Officials at Green Mountain Power announced on Saturday an “energy vision” to have all of the energy the utility supplies be carbon free by 2025 and all of that supply generated by renewable sources by 2030.
Green Mountain Power (GMP) committed in 2008 to innovating and moving quickly to increase renewable energy resources. Their current energy supply is 90% carbon free and more than 60% renewable, according to a statement released on Saturday.
The new goal was announced during the GMP Earth Day Every Day Fair in South Burlington on Saturday.
According to GMP their news goal is among the most aggressive carbon targets for a utility of GP’s size in the country.
Mary Powell, president and CEO of GMP, said in a statement that much can be accomplished in Vermont “to cut carbon, and at the same time increase reliability for customers in the face of increasingly frequent and severe storms.”
Powell cited the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.
“The report issued in October of 2018 shows we have just 12 years to bend back the curve on carbon. Green Mountain Power is determined that through innovation, collaboration and grit, we can make remarkable strides and be the example of the change we want to see and deliver this energy future to benefit the customers we serve,” Powell said.
The goal would be pursued by ramping up local distributed resources for generating and storing energy and increasing the purchase of carbon-free wind and hydro energy.
GMP serves more than 75% of Vermont. More than 15,000 GMP customers are now being served by independent solar companies at their homes and more than 3,000 commercial and industrial customers are doing the same.
Another tactic is the use of stored energy, generated by two existing solar storage installations and three more being built this year, to cut carbon and costs by lowering peak energy costs, when power is the most expensive and dirty.
In a statement, William Dodge, chairman of the Essex Energy Committee, called GMP’s goal “wonderful news and a bold move.”
“Vermont’s ‘90 percent renewable by 2050’ goal is difficult to achieve without residents in Essex and elsewhere really putting our shoulder to the wheel when it comes to how we drive, heat our homes, and use electricity. But with GMP’s total commitment to carbon-neutral, clean electricity, Vermont is in a substantially better position to achieve its ‘90 by 2050’ goal,” he said.
One of GMP’s new solar storage installations is expected to be built in Essex.
According to GMP, transportation and heating are the two biggest sources of carbon emissions in Vermont.
With emissions still rising despite action by many across the state to bend the curve, and with the need for major transformation of Vermont’s transportation and home heating sectors, GMP will be hosting a series of events to provide Vermonters with more information about all of the existing technologies available to them to transition to a cleaner, affordable and resilient future.
“As a customer-obsessed energy company, we’ve delivered on our promise to help customers transition to a community-, home-, and business-based energy system that is greener and more resilient through energy storage options like home batteries, and options for charging electric vehicles,” Powell said. Powell added that partnerships with Efficiency Vermont and the Vermont renewable energy community have been and will continue to be critical to meeting the goal.