Vermont is a special place. First class cheese? Definitely. Amazing skiing? You bet. Maple syrup? Don’t mess with the best. Hiking? Oh, the views! Our state’s reputation is strong, and now growing in exciting and innovative ways. All the loyal readers who opened their Sunday New York Times on July 29th saw a feature in the Business Section called, “Utility Helps Wean Vermonters from the Electric Grid.”
The article is a great story about the innovative work GMP is doing in partnership with customers and communities to transform our electric system to one that is more cost-effective, green, and reliable. Reporting on topics ranging from offering customers the ability to go off-grid, to comprehensive home energy solutions, to battery storage, NYT reporter Diane Cardwell came to Vermont and spent two days meeting with dozens of people learning about all the groundbreaking transformation work that is happening in Vermont and leading the country.
The Vermont program offers just one example of the continuing efforts at the local level to rethink a largely carbon-based power system. The initiatives are driven by financial advantages as well as environmental ones.
Green Mountain’s chief executive, Mary Powell, sees the program here as the best way to please customers while making the system more environmentally and physically sustainable.
“Customers, especially in Vermont with the energy-independence values that people have, want to move more toward self-generation,” she said, seated in a bright orange Modernist chair in a meeting area in the company’s open-plan headquarters near Burlington.
“The opportunity for us,” she added, is to lead the transformation of an electric system that depends on power sent along big transmission lines “to a community-, home- and business-based energy system.”
In Vermont, we care about this energy transformation a lot. But so do many other people across the country and world. The story was one of the top ten emailed stories for all of the New York Times and was the top emailed story for the business section for five days.
Reading the article creates a lot of pride in team Vermont. So many are leading the way here with their energy work like Vermont Electric Cooperative, Burlington Electric Department, Washington Electric Cooperative, Efficiency Vermont, Renewable Energy Vermont, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, Vermont Public Power Supply Authority and more!
The energy to use the latest technologies to benefit Vermonters is building. And now many more people know that. So, we will keep our cheese, skiing, maple syrup and hiking – thank you very much – and add energy innovators to the list of what makes the Green Mountains so special.
by Kristin Carlson