SOURCE: Green Mountain Power

May 15, 2008 12:15 ET

Green Mountain Power Proposes "Solar Rates" to Spur Vermont's Solar Energy Market

COLCHESTER, VT--(Marketwire - May 15, 2008) - Green Mountain Power Corp. today announced a groundbreaking new approach to accelerate the adoption of solar energy by Vermont homes and businesses.

In a request for a new service filed with the Vermont Public Service Board today, Green Mountain Power proposed the adoption of solar net metered electric rates, which are designed to make solar energy an important part of Vermont's mix of cleaner energy sources.

Green Mountain Power Chief Operating Officer Mary Powell said renewable energy sources like solar must play an increasing part in Vermont's energy future.

"This proposal will make solar energy more attractive to homeowners and businesses in Vermont," Ms. Powell said. "We are doing everything we can to encourage the adoption of solar energy. It is good for Vermont economically and environmentally."

Ms. Powell said such a change in the way Vermonters pay for solar energy could help ease congestion on power lines, delay the need for new power line construction and reduce peak energy demand in hot summer months when demand for energy is highest.

Andrew Perchlik, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont, said, "This new service could revolutionize the solar market in Vermont. We are excited that Green Mountain Power has taken a leadership role in promoting solar energy in Vermont."

The program would work in conjunction with existing "net metering'' programs in which Vermonters using solar power feed energy back into the grid when it is not needed in the home or business. Under the new solar rates program, customers would now be paid by Green Mountain Power for all solar energy generated at a rate of six cents per kilowatthour above and beyond the nearly 13 cents per kilowatt-hour net metering benefit.

"In summer, sunlight and solar electric production tend to be greatest at the time people are calling for the most electricity through air conditioning and other needs," Ms. Powell said. "This is a win-win for customers and the growing solar industry in Vermont. Green Mountain Power intends to be a leader in driving the solar energy market."

Ms. Powell said the proposal has the following benefits:

1. It helps reduce the need for fossil fuel energy sources on the
   New England electric system.
2. It helps accelerate the market for solar energy by offering an
   attractive rate to customers that is economical for the utility.
3. It "shaves" peak demand during high-demand, hot summer days by
   relying on the sun rather than fossil fuel generation.

The new incentive rates, if approved by the Vermont Public Service Board, would be available to all Green Mountain Power customers connected to the electric grid.

About Green Mountain Power

Green Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.biz) is an electric utility owned by Northern New England Energy Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gaz Métro, a leading Québec energy company with a long history of investment in Vermont. Green Mountain Power transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont's population. It serves approximately 94,000 customers.

Contact Information

  • For further information, please contact:
    Dorothy Schnure
    Green Mountain Power
    Manager of Corporate Communications
    802-655-8418.