Around the country, a new model is arising to provide clean, reliable, locally generated and locally managed energy: solar power combined with energy storage in the form of batteries. In addition to their other benefits, these hybrid solar + storage systems can provide “resilient power” to protect communities from power outages in increasingly severe weather events. The newest and most interesting example of this technology is the Stafford Hills Solar + Storage Microgrid Project in Rutland, Vermont. The project will be one of the first exclusively solar-powered microgrids in the US and puts Vermont in the forefront of the new movement toward microgrids, energy storage, and grid modernization.  It is supported by joint grants from the Vermont Department of Public Service and U.S. Department of Energy, through Clean Energy States Alliance’s Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP). Project developer Green Mountain Power (GMP), a utility based in Rutland, has plans... Read the Full Post »