ECHO celebrates new renewable energy projects

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain on Friday celebrated the kickoff of renewable energy projects.

Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington, and officials from ECHO cut the ribbon on their Energy Commons project.

Phase one of energy commons includes solar panels covering the parking lot. It cost about $1.5 million.

It's part of the Queen's City goal to become a net-zero energy city.

The solar panels were designed to withstand high winds and bad weather close to the lake. The parking lot was also updated with new stormwater infrastructure.

"ECHO is all about us understanding, each one of us, about our ecological footprint. That footprint is as much about water quality-- that's why stormwater is so important here-- but it's also about how do we manage and use our electricity, but of course, how do we produce it also," said Phelan Fretz of ECHO.

Forty percent of ECHO's power will now be produced right in the parking lot.