How mobile energy storage system will help GMP take green energy on the go

Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 6:32 PM EST
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WATERBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - Battery storage to hold energy across the state of Vermont continues to play a vital role in our state’s clean energy transformation. But how about taking some of that stored energy on the go? Green Mountain Power has a new mobile battery made right here in Vermont.

“This is a game-changer,” said Kristin Carlson of Green Mountain Power.

Stored energy is on the move courtesy of GMP and the Vermont company Nomad.

“To have a unit like this that is made in Vermont that is going to benefit Vermonters is something we are really excited about,” Carlson said.

This million-dollar battery in Waterbury acts the same as any battery storage system, holding energy until it is called on to supply the grid. But it can also take locally made energy on the go.

“Deploy it to communities when extreme weather hits to keep important areas of the town powered up or to keep homes powered up,” Carlson explained.

It holds about 2-megawatt hours of energy or enough to power four homes for a whole month.

Stored energy is part of GMP’s plan to create a cleaner and more resilient power grid. Cleaner because of the ability to offset energy purchased from the regional grid and more resilient because of the held power supply for weather events.

“It creates a really flexible grid that enables more local clean energy, that boosts resiliency as well for customers,” Carlson said.

“So storage is a very prominent and important arrow in the quiver of the tools that we have to reach what we call an optimized grid,” said Anne Margolis of the Vermont Department of Public Service.

The Department of Public Service sees battery storage tech as a net positive. It isn’t the only solution, but if used effectively, it holds massive power.

“Storing energy is going to be crucial to be able to meet you know 100%, 24/7,” Margolis said.

Margolis estimates we have about 40 megawatts of energy storage online now in Vermont and another 25 megawatts are in the permitting process. The next step is making sure it’s available and affordable when we need it most.

“We need to have resources, whether it’s storage or some other way of supplying that demand when the grid is most stressed in the winter when demand is highest,” Margolis said.

GMP considers the Nomad one piece of the puzzle, while also benefiting what they call Vermont’s emerging green economy.

“The first mobile unit has been made and developed in Vermont and will be deployed to benefit our Vermont customers,” Carlson said.

GMP says as long as Nomad keeps producing, they would love to add more batteries to their fleet.