In This State: Leigh Seddon’s 35 years in the solar power biz 0

Leigh Seddon Howard Dean
Leigh Seddon Howard Dean
Leigh Seddon, right, joins Gov. Howard Dean in commissioning the state’s first solar array in May 1994, at the General Services Center in Middlesex.

Leigh Seddon, you could say, made hay while the sun shone.

For 35 years he has been a solar enthusiast, visionary, entrepreneur and consultant – in short, one of Vermont’s chief proponents of harnessing sunshine to create electricity. He has seen solar grow in Vermont from the simple photovoltaic systems installed by off-grid back-to-the-land types of yore to the now, seemingly ubiquitous rooftop displays and those solar “orchards” with thousands of panels.

“Solar ‘orchards’ are everywhere. It’s just exploding,” he says, sitting in the kitchen of his home in Montpelier, a house powered by solar. His roof – its actual weathering surface – consists of glass modules producing more than 100 percent of what he and his wife need, the surplus continually feeding Green Mountain Power Corp., but available as a credit if needed.

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