RUTLAND - Rutland's Regional Ambulance Service will soon begin
looking to the sun for part of its energy, thanks to a Green
Mountain Power grant to help build a rooftop solar array.
Regional Ambulance Service (RAS) has won a $20,000 GMP grant,
the fourth local nonprofit to win one as part of GMP's drive to
make Rutland the Solar Capital of New England.
The grant will support a 15,000-watt array with 60 panels
mounted on the southwest-facing roof of the RAS building, which
will produce nearly a third of the ambulance service's electricity
"RAS did a great job with its application, planning a much
larger project than the grant, alone, could support," said GMP
President and CEO Mary Powell. "The project will have a positive
impact on a dozen communities served by RAS."
GMP offered the grants, which must be matched at least dollar
for dollar by the recipients, to help non-profit groups build
on-site solar arrays as part of GMP's effort to make Rutland the
Solar Capital of New England, with the highest solar capacity per
capita of any city in the region. RAS's project will cost about
"The grant program inspired us to take a good look at how solar
could help us mitigate our expenses," said Jim Finger, RAS's chief
executive administrator. "The savings can be used to reduce
operating costs, pay for equipment needs, and help keep local tax
Previous grant winners included the Vermont Farmer's Food Center
on West Street, Rutland Regional Community Television on Scale
Avenue in Howe Center, and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.
Same Sun of Vermont in Rutland will build the RAS project, as
well as the one at the Vermont Farmer's Food Center. Same Sun
has already completed the array at Rutland Regional Community
Television. USA Solar Store in Perkinsville will build the array at
"These projects will be highly visible, and will help educate
our customers about solar energy," said Steve Costello, GMP's vice
president for generation and energy innovation. "Whether
small-scale projects on homes, intermediate-sized projects like
this, or larger solar farms, they all will help reduce our
environmental footprint and reliance on dirtier energy sources,
while reducing the summer peak demands on the system."
RAS began in 1983, and is now the largest ambulance service in
Vermont. The service has been licensed as a paramedic service since
1990 and provides Advanced Life Support in Rutland City and 11
other communities. The service has seven ambulances and a staff of
more than 50 state-certified emergency medical technicians and
paramedics. RAS responded to 8,332 calls last year.