Crystal Rock


Crystal Rock Solar PV System Goes Live

300 kW Photovoltaic System Installed and Operational at Crystal Rock/Vermont Pure Watertown, Conn., Bottling Facility

WATERTOWN, Conn., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Crystal Rock LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vermont Pure Holdings Ltd. (AMEX: VPS - News), the largest independent home and office distributor of its kind in the United States, today announced that the 300kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system at the company's Watertown, Conn., bottling facility is now operational and generating electricity.

Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell spoke at the system's unveiling today. "I am proud of Connecticut's commitment to the environment," Rell said. "Crystal Rock is setting a wonderful example as a company that equally values the economic and environmental bottom lines." Also attending the unveiling ceremony were Connecticut State Sen. Rob Kane and State Rep. Sean Williams, the ranking member of the House Energy and Technology Committee.

The installation of 1,661 solar panels to the rooftop of Crystal Rock's bottling facility represents the company's latest effort to reduce its energy footprint and improve its operating efficiency. The solar installation is expected to supply about 28 percent of the facility's total electrical needs; when the facility does not need electricity -- such as weekends and holidays -- it can supply and "sell" that electricity to the grid at the retail rate. The installation is expected to produce more than 300,000 kW of power annually, with an estimated 124 metric-ton reduction in CO2 emissions.

"We are excited to establish a renewable power source for our own use as well as for the State of Connecticut," said Peter Baker, CEO of Crystal Rock/Vermont Pure Holdings, Ltd. "To date, this is our largest capital investment in our continuing effort to be a more environmentally friendly corporate citizen in the communities we serve throughout New England, New York, and New Jersey. We have undertaken lighting and energy efficiency projects at our facilities throughout the Northeast and instituted no-idle policies, and continue to research and experiment with biodiesel and other fuel additives for our truck fleet. We believe that these efforts not only benefit our business but are also simply the right and responsible thing to do."

American Capital Energy, a commercial solar developer, and the Connecticut office of Solar Works, Inc., based in Vermont, handled design, engineering and installation of the solar project.

"Crystal Rock is a leader in positive environmental action and Connecticut is one of the most forward-thinking states in regard to encouraging investment in solar and other alternative energies," said Tom Hunton, president of American Capital Energy. "The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund has helped to create a very positive environment for companies seeking to simultaneously enhance their business advantage, lower dependence on external energy sources and act in an environmentally conscious manner. We look forward to working with them on future projects."

"Crystal Rock has taken a significant step in weaning their operations from dependence on grid power. Not only will they be able to reduce their energy costs, but they will also enjoy a healthy return on investment, with significant benefits in the future as these systems have a life expectancy of 25 years or more," Hunton said.

Vermont Pure Holdings, Ltd. paid $2.2 million for the solar installation project, of which up to $1.3 million will be provided by a grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), a ratepayer fund administered by Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CI). CCEF's funding was provided through its On-site Renewable Distributed Generation (DG) Program.

Lise Dondy, president of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, said, "We are pleased to have helped make possible the solar installation at Crystal Rock and applaud the company's ongoing efforts to be a good environmental steward. The solar installation we celebrate here today will not only benefit the environment and help stabilize the company's energy costs but will also benefit ratepayers by reducing demand on the electric grid during peak hours."

After 3 p.m., photos, video, a fact sheet and realtime power production charts from the Crystal Rock solar installation will be available at http://www.crystalrock.mediafilex.com .

About Vermont Pure Holdings, Ltd.

Vermont Pure Holdings, Ltd. (AMEX: VPS - News), the largest independent home and office distributor of its kind in the United States, markets water, coffee and other home and office refreshment products throughout the Northeast. The Company bottles and distributes natural spring water under the Vermont Pure® brand and purified water with minerals added under the Crystal Rock® label. The majority of its sales are derived from a route distribution system that delivers water in 3- to 5-gallon reusable and recyclable bottles. The Company continues to set high standards in the bottled water industry through its technical innovation, commitment to the environment and by integrating its family roots into relationships with employees and customers. More information is available at http://www.crystalrock.com.

About American Capital Energy, Inc.

American Capital Energy provides full-service solar energy project integration and installation for large commercial enterprises. The company is committed to furthering the utilization of solar energy by America's most forward thinking companies by offering customized turnkey solar systems designed for long term performance and verifiable return on investment. American Capital Energy is run by solar project professionals with decades of combined experience in project development and deep knowledge in the solar industry. The company is currently designing and installing the largest single roof-mounted solar array in the United States for the Atlantic City Convention Center (ACCC) and Pepco Energy Services. For more on American Capital Energy, please visit http://www.americancapitalenergy.com.

About Solar Works, Inc.

Solar Works, Inc. is a solar electric systems integrator in the Northeast serving commercial, institutional and residential customers. Over the past 28 years, Solar Works has installed over 1,000 renewable energy systems. Founded in 1980, Solar Works, based in Montpelier, Vt., with offices throughout the Northeast, is active in commercializing new technologies and developing renewable energy programs for both public and private sector clients. For more information, visit http://www.solar-works.com

About the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF)

CCEF was created by the Connecticut General Assembly and is funded by the electric ratepayers. CCEF's mission is to promote, develop and invest in clean energy sources for the benefit of Connecticut's ratepayers in order to strengthen Connecticut's economy, protect community health, improve the environment, and promote a secure energy supply for the state. CCEF is administered by Connecticut Innovations, a quasi-public authority. For more information on CCEF, please visit http://www.ctcleanenergy.com .

Source: Crystal Rock LLC