects: Landscape architect Jean Vissering wrote this generalized visual assessment methodology for Clean Energy States Alliance in 2011. She looks at effective state and local policies, practices, and methodologies to evaluate the visual impacts associated with wind development projects.
- Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines: Published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2012, these voluntary guidelines are designed to help wind energy project developers avoid and minimize impacts of land-based wind projects on wildlife and their habitats.
- Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study (revised): This 2011 National Renewable Energy Laboratory study examines the operational impact of up to 20-30% energy penetration of wind on the power system in the Eastern Interconnect of the United States and sets out to answer questions that utilities, regional transmission operators, and planning organizations have about wind energy and transmission development in the east.
- DOE Wind Powering America Program: Wind Powering America is a nationwide initiative designed to increase the use of wind energy across the United States by working with regional stakeholders. State-by-state breakdowns of wind resource potential, success stories, installed wind capacity, news, events, and other resources are updated regularly.
- Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC): The SWCC, an independent organization, assesses and issues certificates and consumer labels for the performance and safety of small wind turbines in accordance with criteria established in the AWEA Standard. The website describes the process and includes sortable listings for certified turbines and pending applications. The website was designed to give consumers, applicants and stakeholders a more robust set of resources to aid in the development of the small wind market.
- Wind Energy Maps and Data: From the U.S. Department of Energy WINDExchange page.
- Governors' Wind Energy Coalition - a bipartisan group of the nation's governors who are dedicated to the development of the nation's wind energy resources to meet America's domestic energy demands in an environmentally responsible manner, while reducing the nation's dependence on imported energy sources and stimulating state and national economic development.
- The land-based portion of the Northeast Wind Resource Center (NWRC) builds on two previous projects, the New England Wind Forum (NEWF) and the New England Wind Energy Education Project (NEWEEP). Materials from these projects are archived on this webpage.