No matter where you are in the country, when there’s a heat wave during the summer, it’s going to create a spike in demand for electricity. In many areas, when this happens, the local utility company will have a harder time keeping up with the sudden spike in demand — and may be forced to buy electricity from other power generators at peak prices. This, in turn, means even higher electricity prices for homeowners.
This wasn’t the case last summer in Vermont during a weeks-long heat wave. The reason? Green Mountain Power’s new program involving Tesla Powerwall solar batteries.
Green Mountain Power’s Tesla Battery Initiative
Back in 2017, Green Mountain Power of Vermont began offering 2,000 customers the chance to own a Tesla Powerwall solar battery for just $1,500, plus $15 a month for $10 years. That’s a bargain when you consider the fact that it usually costs about $5,500 to purchase and install a Powerwall system.
The program is part of a GMP effort to create a growing network of stored energy it can draw on at times of high energy demand. Customers enjoy the benefits of solar plus battery storage on a daily basis, while GMP has a virtual power plant (VPP) it can use to stabilize the grid and supply extra electricity when needed.
The program proved to be a money saver for both GMP and GMP customers during two particularly hot weeks last summer. During the first week of July, GMP offset an estimated $500,000 by having access to free renewable energy, rather than having to purchase extra electricity at a higher rate. Then in early August, GMP offset an estimated $600,000 in just one week.
Stored Energy Is the Future
This program represents an initiative we’d love to see take root in other parts of the country. Adding battery storage to residential solar panel systems helps modernize the power grid, especially in areas that offer net metering (which allows utility companies to use and give customers credit for the excess electricity they generate). And even in areas that don’t offer net metering, homeowners enjoy having reduced reliance on the power grid.
As the GMP program illustrates, adding more stored energy to the power grid can also save utility companies and their customers money. In the words of Josh Castonguay, GMP vice president and chief innovation officer: “Our growing network of stored energy is what’s delivering unique savings to customers . . . This is what our new energy future looks like, delivering on innovations, while finding ways to cut costs and carbon.”
Start Enjoying the Benefits of Solar Plus Storage
Maryland homeowners don’t have to wait for a program like the GMP program to start enjoying the benefits of solar plus storage. Standard Energy Solutions, Maryland’s local solar company, has years of experience in installing solar energy systems with battery backup. Our solar installers work with high performance Sonnen battery systems to help homeowners maximize the benefits of stored solar energy. With a solar plus storage system, you can use your solar energy day and night, protect yourself from high time of use (TOU) rates, have backup power in the event of an outage, and so much more.