The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has awarded the state of Vermont’s Green Mountain Power (GMP) utility the 2013 Utility of the Year Award.
GMP was picked from three finalists and praised for winning despite its comparatively small size as an investor-owned utility.
GMP was picked for its cost-effective solar initiative and for making the town of Rutland the ‘Solar Capital’ of New England. SEPA’s president and CEO Julia Hamm said GMP’s solar initiative is “an exercise in clean energy, economic and community development, all rolled into one. It is inspirational to many of us in the solar industry”.
“GMP has demonstrated a disproportionately large commitment to clean, renewable solar energy, customer choice and the communities it serves,” Hamm added.
“While many utilities see solar generation as a threat to their business, we see solar as an opportunity to cost-effectively fulfill customer wants and needs and support new jobs and businesses in our communities,” Powell said. “Rather than fear solar, as many utilities appear to do, we embrace it.”
GMP president and CEO, Mary Powell received the award at SEPA's annual membership meeting in Chicago, where 12,000 solar and utility professionals gathered this week for Solar Power International.
Powel also said solar is “a huge benefit for all of our customers as it helps drive down the cost of purchasing power during peak times. The work we are doing in Rutland will benefit all of our customers, as lessons learned and experience gained there will help us expand our portfolio of renewable energy state-wide, and help customers meet their personal generation needs.”
GMP recently expanded its solar goal in Rutland from 6.25MW of solar generation in 2017 to 10MW by, the end of 2015.