From left: SunCommon VP Tom Berry, GMP President Mary Powell, REV Executive Director Olivia Campbell Andersen and homeowner Carole McCay. VBM photo by Brandon Arcari
by Brandon Arcari, Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power has partnered with Renewable Energy Vermont on a new Bring-Your-Own-Device pilot program that will allow about 600 GMP customers to offset the costs of new energy-saving devices in their homes with incentives. The partnership, announced at the home of GMP customer Carole McCay in Hinesburg, was unveiled alongside the installation of a Tesla Powerwall battery sold by SunCommon for McCay to use as part of the program.
“We’re sharing in her move to storage, so that means on behalf of all the Vermonters we serve, we get to help kick carbon to the curb,” said GMP President Mary Powell.
The battery will allow McCay to store solar power from her solar panels and share it with her neighbors using GMP’s power grid when demand for power peaks, reducing the need for carbon-generating standby generators.
“It’s been a win-win for me, I haven’t paid an electric bill since I had the solar panels installed,” McCay said. “I’m delighted that I can now share some of my extra stored solar energy with neighbors during peak demand times.”
Tom Berry, the vice president of sales and marketing for SunCommon, said that the goal was to break down barriers to clean energy for customers.
“This is what the future looks like; solar on the roof, battery in the home,” he said. “The power that Carole is using and producing is locally sourced, that’s a lot like Vermont and Vermonters.”
REV Executive Director Olivia Campbell Andersen said that the choices that homeowners have as part of the program demonstrate that there is no longer a need for fossil fuels.
According to a press release promoting the program, the enhanced incentive offers $850 per kilowatt of energy storage enrolled in the program, and will offer customers in grid constrained areas who add batteries to existing solar systems an extra $150 per kilowatt.
For McCay, who said she spent about $9,000 on the battery, the incentive offered by GMP offset about half of the total cost.
“Clean energy appeals to me, it’s a little thing I can do for the environment,” she said.
The press release also featured an endorsement of the program by Governor Phil Scott.
“I'm proud of our leadership in energy innovation and this is another great example of Vermont companies collaborating to produce a stronger economy by lowering energy costs and addressing climate change,” Scott said. “This type of program – where every homeowner can participate –not only benefits those living here now, but reflects the ingenuity of our state as we work to attract more families.”
"We’re excited to be partnering with Green Mountain Power to help launch the BYOD program,” said Paul Lesure, Green Mountain Solar, General Manager/Partner. "Energy storage installations have been a growing part of our business over the last few years. This new program will provide customers greater options for energy storage and to really tailor the energy storage of the homes' needs.”
Powell said: “There is an urgent need to fight climate change and that means energy transformation right now, and partnerships like this one with customers and the renewable energy community are key to achieving our shared goals for Vermont. Together, we can use energy as a force for good and make a big difference for residents, the state, and the planet.”
Space in the pilot program is limited. When total enrollment reaches 2 megawatts of storage or about 600 customers, it will be full and no longer able to accept new customers.
Go to: https://greenmountainpower.com/bring-your-own-device/ for additional information.
GMP has a map of the areas of the state where battery storage is most needed.