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Green Mountain Power Receives State Permit For Panton Solar Battery System

Green Mountain Power has received a state permit to build a commercial Tesla battery storage system in Panton.

The Public Utility Commission this week issued a certificate of public good which allows GMP to build the battery system which will store energy produced at the 4.9 megawatt solar array in Panton.

Kristin Carlson, GMP's vice president for strategic and external affairs, says the battery system stores the solar energy produced at the nearby array and the power can then be used when electricity costs are high.

She says ratepayers will benefit from the money saved by using the stored solar power.

"Not only does it improve reliability and resiliency in Panton, but also it will be a really important way to drive down the costs on the regional bulk grid," Carlson says. "When there's high usage and high demand, we can take that stored power in the batteries and put it back on the grid when power is the most expensive. So we see battery storage as a really essential part of this new energy future."

The Panton project is larger than the battery system GMP already has near the Stafford Hill Solar Farm, in Rutland.

Carlson says the Panton project will act as a case study for what she hopes will be more widespread battery storage systems around Vermont, for both larger commercial and household battery storage systems.

"With this project in Panton we're going to be tracking everything and reporting on everything, because we really want to see how this is gonna perform," Carlson says. "Because this really is the key to this energy future which we're trying to make more home-, business- and community-based, and move away from a bulk grid that's getting more and more expensive for customers."

The battery system will take up about 4,000 square feet, and includes up to 10 Tesla Powerpack units. When all the units are fully charged, they are capable of collectively exporting 1,000 kilowatts of power for four hours.

Carlson hopes the battery units will be up and running this summer.

Howard Weiss-Tisman is Vermont Public’s southern Vermont reporter, but sometimes the story takes him to other parts of the state.
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