Greening The Grid
In a global first, Tesla is joining forces with a utility company in Vermont to deploy Powerpacks and Powerwall 2s in order to supply enough power to the grid during peak usage hours. Green Mountain Power (GMP) is locating the Powerpacks on utility land, but this is only half of the picture. Up to 2,000 customers can also get in-home 7kW Powerwall 2s subsidized by the utility company — at either $15 a month, or for a one-time flat fee of $1,500, which is half of the normal price. Tesla battery power sources will be replacing diesel sources, saving the state and customers money, and reducing environmental impact.
GMP told WCAX-TV that they conceived of this plan after more than 15,000 customer homes lost power during an outage. There were three homes with Powerwalls that got through the outage seamlessly, and the utility company took note of that. The company is also in support of the greener, environmentally friendly aspects of the Tesla batteries and the economic savings that they promise. Traditional backup power generators are expensive, and they're also major polluters.
“Grid-smoothing” simply refers to storage measures that seamlessly take over during times of peak usage when normal power sources are no longer capable of keeping up with the demand for power. Operational Powerwalls stay charged in individual homes until they are needed to provide backup power; the rest of the time, they recharge or stay ready. This sort of large-scale grid-smoothing trial is essential to showing that the Tesla system is viable in a host of weather and power conditions. The project will hopefully show that this system is capable of success. If and when it is, other cities across the U.S. may soon follow suit.