Starting this month, Vermont households can get Sunrun’s solar-powered home battery, Brightbox, from as little as zero dollars down and at a consistent, low monthly rate. Brightbox customers in Vermont will also have an opportunity to enroll with Sunrun in Green Mountain Power’s (GMP) innovative bring-your-own-device (BYOD) battery program, which will harness the power of home batteries across the state to provide clean energy and valuable services to the electricity system — cutting power plant pollution and saving money for all consumers in Vermont.
“Vermont is showing the way towards a cleaner, more people-powered energy system with home solar and batteries. We are excited to bring our Brightbox home battery service to the state,” said Lynn Jurich, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sunrun. “Green Mountain Power has long been a leader in the transition to clean, renewable energy. Together, we will bring the full benefits of home batteries to residents across Vermont — providing resilient back-up electricity to customers, reducing the need for dirty power plants, and building a more affordable energy system.”
Clean energy generated from rooftop solar panels is stored in Sunrun’s Brightbox battery throughout the day. When the grid goes down and there is an outage, Brightbox provides backup electricity to the customer’s home. This is a critical service for Vermont residents who face the longest blackout times compared to every other state besides Montana.
For a typical customer, Brightbox can provide approximately 8 to 12 hours of backup electricity. Brightbox will power four essential circuits of a customer’s choosing in their home. For example, circuits that many customers choose to backup include the garage door, kitchen, WiFi internet, and lighting.
Sunrun’s partnership with Green Mountain Power will expand the reach of its innovative residential battery programs that operate as “virtual power plants” and increases the use of local clean energy in Vermont. In this program, GMP and Sunrun have worked together to identify new ways to expand how batteries support customers and the overall energy system. Sunrun will also aggregate and manage the energy of all enrolled Brightbox home solar and battery systems, providing additional value to customers. Sunrun will optimize when solar power is consumed by homeowners to maximize carbon emission reductions, and over the course of the program will continue to identify new ways for Brightbox to increase resiliency and reduce costs for the entire energy grid.
GMP has had success leveraging batteries as a source of clean, affordable energy. During a heatwave in July 2017, GMP was able to save its customers $500,000 in just one hour by using the electricity from its hundreds of local batteries instead of drawing power from expensive, dirty fossil fuels like oil and gas.
Home battery programs are growing in popularity as utilities increasingly see the value and resilience afforded to the electricity system by residential solar and battery storage, particularly as an alternative to burning dirty “peaker” plants that burn fossil fuels for electricity. Nearly all the states across the Northeast have either proposed or are currently implementing similar types of programs.
By introducing Brightbox into Vermont, Sunrun now offers its Brightbox service in nine states and Puerto Rico.
News item from Sunrun