Grant helps Green Mountain Power make battery storage affordable

Green Mountain Power is offering Tesla Powerwall 2.0 batteries to 100 customers, free of charge.

A $150,000 grant from the Vermont Low Income Trust for Electricity will pay for the cutting-edge technology and installation in the homes of low-income customers with significant need for backup power reliability due to health and mobility issues. The utility is reaching out to customers who qualify.

Tesla Powerwall batteries provide backup power like a standard generator, but Powerwalls turn on automatically and are cleaner. They can be charged from power off the grid, or with a customer’s own home solar array and offer eight to 12 hours of energy, according to GMP.

The utility’s Powerwall program aims to deploy 2,000 batteries. Customers would pay $15 per month per battery, or a one-time payment of $1,500, the company said.

The VLITE grant will set aside 100 batteries and completely cover the cost for customers in need.

“GMP’s innovative program will make a meaningful difference for these customers and we’re so glad this grant will help,” said Dick Marron of Stowe, chair of VLITE’s board of directors. “We are proud of this type of partnership and the benefits it can provide.”

GMP customers benefit from this network of stored energy because the utility uses it to offset costs during times of peak power demand. For example, during the July heat wave, stored energy helped cut $500,000 in costs for all GMP customers, company officials said.

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