Green Mountain Power teams up with Tesla

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Last month, Green Mountain Power and Tesla partnered on a stored energy program designed to save customers money and use energy more efficiently.

The initiative utilizes Tesla’s Powerwall 2 – a battery energy storage system – along with the company’s GridLogic software program to reduce grid and customer cost by allowing energy to be stored during off-peak hours when the price is lower.

“The reason why this program is so transformational is that it saves all of our customers money – those with and without the battery,” said Kristin Carlson, vice president of strategic and external affairs at GMP. “This is the first of its kind in the country.”

GMP estimates the program will reduce up to 10 megawatts of peak load, which is the equivalent of removing an average of the 7,500 customers from the grid, a company press release states.

“We have to build system to meet demand on [peak] days,” Carlson said. “What we’re doing is chipping back how much were using.”

In addition to storing energy from the grid, the Powerwall can also be paired with solar rooftop panels, allowing customers to generate and amass their own power on a smaller scale.

The project also employs an energy sharing system, and anyone that signs up for the Powerwall through GMP agrees to shared access, Carlson said.

By using both solar power and stored energy, users can ensure they don’t have any power outages, Carlson said. This process could also help people who want to go off-grid or be disconnected for extended periods do just that, she added.

“From a customer prospective, if you’re getting a Tesla Powerwall battery, they can last 10 to 12 hours. The average outage is about two hours,” Carlson said. “It’s cleaner than a standard generator.”

For $15 a month or a $1,300 flat-fee, customers can receive 10 years of backup power for their home, a press release said, eliminating the need for fossil fuel-powered generators. Since the program launched in early May, more than 1,000 customers have signed up, Carlson said.

Rated for indoor and outdoor installation, the Powerwall has a 5-kilowatt continuous use capacity and 7-kilowatt peak. The device can operate between -4 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit, according to GMP’s website, and weighs about 265 pounds.

GMP will also work with Tesla to bundle battery storage technology with Powerpack, a Tesla product that offers commercial consumers and energy providers greater efficiency by allowing them to shift energy consumption timing and discharging during peak demand, according to Tesla’s website.

GMP plans to install Powerpacks on utility land, and the two companies will also work toward integrating the aggregated, or bundled, resources into New England’s wholesale electricity markets, a press release said.

“This is a way to bend the cost curve and lower cost for our customers,” Carlson said. “We are laser-focused on how to drive down costs for customers while increasing reliability. On those peak demand days, anything we can do to lower use is beneficial.”