Wilson Ring | AP
A portion of the Stafford Hill solar power project gathers energy from the sun in Rutland, Vt., on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. With the completion of the project developed by Green Mountain Power, Vermont’s largest electric utility, the city of Rutland claimed it has more solar capacity, 7.8 megawatts, per capita than any other city in the New England region.
At the end of the program, Tesla will take back the batteries, though customers with Powerwalls will be able to keep them said Green Mountain Power spokeswoman Kristin Carlson.
Further deals may be in the works.
“Obviously, we are looking to grow this program,” Carlson said, “because we see this as our new energy future.”
Tesla said the batteries will eliminate the need for traditional, manually controlled, and fossil-fuel burning, backup generators.
Green Mountain expects the electricity batteries will also allow the utility to reduce peak energy load by 10 megawatts, the equivalent
This will allow the utility to more cheaply meet the highest levels of demand — often on hot days when homes and businesses run air conditioners.
“There is a time, usually in the summer when there is peak energy use, and that is when energy is most expensive,” Carlson said. “So anything we can do to lower that will save money for customers.”
Green Mountain Power also plans to dispatch electricity aggregated from the batteries into New England’s wholesale electricity markets when not needed by its own customers. Carlson said this will result in further savings for Green Mountain customers.
Tesla has done energy storage deals with utilities in such places as Connecticut, California, Hawaii and the U.K.