Union Mutual Invests in Community Solar Project
MONTPELIER – Union Mutual Insurance Company recently announced its participation in an innovative, community-owned solar project under development by the Acorn Renewable Energy Co-op of Middlebury, Vermont. The Company’s Chief Financial Officer, Jennifer Galfetti, cited the project as part of Union Mutual’s ongoing efforts to be a good corporate citizen and environmental steward.
“We were pleased to provide the foundational funding for this innovative project,” said Galfetti. “Our Company understands the importance of local, financially sustainable. and affordable energy sources. We also appreciate opportunities to invest in our local community.”
The project involves a 150 kW solar array on the capped former municipal landfill on Beecher Hill Road in Hinesburg, Vermont, which will soon offer shares 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 after six years, are projected to take full ownership of the project when the equity structure is expected to “flip.”
As the sole Series A Member investor, Union Mutual has provided roughly one-third of the capital to construct the project and will receive federal tax credits in return in addition to keeping investment costs down for Series B member investors.
“We are extremely pleased to have Union Mutual Insurance Company as a major participant in our Hinesburg solar project,” says Benjamin Marks, Acorn Energy Co-op’s President. “Their support has been invaluable in bringing true community-owned solar to the VEC service territory.”
Union Mutual of Vermont Companies, founded in 1874, is a property casualty insurance group consisting of Union Mutual Fire Insurance and New England Guaranty Insurance Company Inc., both based in Montpelier, Vermont; and Community Mutual Insurance Company, based in Latham, New York. The three companies write a total of $193 million in direct premium annually through independent agents throughout New England and New York and are all rated A (Excellent) with a Stable Outlook by A.M. Best.
Organized in 2008, the Acorn Energy Co-op is a member-owned cooperative serving residents and businesses in Addison, Rutland, and Chittenden counties. The Co-op provides education, outreach, products and services, as well as community solar projects that help members make the transition from our present reliance on fossil fuels to greater use of renewables and local solutions.