Vermont’s Green Mountain Power (GMP) said it is the first utility in the US to provide residential and commercial customers a chance to go off-grid. The utility is offering an incentive package that combines rooftop solar arrays, battery storage and home automation products.
GMP said that encouraging off-grid systems will help it retire outdated infrastructure for transporting electricity. A move that it said will lower the maintenance costs it would otherwise pass on to customers.
“This off-grid suite of products illustrates very well where energy is going and for us at GMP, we are not only part of the transformation, we are leading the revolution towards clean, affordable, local and highly reliable power,” said GMP President and CEO Mary Powell. “Our energy future is one where more of our energy is generated closer to where it is needed and is home, business and community-based. We are excited to partner with customers in a way that leverages innovation to deliver a more cost-effective, reliable and cleaner energy system.”
The package of incentives could reduce participating customers’ carbon emissions by more than 30 percent. Off-grid package customers will pay a flat monthly fee rather than pay the net-metering rates based on the fluctuating power produced by grid-tied systems. Off-grid homes and businesses will no longer add to the high demand on peak electric usage days, like the hottest days during the summer, by utilizing battery storage systems.
GMP is already putting this into practice and demonstrated how energy storage and solar can save money for its customers. It reduced peak energy demand on the hottest day of 2016 by saving its customers approximately $200,000 in one hour, just by supplementing the grid with solar power and power stored in the battery system near its Stafford Hill solar farm.
“At GMP we are laser focused on driving down costs for all of our customers, which is why customers are paying less today than they were three years ago,” Powell said.
GMP continues to integrate unique renewable energy options into its power producing portfolio. In September 2015, GMP partnered with solar company Yeloha to pilot a program that gives customers access to solar power by installing PV arrays on a host house or business. The power produced by the arrays provide electricity to other homes and businesses that opt-in to the program.Tweet