Vermont's largest utility wants 100% renewable power by 2030
Vermont's largest electric utility is upping the ante and setting a goal of getting all of its power from renewable sources in just over a decade.
The utility, which serves more than 75% of Vermont electric customers, about 265,000 residential and business users, hopes to achieve the goal by getting more power from local sources and by buying more carbon-free wind and hydroelectric energy.
GMP President Mary Powell said Monday that setting the goal is part of the utility's continuing effort to reduce and eventually eliminate its dependence on fossil fuels.
"I see a big part of our role as accelerating a consumer-led revolution to a greener, cost-effective future," Powell said.
GMP's plan is part of a broader movement that includes a state goal of getting 90% of Vermont's energy from renewable resources by 2050, including electricity, heating and transportation.
Five years ago, Vermont's Burlington Electric and the Washington Electric cooperative became among the first electric utilities in the country to reach the goal of getting 100% of electricity from renewable sources.
Since then, a number of states and municipalities across the country are moving in that direction, said Diane Moss, of the founding director of the Renewables 100 Policy Institute based in Santa Monica, California.
Powell said the investor-owned utility has been working for years on finding cleaner ways to provide electricity and ensuring its reliability.
Currently, the utility gets 60% of its power from renewable sources and 90% is carbon free, with just under 10% coming from fossil fuels. Over the next several years, the utility will increase its reliance on solar and wind power, battery storage and the use of hydrogeneration.
Just under 30% of the utility's power comes from nuclear generation, which is carbon free but is not considered renewable. GMP's dependence on nuclear power will decrease over the years to come, she said.
"It's going to be a lot of grit and hard work, but we are determined that we can get there," Powell said.
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