Vermont bill would direct PUC to draw up energy storage recommendations

Dive Brief:

  • A bill now being debated in the Vermont legislature aims spur the development of energy storage in the state.

  • The bill, H 501, is sponsored by Rep. Laura Sibilia (I), would require the state’s Department of Public Service (DPS) to “develop policy recommendations and targets” that would increase electricity storage capacity in the state.

  • The bill had originally called for the DPS to look at setting up energy storage goals, but that language was modified in committee, according to the Rutland Herald.

Dive Insight:

Vermont’s new Republican governor has said he supports the state’s 90%-by-2050 renewable portfolio standard. But moving to that goal could require energy storage to offset the intermittency of resources such as wind and solar power.

Vermont utility Green Mountain Power was also an early adopter of residential storage, teaming up with Tesla to offer some customers residential batteries.

But unlike neighboring Massachusetts, Vermont is not working on developing an energy storage mandate. 

The bill in the state legislature could be a first step in that direction.

“I started this with a genuine curiosity,” Sibilia, the bill’s sponsor, told the Rutland Herald. “As we’ve taken more and more testimony, I’ve gotten more and more excited and also concerned. I want to make sure we don’t get too far behind our neighbors.”

Sibilla introduced the bill March 17 and it currently resides in the Committee on Energy and Technology. The Vermont legislative session ends May 16, but VT Digger reports lawmakers could adjourn a week early due to broad consensus over the budget, the only must-pass bill of the year.

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Filed Under: Solar & Renewables Energy Storage Distributed Energy Regulation & Policy