On Aug. 12, 2016, roughly 265,000 Green Mountain Power customers in Vermont collectively saved $200,000. Even though they probably don’t know it, that’s thanks to the 2-megawatt Stafford Hill Solar Farm and its 3.4-megawatt-hour energy storage system near Rutland, VT.
“When we combine solar and battery storage, it opens a whole world of possibilities for our customers, and reducing peak demand saving $200,000 in just one hour is one example of how we’re delivering on our promise to customers.This is the future of energy and it’s never been more exciting. GMP is helping customers generate power from clean, affordable energy sources closer to where it is used, and when paired with battery storage that energy can be used during outages and to help reduce peak energy demand, reducing costs for all customers,”said Mary Powell, president and CEO of Green Mountain Power.
The region’s peak usage day in 2016 was August 12, a scorching 90-degree Fahrenheit day for the region, and for a peak demand hour the solar farm and energy storage system enabled Green Mountain Power to reduce its need for electricity from other electric generators by supplementing the grid with solar power and power stored in the battery system at the Stafford Hill installation. Hence saving it’s customers $200,000 in electric costs had it sourced the power from elsewhere.
“Through careful planning, we anticipated when the New England peak load would occur, and worked tirelessly to ensure that control technology would enable us to draw down the power from Stafford Hill providing significant benefit to customers,” said Powell.
Green Mountain Power has been integrating more and unique solar projects into its energy portfolio since at least 2013 when it announced it was working with NRG Residential Solar Solutions in Rutland to develop a 150-kilowatt pilot community solar project. That project allowed 50 residential and commercial customers to buy into the project with no up-front costs. Likewise, The McNight Lane Affordable Housing Development in Waltham, VT is a mobile home park where each of 14 homes were outfitted a with 6-kilowatt solar array and energy storage system.
The Stafford Hill Solar Farm is another such example of what’s still a unique application of solar power and energy storage. Built on a repurposed, capped landfill, it is a creative and purposeful application of solar power and storage and has proven it is saving customers money on their utility bills in Vermont.
“Reducing Vermont’s peak load delivers significant cost savings and environmental benefits. GMP has done great work here and it’s really just the beginning. Going forward, we are working collaboratively with GMP and other utilities to build on their innovative work to secure even greater customer savings statewide,” said Tom Dunn, VELCO president and CEO.Tweet