Vermont regulators approve GMP energy storage programs

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Vermont regulators approve GMP energy storage programs

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 1:10pm -- tim

Public Utility Commission Ruling Paves Way for New GMP Powerwall and Bring Your Own Device Battery Programs

Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power (GMP) customers now have two new home battery programs they can enroll in starting on June 5, after a Vermont Public Utility Commission order issued late Wednesday. GMP’s Tesla Powerwall and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs are both modeled on the company’s popular and groundbreaking pilot programs that have shown proven cost savings for all GMP customers, while providing convenient and seamless back up power to participating customers during outages. GMP is the first utility in the country to get tariff approval to offer customers these types of programs.

“Team Vermont is again leading the way in home energy storage, and we’re so glad to be able to help grow this green economy by working together with our customers and partners in energy innovation in Vermont,” said Mari McClure, GMP’s president and CEO. “This work to drive down costs for all customers and increase resiliency and safety is always important but is highlighted even more now during this extraordinary time.  We are pleased to offer affordable energy storage solutions for more residential customers in a way that saves money for all GMP customers,” she said.

GMP’s BYOD tariff, developed in partnership with solar companies and Renewable Energy Vermont (REV), offers up to $10,500 in upfront incentives to customers purchasing their own batteries through local installers. At least 500 customers can enroll each year, up to five MW of stored energy annually. Customers can choose from several battery brands, and the amount of stored power they enroll determines the amount of their upfront savings. Customers enrolled in this program also help to lower costs for all GMP customers by providing access to stored energy during peak demand times.

GMP’s Powerwall tariff allows up to 500 customers to enroll each year in the program. They will pay $55 per month for two Powerwall batteries in a 10-year lease which covers standard installation, with the option of five more years at no additional cost. Customers can alternatively pay $5,500 up front if they choose. Customers also agree to share their stored energy with GMP during peak energy use times, which helps to lower costs for all GMP customers. Combined, the BYOD and Powerwall programs are projected to create millions of dollars in savings for all GMP customers.

“Thanks to the new GMP incentives, reliable and safer electric battery storage is even more affordable for Vermonters.  Seamless, automatic and gas free back-up with battery storage charged by local renewables is the best way to weather storms and keep the lights on in your home or business,” said Olivia Campbell Anderson, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont. “Vermonters can work with any of the more than 3 dozen local installers and choose what battery works best for them.”

GMP’s original pilot BYOD and Powerwall programs were wildly popular with customers, filling up quickly. GMP customer Megan Cannuci of Proctor, Vermont has a Powerwall and says it is exciting that more Vermonters will be able to enjoy the same seamless backup power her family had during the severe Halloween storm last year. “We have four kids, and having that battery backup is peace of mind. We were the only home around with the lights still on, and the neighbors all came over. This is an affordable option for families,” she said.

The enrollment process for the incentives start June 5th, and both tariffs will be in place for the next two years when they will be reviewed. Customers can enroll directly with REV members offering participating battery storage services including: Building Energy Services, Catamount Solar, DC Energy Innovations, Grassroots Solar, Green Earth Energy, Green Mountain Electrical Supply, Green Mountain Solar, Harvestar Power, Integrated Solar Applications, Integrity Energy, Norwich Solar Technologies, Nunez Electric, O’Meara Solar, Peck Electric, Positive Energy, Power Guru, PV Squared, Radiant Works, RAK Solar Services, ReVision Energy, Robert Stubbins Electrical, Same Sun of Vermont, Saxtons River Solar Electric, Smith & McClain, Solaflect Energy, Solar Dave, Solar Pro, Solartech, Southern Vermont Solar, Sun Catcher, SunCommon, Sunrun, and USA Solar Store. 

“This is great news, and it is exactly what we should be doing to make a more resilient Vermont. We are happy to work with GMP, and have many customers who have been waiting for this approval to come through so they can install batteries through these programs. The incentives are excellent, and lower the costs for customers, while also providing an important economic boost to my business, ” said Bhima Nitta, of Power Guru, a solar and storage company based in North Bennington, Vermont.

Starting on June 5, customers can start the enrollment process through GMP’s web site

About Green Mountain Power

Green Mountain Power (GMP) serves approximately 266,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and is partnering with them to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective and reliable power in Vermont. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. GMP earned a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list four years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020).  J.D. Power’s 2018 and 2019 rankings put GMP among top utilities for customer satisfaction. In 2019 and 2020 GMP was named “One of the Best Places To Work in Vermont” by Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and was the winner of the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year Award in 2019.

Source: COLCHESTER, Vt. – Green Mountain Power 5.21.2020