By Diane Cardwell, New York Times
The projects are part of a bold experiment aimed at turning homes, neighborhoods and towns into virtual power plants, able to reduce the amount of energy they draw from the central electric system. But behind them are not green energy advocates or proponents of living off the land. Instead, it’s the local electric company, Green Mountain Power.
Green Mountain’s chief executive, Mary Powell, sees the program here as the best way to please customers while making the system more environmentally and physically sustainable. “Customers, especially in Vermont with the energy-independence values that people have, want to move more toward self-generation.”
Read more here.
Top Photo: Each unit of the McKnight Lane development in Waltham, Vermont, has solar panels installed on the roof. Credit: Jacob Hannah for The New York Times
By Jennifer Runyon, Chief Editor of Renewable Energy World Magazine
Burlington, VT-based Green Mountain Power is testing a new program that it hopes will result in dollar and carbon-emission savings for both customers and itself. Its Off-Grid package includes an energy efficiency audit in partnership with Efficiency Vermont, a solar array, battery storage, home automation controls that allow customers to manage energy resources and usage, and a generator for backup that may be used for short periods of time if needed. In addition to producing their own clean energy, customers will have a flat monthly fee for their energy instead of the fluctuations they experience today. Read more here.
ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST
New Book: Off Grid Solar, by Joseph P. O’Connor, is a pocket guide and quick reference for anyone looking to build a solar system with the free sunshine available to us all. “The limitations to widespread solar are not centered on the cost, the efficiency, or the need for advancements in technology. The limitations are solely due to the lack of widespread knowledge on the subject.”
- Potential model for Nebraska municipalities? Vermont public power utilities net savings on solar with federal bonds, other steps, American Public Power Association News
- Why Michigan’s energy overhaul mattered to Grand Rapids Schools, other districts, Michigan Live. “This is a huge win for schools and for the electric choice program,” said, Tim Peraino, president of Michigan Schools Energy Cooperative, whose group says schools have saved in excess of $125 million in energy costs. There are about 100 schools across the state on the wait list.
- Wisconsin can’t ignore climate change, Coulee News
- CLEAN ENERGY as a matter of CONSCIENCE, Journal Gazette Opinion
- Southwest Power Pool seeks DOE approval for electricity sales into Canada, Utility Dive
- Hawaii utilities map out plans for 100% renewables, American Public Power Association News
- New Toolkit from U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Program
- Better Buildings Energy Efficiency Financing Navigator
- City of Milwaukee PACE Implementation Model: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program, Better Buildings Program