Vermont utility Green Mountain Power has lots of experience tapping distributed batteries and solar for their grid benefits.
Through a combination of early pilot projects and ongoing programs, it’s built up a fleet of nearly 4,000 households with solar-battery systems, capable of shaving peak loads and cutting capacity costs, as well as keeping the lights on during storms. It’s also building its own megawatt-scale solar-storage systems to balance its increasing share of utility-scale solar.
Increasingly, GMP sees the distributed solar-battery combination as a critical part of its climate change grid resiliency efforts as well. In fact, it’s prepared to build them first, and then ask state regulators if they’re satisfied that they’ve met their promised capabilities, before they earn a rate of return on them.
“We believe in the work so much, if the commission agrees this plan makes sense, we’ll move forward with the work at our own risk," says Josh Castonguay, GMP’s chief innovation officer.