Vermont utility uses battery storage for energy metering


Green Mountain Power, an energy provider to 265,000 consumers in the US state of Vermont, is testing how battery energy storage can be used to measure energy delivery whilst reducing consumer energy costs.

As part of the Resilient Home pilot programme, the utility is partnering with Tesla to replace traditional energy meters with a battery energy storage system.

The project is expected to provide consumers with increased resiliency during outages at the same time reducing their carbon footprint.

Customers participating in the pilot can buy two Tesla Powerwall batteries for $30 a month or purchase the battery via the utility’s Bring Your Own Device initiative at discounted price.

The batteries provide whole-home backup power, switching on seamlessly during outages like a generator.

The battery system will also provide energy metering capabilities. The service will include customers choosing a convenient, flat monthly price for power, and lock it in for a year.

Consumers can also generate excess revenue by selling their stored energy to the utility during times when demand on the main grid is high.

The pilot falls under efforts by the utility to prepare its customers for future business models and to adopt new technologies such as solar and smart devices.

The pilot is open to 250 consumers.

“As climate change impacts accelerate, we all must act and continue to innovate dramatic shifts in energy delivery that help customers, and GMP, to drive down carbon emissions,” said Mary Powell, President and CEO of Green Mountain Power. “We have a vision of a battery system in every single home. Our Resilient Home pilot program does this by breaking the old utility mold – transforming the way energy is delivered to customers, increasing their comfort and convenience in the face of increasing severity and frequency of storms in Vermont due to climate change.”

 “Subscription pricing is an exciting option for customers, that offers them an extra level of convenience and predictability,” said Chief Innovation Officer Josh Castonguay, who also leads Power Supply for the company.  “And from an innovation perspective, the most amazing part of this shift to battery-as-meter is that storage devices, like the Powerwall, have already proven incredibly useful in allowing us to manage the entire grid more effectively when you’re considering carbon and cost.”  Last summer, GMP’s network of stored energy saved customers more than $500,000 in a single day when the company used that shared power to drive down demand on the grid during the annual New England peak.

  “Partnering with customers on innovation like this is how we can help each other take on climate change and win. We have no time to lose,” said Powell, who recently announced a commitment to get GMP’s power supply to 100% renewable by 2030.

Read more on the Resilient Home pilot and the Bring Your Own Device programmes.