GMP’s Pioneering Grid Transformation Work Highlighted in Global Ranking for “Flipping the Switch on Energy Generation”
COLCHESTER, Vt. – Green Mountain Power (GMP) is ranked the fifth Most Innovative Company in North America by Fast Company. Fast Company highlighted GMP’s pioneering work to deliver real world, first-of-its-kind solutions to fight climate change through grid transformation using microgrids and battery storage saying GMP “continues to build greater energy resiliency and grid stability without fossil fuels,” adding that GMP “reflects the best values of their region: brilliant problem-solving and an irrepressible spirit.”
“I am pleased, and proud Green Mountain Power has been recognized as one of the ten most innovative companies in North America by Fast Company, reflecting its important work on distributed energy storage,” said Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. “Being able to store clean energy for later use is key to shifting away from our nation’s reliance on fossil fuels and withstanding climate driven weather events. Vermont and GMP are leaders in addressing this challenge at the level of both individual households and communities. I applaud the company for its successful work in this area and for this deserved recognition.”
“This is incredible recognition of the hard work underway in Vermont to create lower-cost renewable energy, store it locally and distribute it when Vermonters need it most,”said Mari McClure, GMP’s president and CEO. “This work builds on our commitment to empower our customers to reduce their carbon footprint and increase energy resilience. The future of energy is here.”
GMP partnered with the community of Panton, Vt. to build the first distribution circuit microgrid in the country powered solely by renewable energy, in this case, solar, which is stored in utility-scale batteries. When weather strikes and the larger grid goes down, dozens of homes, farms, and municipal buildings in the center of town can still have power because of this smaller microgrid. GMP engineers worked tirelessly to design the innovative use of inverters and grounding banks to achieve this microgrid, and because the approach can be replicated, GMP is working with other communities to roll out similar microgrids across Vermont.
“GMP has been an excellent partner for our community for years throughout this groundbreaking work. The project here is giving us extra peace of mind during storms – we can get that seamless clean backup power no matter what is happening,” said Howard Hall, Panton’s Select Board Chair.
Also in 2021, GMP launched a first-in-the-nation program called the “Frequency Regulation Pilot Program” to connect residential, or home-based batteries into a system that helps keep the regional grid balanced adding additional reliability and safety across the system. This pilot program is proving home batteries can transform the grid, reduce carbon emissions, and cut costs by pulling energy stored in 200 Powerwall batteries into a single power source that can be used when the grid would otherwise need to rely on fossil fuel power.
“I am glad to be part of this program. When we signed up it wasn’t primarily to benefit our household, though the benefits have been positive. Our motivation was really to help strengthen the grid, help the environment, and reduce the need for expensive peak power, all at the same time. This benefits everyone,” said Jim Runcie a Powerwall Customer who lives in Starksboro.
Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out the most groundbreaking businesses across the globe and across varied industries and also judged nominations received through their application process.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies List is Fast Company’s most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.
“The world’s most innovative companies play an essential role in addressing the most pressing issues facing society, whether they’re fighting climate change by spurring decarbonization efforts, ameliorating the strain on supply chains, or helping us reconnect with one another over shared passions,” said Fast Company Deputy Editor David Lidsky.
GMP has previously been named on the list in the energy sector four times. You can check out the new issue online.
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power serves approximately 270,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and is partnering with them to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective, and reliable power in Vermont. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. Fast Company named GMP one of the top five Most Innovative Companies in North America in 2022. GMP also earned a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list in the energy sector four years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020). In 2021, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) honored GMP as a nationwide leader in energy transformation.
Kristin Carlson, Green Mountain Power
The world’s most innovative companies play an essential role in addressing the most pressing issues facing society, whether they’re fighting climate change by spurring decarbonization efforts, ameliorating the strain on supply chains, or helping us reconnect with one another over shared passions.David Lidsky, Fast Company Deputy Editor