VLS Energy Clinicians, IEE Research Associates, and IEE Global Energy Fellows at Solarfest 2014 in Tinmouth, Vermont
Energy Clinic Overview
Beginning with the 2014 fall semester, the Institute for Energy and the Environment launched what is believed to be the only full academic year energy clinic at a law school in the U.S. Vermont Law School's Energy Clinic, will provide opportunities for JD, LLM and Masters students to progressively develop the knowledge, skills, and values integral to the practice of energy law and policy, while helping our clients meet local energy needs with reliable, clean and affordable resources. Energy clinicians will undertake projects to resolve energy policy challenges, in a sustainable and socially equitable manner, for both the local community and the world.
During the Energy Clinic's first year, energy clinicians are actively working locally to develop and promote improved models for community solar that maximize the environmental and economic benefits available for the community members. Student clinicians will develop model group net metering and purchase power agreements that will be openly available for community use. Clinicians will also utilize these agreements to collaborate with solar installers and community based organizations to advance one or more community solar projects. According to professor Kevin Jones, "the Energy Clinic allows us to expand upon classroom theory and give students the opportunity to develop the actual legal structures for community solar, as well as implement real projects, including spending a day on site installing the solar PV arrays."
Future projects will promote both climate change mitigation and adaptation. In addition to community solar, future clinicians can expect to work on client projects to support building energy efficiency, electric vehicle infrastructure, and local energy system resiliency.
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Boardman Hill Solar Farm under construction in West Rutland, Vermont.
VLS Energy Clinicians advised the landowners, who run a Vermont Land Trust conserved organic farm, on how to ensure that all future member owners of this unique 180 kW community solar project keep the renewable energy credits bundled with the net metered energy and thus reduce Vermont's carbon footprint. Unfortunately, too many so-called community solar projects are separating the RECs from the net metered energy and not reducing the local carbon footprint as net metered customers often believe. Because of the work of the VLS Energy Clinic, not only will this farmland be forever conserved, but the solar farm will for the next 20 years reduce the farms and the LLC member owners local carbon footprint. At the VLS Energy Clinic we work for sustainable energy solutions for the local community and the world.
Energy Clinic Resources
Professor Kevin Jones explains on WCAX the :30 why Vermont's renewable energy programs are flawed and do not lead to additional greenhouse gas reductions.
Energy Clinicians, Jacinta and Thea, participate in the People's Climate March in NYC along with VLS Professor Pat Parenteau. VLS had an amazing group of students and faculty participating in the march.
The first ever VLS Energy Clinic Team at the Eaton House working on improved legal and business models for community owned solar.