COLCHESTER, VT November 2, 2011
1,000 days ago, Green Mountain Power (GMP) announced an ambitious goal to install and help its customers install 10,000 solar panels in 1,000 days. GMP announced today that it has exceeded that goal with more than 26,000 panels installed or approved for installation within its service territory.
“Our customers clearly want more solar, and we are determined to help provide it,” says Mary Powell, the company’s President and CEO. “Local distributed generation from renewable energy has economic and environmental benefits for our customers and for Vermont. In-state development of renewable energy promotes the green economy, creating jobs, and enhancing Vermont’s energy independence.”
GMP-owned solar projects include 952 panels in Berlin, 616 panels on the roof of the company’s Montpelier headquarters, and 308 panels at its Westminster Service Center. The company has also partnered with its customers to build 530 panels in a “solar orchard” at Shelburne Farms, 412 solar panels at National Life Group, and 345 panels at Camels Hump Middle School. The electric vehicle charging stations at the company’s Colchester offices are solar powered, and the three public charging stations at St. Michael’s College, Healthy Living Market on Dorset Street, and in downtown Montpelier will also use the sun to generate electricity.
Green Mountain Power set the stage for increasing the adoption of solar energy by customers through its SolarGMP initiative, which was approved by the Public Service Board in July 2008. SolarGMP pays customers 6¢/kWh (kilowatthour) for all the solar energy they produce. GMP would rather pay its customers to produce solar power, especially during peak demand times, rather than buy expensive power from out of state.
In-state solar generation plays an important role in the mix of renewable energy because production tends to be highest on hot summer days, when air conditioning drives up the demand for electricity. “The more solar panels we have on line, the less electricity we have to buy from the New England regional market during peak times, which comes from expensive and higher carbon-emitting sources,” says Powell.
In addition to solar, the company’s renewable generation sources include hydro, farm methane, wood, energy from landfill trash, and utility scale wind.
About Green Mountain Power Green Mountain Power generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in Vermont and is a leader in wind and solar generation. It serves more than 96,000 customers. www.greenmountainpower.com.