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Hula goes live with latest sustainability initiative, launching 1 megawatt ‘net positive’ solar array

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BURLINGTON, VT. (March 4, 2020) – Hula (, a collaborative innovation campus on the shores of Lake Champlain, went live with a key sustainability initiative in February—a rooftop solar installation providing campus-wide power and sending local renewable energy back into the Burlington electrical grid.

Hula worked with nearby SunCommon to install a pair of 500-kilowatt solar arrays on two newly renovated buildings, a ‘net positive’ effort that is one of many sustainability measures built into the 14-acre lakeside campus and business accelerator in the south end of Burlington.

At 1 megawatt, the solar installation will produce over 1 million kilowatt-hours per year, according to SunCommon. As one of the largest rooftop solar installations in Vermont, Hula’s installation will produce approximately 100 times more electricity than the average household in the United States each year.

“It seems like every day there’s a new report on climate change,” says Hula owner Russ Scully. “It’s not a problem one person can solve, but if everybody takes action we can make a difference, and that’s just what we’re trying to do at Hula. Renovating the Blodgett Oven Factory gave us the opportunity to build sustainability into every aspect of Hula. It’s something we’re proud of and we hope to set an example for others to follow.”

When Hula opens this summer, the SunCommon solar installation will power 170,000 square feet of floor space across three buildings. Energy efficiency has taken a top priority throughout the renovation process and Hula plans to continue providing renewable energy back to the grid even when all three buildings are fully operational.

In addition to striving for a net positive electrical output, Hula installed a geothermal system for heating and cooling, incorporated repurposed wood from nearby Centennial Field baseball stadium, rerouted the road to create greenspace on the lakefront, prohibits single-use plastic from the premises and is curating a community of tenants with shared sustainability values.

One of Hula’s future tenants, 1% for the Planet, is a global organization that connects dollars and doers to accelerate smart environmental giving. “1% for the Planet inspires people to support environmental organizations through annual memberships and everyday actions,” says 1% for the Planet CEO, Kate Williams. “Hula’s genuine focus on sustainability absolutely motivated us to move our Burlington headquarters to this net-positive facility. We look forward to sharing the space with other like-minded businesses supporting green initiatives.”

Hula plans to open this summer. In the meantime, the SunCommon solar system will continue to feed renewable power into the Burlington electrical grid through the construction process.


Hula is creating a new innovation district for Vermont’s high-growth businesses on the shores of Lake Champlain. The 170,000 square feet of building space has been reimagined from an industrial oven factory into a net-zero campus designed to maximize collaboration between already established businesses, new startups, investors and experts. The three renovated buildings will provide office space and designated coworking desks for 800+ people. Steps from Lake Champlain, Hula has an indoor/outdoor event space for 500+ people, a full-service cafe, a fitness center and the Burlington Surf Club right next door.

For more information on Hula, please contact Cassidy Petit,