BCBS goes solar in Vermont - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Distributed Generation, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  January 12, 2017

Blue Cross Blue Shield installs rooftop solar array

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont has completed a 150 kW net-metered solar array installation at its headquarters in Berlin, Vt.

The rooftop system is comprised of 860 panels, generating approximately 225,000 kWh per year, and is the largest renewable energy effort to date by the health insurer, according to a Jan. 9 news release. The project is expected to offset more than 169 tons of carbon dioxide per year, and will eventually produce enough electric power to reduce the nonprofit company's utility spend by $40,000 per year.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont said the move reflects an ongoing commitment to protecting its local environment. It partnered with its electric utility, Green Mountain Power, along with Peck Electric and Neville Companies on the project. 

"The solar panels not only represent our commitment to corporate social responsibility and preserving Vermont's pristine environment, but are part of a corporate initiative that is looking at all aspects of our work through the lens of environmental sustainability and cost savings," BCBS of Vermont President and CEO Don George said in a statement. "We are building a program that engages our employees, encourages personal responsibility and supports the culture in which we operate."

In early 2016, the company implemented a corporate sustainability initiative that involves a cross-divisional employee team to implement its mission; BCBS of Vermont said the solar installation, alongside the recent installation of high-efficiency light fixtures and other energy efficiency measures throughout the company, support that initiative. 

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