GMP to buy power from Great River Hydro

The hydro-electric facilty in Bellows Falls is rated at 49 megawatts. VBM file photo.

Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power (GMP) today announced a power purchase agreement with Great River Hydro to provide clean, cost-effective, local and reliable power for customers. The power purchase agreement, subject to Public Utility Commission review and approval, is for 30 years starting in 2023.

The contract creates long-term stability in GMP’s power supply while also enabling opportunity for more local renewables as Vermont pushes to meet clean energy goals to combat climate change.

GMP’s purchases from Great River Hydro’s local and regional facilities along the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers will increase over time, just as other GMP power supply agreements step down, but will cover a smaller portion of GMP’s load. This will create opportunity for other complementary local and regional renewables like solar and wind, especially as customers transition heating and transportation to clean electricity as a part of Vermont’s climate goals.

Energy deliveries will ramp up to approximately 625,000 MWh/year by 2033. For context, the average energy volume delivered under the PPA will be roughly 40 percent less than the volume of GMP's largest long-term resource commitment, the current long-term PPA with Hydro-Quebec.

The filing with the PUC states that the price for the Peaking Hydroelectric Energy starts at approximately $45/MWh, and the price for the Firm Hydroelectric Energy starts at approximately $47/MWh, each inclusive of the associated Environmental Attributes. The starting price will be subject to a fixed escalator with no market adjustment, locking in stable pricing based on a favorable market environment and providing stability and predictability over time.

“We are focused on delivering clean, cost-effective, reliable power to our customers 24/7, 365. This resource fits really well in our portfolio and still leaves open tremendous availability for other renewable sources,” said GMP President and CEO Mari McClure. “Identifying and securing a clean, cost-effective, reliable source of power close to where Vermonters will use it is key to speeding up our transition to a 100 percent carbon-free and renewable power supply by 2030.”

The contract provides strong value to GMP’s customers, as the price is favorable compared to other long-term term contracts in the region. Great River Hydro’s resource provides both baseload and peaking energy, providing cost-effective, renewable power, including at times when that power is most needed.

“Great River Hydro’s capabilities are unlike any other renewable generator in the region, either existing or planned,” said Scott Hall, president and CEO of Great River Hydro. “Green Mountain Power is leading the way to a carbon-free future and had the foresight to recognize that clean, renewable resources like Great River Hydro’s will be absolutely critical to getting there. We’re pleased to be partnering with GMP to help them reach their goals.”

A leading Vermont business, Killington Ski Resort, welcomed news of GMP’s energy agreement, as the resort is also focused on sustainability.

“GMP’s long-term agreement for cost-effective, clean power helps the resort with our Play Forever corporate responsibility commitment to protecting the environment, and provides stability, something that is important for any business. GMP looks ahead for their customers and they’ve been a great partner for us,” said Mike Solimano, president and general manager at Killington Ski Resort.

The agreement, filed with the Vermont Public Utility Commission today, will be posted in the Regulatory section of GMP’s Website.

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). In 2019 GMP was honored by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Business Magazine with the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year Award.

About Great River Hydro, LLC

Great River Hydro (GRH) is New England’s largest conventional hydropower generator. GRH’s unique fleet pairs large quantities of reservoir storage with 13 sequentially located and highly coordinated hydropower stations to produce enough renewable, carbon-free electricity every year to power approximately 213,000 homes in the region. Great River Hydro’s facilities are located on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

Source: COLCHESTER, Vt. – Green Mountain Power 3.4.2021