LOUISVILLE - RGS Energy, the commercial and utility division of Louisville-based Real Goods Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: RSOL), has partnered with a project financing company to co-develop seven solar projects totaling 4.5 megawatts in Vermont.

Financial terms of the transaction between RGS Energy and Waterbury, Vermont-based Green Lantern Capital were unavailable Monday.

RGS Energy will design, install, monitor and maintain the solar-power systems. The company said in a press statement that it expects to begin construction by summer and complete it by November.

The solar-power systems will be designed to generate more than 5.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. In the next 25 years, according to RGS, the solar energy produced would offset more than 204 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent to taking over 19,000 cars off the road or planting more than 2.3 million trees, based on Environmental Protection Agency data.

The new solar projects also will help Vermont reach its goal of 20 percent renewable energy by 2017.

"We have very deep solar roots in the Northeast, especially in Vermont where we have successfully installed more than 10 megawatts of solar, more than any other company," said Tim Seamans, RGS Energy's general manager, in the press statement. "In collaboration with Green Lantern Capital, we are expanding in this important market segment. We are proud that the design, management and construction of these projects will help bring new jobs to Vermont, while supporting the state's renewable energy goals."