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Vermont Utility Is the First to Offer Tesla Battery

Green Mountain Power wants to install 500 systems in 2016

Posted on Dec 21 2015 by Scott Gibson

Tesla's Powerwall battery will be installed in 500 Vermont homes next year, making Green Mountain Power the first utility in the country to offer a home battery option, SmartGrid News reports.

The 7 kilowatt-hour battery, the smaller of two Powerwall options introduced by Tesla earlier this year, will provide four to six hours of backup power.

Green Mountain plans to begin with ten customers in the Rutland area before offering it to customers in the rest of its service area. The price of the PowerWall battery and the SolarEdge inverterDevice for converting direct-current (DC) electricity into the alternating-current (AC) form required for most home uses; necessary if home-generated electricity is to be fed into the electric grid through net-metering arrangements. has been set at $6,500 (not including the cost of installation). Green Mountain is offering customers three payment options, including a lease that requires no upfront cost.

In a statement, Green Mountain said the battery would allow utility customers to become more energy independent while allowing the utility to reduce peak demand on the grid.

GMP President and CEO Mary Powell called the program a "game changer" that would move Vermont away from a century-old grid system to a more reliable and economical alternative.

Three ways to pay

A Powerwall can be installed on homes with and without photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) systems. Green Mountain is giving customers several ways of paying for the system:

  • Lease. Customers pay nothing up front for the battery, but pay a monthly fee of $37.50, roughly $1.25 a day.
  • Buy outright. Customers would pay the full $6,500 cost.
  • Buy but share. Customers who pay the $6,500 purchase cost and share access to the battery would get a monthly credit on their bills of $31.76. That, the utility said, "represents the value of leveraging the battery to help lower peak energy costs."

The utility said the first batch of batteries would be arriving in January, with the balance to follow over the next several months. More than 500 customers had signed up for the program by Dec. 17, the utility said.

The batteries can be installed indoors or outdoors, although they're not designed to operate in temperatures below -4°F. The 220-pound batteries come with a 10-year warranty.

Green Mountain has about 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont. It previously announced plans to run the Emerald Lake State Park entirely on solar electricity with a system combining PV panels and Powerwall batteries. Tesla has announced plans to sell the Powerwall to residential customers in Australia.


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1.
Dec 21, 2015 6:31 PM ET

Details on price
by ven sonata

Is it remotely possible that the $6500 price tag for the powerwall installed includes the solaredge inverter which can handle the 480volt output of the battery? That inverter is an off grid model, they cost almost twice what the direct feed in inverters do. If it is a 5kw inverter it could easily cost $2500. Now the price makes sense...battery $3000 + inverter $2500 = $5500 + installation permits etc total $6500. It would be nice to know one way or another wouldn't it?


2.
Dec 21, 2015 8:16 PM ET

buy but share
by Erich Riesenberg

The buy but share option is interesting.


3.
Dec 22, 2015 10:38 AM ET

More details on price
by Scott Gibson

A spokeswoman from Green Mountain Power replied to Ven Sonata's question this way:

"Yes, the 6500 includes both the PowerWall and the SolarEdge Inverter which can be used for both the power wall and solar. The price does not include installation as that will vary slightly depending on the location."


4.
Dec 22, 2015 11:14 AM ET

Buy but share
by Charlie Sullivan

Yes, the buy but share option is quite nice. That's a 5.86% annual return on the $6500 investment, plus the consumer gets the backup capability.


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