Vermont Utility Allows Sale of Customers’ Renewable Energy
Vermont’s Green Mountain Power is a unique utility. It actually encourages the use of renewable energy and, as of December 2019, its customers will be the first in the U.S. able to sell the power they generate directly to local businesses through the utility’s Vermont Green pilot program.
This program may seem unusual, but it fits a low-carbon trend for GMP, which gets 60% of its own power from renewable sources; offers rebates and free level 2 charging stations for customers who purchase electric vehicles; and already offers bundles that include photovoltaic systems, Tesla battery storage, and EV charging stations.
The Vermont Green pilot project uses an app that allows net-metered customers to sell renewable energy credits (RECs) directly to businesses. These businesses use the same app to set the price, the amount of power, and how long they will use it. GMP then takes a small cut of the money from the REC sales. According to GMP, it allows businesses to—potentially—make their products or run their businesses using 100% renewable energy.
The system sounds simple, but there is a lot going on behind the scenes. The app and marketplace are monitored by GMP, but the Pando software being used was developed by LO3 Energy. According to GMP, the software is cloud-based and relies on blockchain technology to ensure transparency and the security of the transactions.
GMP is limiting the number of businesses to 50 and sellers to 200 for the pilot program, with the expectation of 500 MWh of per year moving through the system, according to PV Magazine.
Ehrlich, B. (2020, February 10). Vermont Utility Allows Sale of Customers’ Renewable Energy. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/newsbrief/vermont-utility-allows-sale-customers-renewable-energy