What Vermont Can Teach Us About Clean Power

Vermont is often associated more with maple syrup and autumn leaves than clean power. However, the state has long been a model of sustainability—illustrating how leadership by residents, communities, and elected officials can make a difference when it comes to environmental protection.

This commitment can perhaps best be seen in the state’s largest city, Burlington, which already receives 100% of its energy from renewable sources—the first in the nation to meet this goal. And others throughout the state are following suit. Vermont’s climate progress is due, in large part, to the state’s residents—who increasingly see themselves as climate leaders. Through know-how and determination, communities and residents have pushed for investments in renewable energy, which has enabled the state to sell excess green energy to adjacent states.

Vermont is already on target to exceed the President’s Clean Power Plan, and has recently adopted its own climate policy. This puts the state on target to reach 90% renewable energy by 2050—tripling the new national standard. This has been made possible through a series of federal subsidies, residents who are invested in generating their own clean energy, and community support for bond measures that invest in green infrastructure. Their work shows that small states can pack a big punch against climate change. To follow in Vermont’s footsteps on the Path to Positive Communities, come and join with other likeminded climate leaders in your area!

How Vermont became a clean-power powerhouse

By Elodie Reed | Christian Science Monitor | September 12, 2015

BURLINGTON, VT. — More than four decades ago, David Blittersdorf built his first wind turbine to power the lights in his sugar shack in Pittsford, Vt., where he boiled maple sap as winter turned into spring. He was 14.

Today, his ambitions are noticeably grander. On a hot August afternoon, the mechanical engineer stands beneath four 430-foot-tall wind turbines powering more than 4,200 homes. But the scene remains emphatically Vermont: A gentle slope of trees used for maple sugaring rises above fields where cows low among the midsummer buzzing of flies.

In truth, the spidery turbines themselves are a portrait of Vermont, too – like the engineer grinning beneath them: environmentally conscious, progressive, innovative.

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