Solar Cutting Vermont’s Electricity Costs

The current population of the state of Vermont is estimated to be 624,263 people. In October 2018, the utilities used only renewable energy to generate electricity in the state. Hydropower (58.3%) is the primary source of renewable energy in Vermont. A significant percentage of electrical power is imported from Canada, which contributes to the state’s high power costs. The average cost of electricity in Vermont is U.S. 18.4 ¢ per kWh, which is the eighth most expensive price in the United States.

The Vermont Public Utility Commission has recently approved the first of three solar plus storage projects by Green Mountain Power (GMP). The project will be located in Essex County and will combine a 4.5 MW photovoltaic solar array with a 2 MW battery storage system. GMP is an electric utility, headquartered in Colchester, Vermont. GMT is a subsidiary of Northern New England Energy Corporation an electric and natural gas utility, headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont.

The Essex solar array will produce approximately 8,000 MW-Hours of electricity annually under a 25-year power purchase agreement. The Tesla Powerpack storage system can provide electrical output for up to four hours, at a levelized cost of about 8 ¢ per kilowatt-hour. The Essex solar array plus storage project will cost about $14.3 million. Construction on this solar plus storage project will begin in April 2019 and will take approximately four months to complete.
I applaud GMP for developing the solar plus storage project, which will reduce customers electricity costs. The cost of electricity from wind and solar is now the cheapest form of power in the United States. Economics now make renewable energy the only choice for all utilities across America.

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