Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending the commissioning of a solar+storage powered microgrid in Rutland, Vermont. The microgrid, which is owned and operated by the vertically integrated utility Green Mountain Power (GMP), includes 4 MW of battery storage (2 MW lithium ion + 2 MW advanced lead acid), 2.5 MW of solar PV, and 2 MW inverters.  It was partly funded through a state solicitation, which resulted in a joint federal/state award from VT Public Service Department and US DOE, Office of Electricity; and in addition to helping GMP integrate a whole lot of solar (Rutland, VT recently became the “solar capital of New England,” with more PV per capita than any other city in the region), the system will provide resilient power to a school designated as a community emergency shelter – important in an area that was devastated by Tropical Storm Irene, and where grid outages are all too frequent. GMP intends to put the $12 million microgrid to its best use. They will tes... Read the Full Post »