Vermont letting homeowners sell solar power direct to business

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Green Mountain Power is the definition of a nimble, forward looking electric utility. The company has deployed distributed energy storage in the home’s of its customers that helped save all customers over $500,000 in demand charges last year. They’re also experimenting with Tesla Powerwalls replacing the utility’s standard energy meter.

Green Mountain Power (GMP) is launching their Energy Marketplace – Vermont Green on December 2 for 50 businesses that wish to purchase the renewable energy credits (REC) from other customers who are generating within the utility’s region. The trading platform – called Pando – was developed by LO3 Energy and allows live, regulated commercial transactions for individuals for the first time in the US.

The filing with the state’s Public Utility Commission can be found here.

The marketplace will be hosted on LO3 Energy’s platform, which utilizes blockchain technology. All transactions will be tracked and verified via blockchain. This allows individuals to transact privately, but still gives GMP the ability to closely monitor the RECs are they’re moved through the marketplace. GMPs notes that assuring that the RECs are not double counted is utmost of importance number of distributed assets are deployed across the utilities service territory continues to grow. The company also suggested the tools could be used in the future for other projects.

Participants will be able to set desired bids to purchase the local attributes. The transactions will happen live, however, GMP will monitor all transactions to verify everything is moving smoothly. The utility has proposed to take a 5% transaction fee on these transactions, paid by the seller of the RECs.

The company will allow transactions to happen via an app on their phone. Currently, you must email “VtGreen at greenmountainpower dot com” in order to sign up for the program. The utility believes the program will cost about nothing, below image, when consider fees and selling of their own renewable energy credits.

GMP will assemble the initial pool of sellers from existing net metered customers, capped at 200, with the exact size and composition of the seller pool to be aligned with the projected aggregate demand from the commercial customer set. They expect roughly 500 MWh of to be transacted in the marketplace per year. Currently, the utility notes that RECs are sold at an equivalent price of roughly 4¢/kWh in the New England ISO territory.

The utility is already serves 90% carbon free electricity, with 60% of that being renewable. GMP hopes that this will create a pathway that will push them toward 100% CO2 free electricity.