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Vermont Launches Renewable Energy Atlas
Date:4/21/2010

The Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont, a state-of-the-art GIS-based web application that identifies, analyzes, and visualizes existing and promising locations for renewable energy projects. The Atlas is the first tool of its kind in the United States to enable users to choose their town or county and then select from a suite of renewable energy options including biomass, efficiency, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind.

(PRWEB) April 21, 2010 -- The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), in conjunction with the Vermont Center for Geographic Information and Fountains Spatial, Inc., announced the launch of The Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont, a state-of-the-art GIS-based web application that identifies, analyzes, and visualizes existing and promising locations for renewable energy projects.

The Atlas is the first tool of its kind in the United States to enable users to choose their town or county and then select from a suite of renewable energy options including biomass, efficiency, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind. With a click of the mouse, users can map their selection. Existing and potential renewable energy sites, renewable energy installers and consultants will appear on the map, and an analysis panel will summarize the results. The simple to use web application can be accessed anywhere and users can save their maps and analyses as unique URLs or export them to a PDF document.

“The Atlas will assist town energy committees, the Clean Energy Development Fund and other funders, educators, planners, policy-makers and businesses in making informed decisions about the planning and implementation of renewable energy in their communities,” said Ellen Kahler, executive director of the VSJF. “Especially with the forthcoming decommissioning of Vermont Yankee, we believe the Atlas will contribute to identifying how much and where efficiency and renewable energy projects can be sited in Vermont.”

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy secured U.S. Department of Energy funding for the Atlas project.

“Vermont has always stood for best practices in commercial and residential development to preserve the environment,” Leahy said. “The Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont will be an important tool in helping us all to consider the responsible energy options when thinking about our renewable energy future. Successful projects mean greater energy security, a cleaner and healthier environment, and a better quality of life across our state.”

According to Atlas project director Scott Sawyer, “with the proliferation of energy committees in over 90 towns and cities, it’s clear that Vermonters want a renewable energy and efficiency based economy. We designed the Atlas with these town energy committees and many other potential users in mind.” Sawyer went on to say that, “We believe it’s important to make renewable energy data accessible to everyone, so that businesses, utilities, state agencies and organizations charged with building the state’s future can make informed renewable energy project decisions.”

Project developers also said that additional updates will be made to the Atlas over the coming year, including updates to the woody biomass and wind data layers. The Atlas joins Vermont’s growing renewable energy development toolkit, including the Clean Energy Development Fund, the state’s new feed-in tariff program, “clean energy assessment districts,” and Vermont’s 25 by ’25 Initiative.

Major funding for this project was received from the U.S. Department of Energy through U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund and the Vermont Community Foundation. The Atlas was developed by the VSJF, in collaboration with the Vermont Center for Geographic Information, Fountains Spatial and Overit Media.

About the VSJF:
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund was created by the Vermont Legislature in 1995 to accelerate the development of Vermont’s green economy through early stage grant funding and technical assistance to entrepreneurs, businesses, farmers, networks and others interested in developing jobs and markets in the green economy.

The VSJF typically focuses on two or three of the market sectors identified by the legislature at any one time. Our current focus is on increasing the local production and local use of biofuels, and sustainable forest products and in strengthening Vermont’s food system.

The products and services we support drive the green economy by:

 
  • Striving to dramatically reduce the use of fossil fuels,
  • Relocalizing production (including food production, manufacturing, and the sustainable use of local resources), and
  • Building economic and community resilience against challenges such as peak oil and climate change.

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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/04/prweb3899884.htm.


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