US electrical utility Green Mountain Power is partnering with renewable energy company NRG Energy in a bid to position Vermont as a leader in cost-effective sustainable energy solutions.

With the largest service area in the state of Vermont, Green Mountain Power hopes to use the collaboration to help customers make savings and better manage their electricity consumption.

Mary Powell, president and CEO of Green Mountain Power, said: “This partnership is a really big deal for our customers and for Vermont.

“Our partner NRG Energy sees in Vermont the same potential that we at GMP have recognized for years. Our customers consistently tell us they want tools to save money and move to renewable energy sources, and we can show the rest of the country how to get there.

She added: “This is what our energy future looks like.”

Microgrid development

Kicking off in early 2015, the partnership has the development of an advanced distribution grid in the city of Rutland at its core.

Leveraging NRG’s microgrid capabilities, the two companies expect to transform the distribution grid from a 100-year-old electric delivery model to a market-based platform designed to create efficiencies and distributed energy solutions through renewable technologies and energy storage, explained David Crane, president and CEO of NRG.

Mr Crane said: “Through this partnership, we hope to demonstrate that investing in a 21st century energy eco-system that is more sustainable, resilient, affordable and individually empowering for the people of Vermont is more sensible than pouring more investment into the creaky old grid infrastructure from the 20th century.

“In the course of so doing, we will also prove that the concepts of ‘electric utility’, ‘renewables’ and ‘personal choice’ are not mutually exclusive.”

Smart energy solutions

Green Mountain Power will offer customers a menu of energy management tools including the chance to participate in demand response, in which they voluntarily reduce their use of electricity for specific periods in return for payments or credits on their bill, electric vehicle charging stations and micro-generation solutions.

Read more: NRG Energy to demonstrate renewables microgrid on Branson’s Necker Island