GMP partners with Tesla to provide batteries for all

by Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg

Climate-conscious Vermont utility, Green Mountain Power, is partnering with Tesla Inc. as it aspires to install battery systems in every home it serves.

Green Mountain Power, which aims to use all renewable energy by 2030, is launching a pilot program allowing 250 customers to get two Tesla Powerwall batteries for $30 a month, according to a statement Tuesday. Besides getting more bang from wind and solar and keeping lights on during outages, the batteries will measure energy use, rendering meters obsolete.

“Our vision — our dream — is that there ends up being a battery in every home and business,” Mary Powell, Green Mountain’s chief executive officer, said in an interview.

Sharply falling lithium-ion battery costs are enabling utilities to push wind and solar power onto grids even when the sun sets and breezes fall slack. Storage systems also help protect homes from outages during extreme weather because they don’t rely on transmission lines that topple in high winds.

Green Mountain is owned by Energir, a Montreal-based energy company, and serves about 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont. About 2,000 Powerwall batteries have already been installed in Green Mountain’s coverage area through an earlier program with Tesla, helping trim power usage when demand peaks on hot days, Powell said.

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