Green Mountain Power (GMP), Vermont’s largest utility, on Saturday announced a goal to reach 100% carbon-free resources by 2025 and 100% renewables by 2030.
The utility’s IRP identifies distributed energy resources as central to reaching that goal, including small-scale generation and storage facilities. GMP plans to add 50 MW to 100 MW of storage over the next 10 years in order to reach its renewable energy goals.
90% of GMP’s power is already carbon free, according to the utility, which serves 264,000 customers. GMP is currently rolling out a Tesla residential storage program and has two more solar-plus-storage projects pending regulatory approval.
While GMP was already well on its way to carbon-free electricity, the renewables goal will push the utility to wean off its out-of-state nuclear power that currently supplies almost 30% of its generation.
Just over 60% of the utility’s electricity in 2018 was powered by hydroelectricity — the utility owns 44 hydro projects along with 12 solar, six oil-fired and two wind projects. The rest of its generation comes from out of state power purchase agreements.
Solar makes up less than 2% of its current generation portfolio, but in its IRP the utility said it hopes its growing storage portfolio will allow for larger deployment of the resource as it phases out reliance on out-of-state nuclear and fossil fuels.
In May of 2017, GMP partnered with Tesla to offer residential battery storage at $15/month, which the utility in July of last year said ended up saving customers $500,000 by reducing peak demand during a mid-summer heat wave. At the time, only 500 of the slated 2,000 batteries had been deployed to and the utility is continuing to roll out the program.
In January, the Vermont Public Utilities Commission approved the first of three GMP solar plus storage projects totaling 14.4 MW solar and 6 MW of energy storage. Vermont has a goal to reach 75% renewable energy by 2032.
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