A Vermont utility is among the first to offer a new storage battery hailed as a boon for residential solar power users.
Tesla, the company known for its fully electric cars, introduced a battery that stores energy from residential solar installations.
Green Mountain Power is one of the first to sign on as a distributor for Powerwall Batteries, despite the fact the technology could mean selling less power to its customers.
“We don’t claim to have it all figured out. We just know that resisting it is not a good strategy,” said GMP CEO Mary Powell.
For customers with home solar arrays, the battery will provide electricity when the sun isn’t shining, and during peak demand periods when electricity costs are higher.
The batteries also have the potential to reduce demand from fossil fuel sources during peak periods and help utilities better manage fluctuations in available power.
Powell says new technology is disrupting the traditional sources of revenue and GMP is trying to adjust to the change, and, she said, “figure out where we can add value so that we’re creating a new source of revenue to offset the loss of traditional revenue.”
The batteries sell for $3,000 to $3,500 dollars, not including installation.
Green Mountain Power will begin filling orders in the fall, first deploying the batteries to customers in Rutland.
The company says it will offer product incentives and financing, to be repaid in the form of charges to monthly bills, to help customers purchase batteries.
The company is also promoting the batteries as a backup source of power for customers who don’t have solar installations.
GMP says a battery would be capable of providing power for the duration of a vast majority of outages experienced by its customers.