- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) - Green Mountain Power in Vermont said Wednesday it has begun installing home batteries that enables customers to store power for use during outages.

The Tesla Powerwall batteries, when paired with rooftop solar panels, allow customers to generate and store their own energy.

They can power essential items - such as lights, refrigerators and furnaces - for several hours, making them useful during storms or emergencies. The batteries also would be used during peak energy times, like hot summer days, to cut costs.

“This is all about delivering on what our customers need to move away from the antiquated, bulk power system to one that is cleaner and more reliable, where we generate power closer to where it’s used,” Green Mountain Power President Mary Powell said in a press release.

Some solar customers have expressed frustration because they cannot store the power they generate when the sun is shining.

“GMP is turning the old utility model on its head, and offering products and services to help Vermonters use more locally produced energy so that one day we’ll rely on the grid as a back-up system,” Powell said.

The battery installed Wednesday went into the home of Green Mountain customer Troy Turner in St. Albans.

“We really believe this is the future of energy and are very excited to be a small part of the revolution,” Turner said.

Customers can lease one for about $37.50 a month or about $1.25 a day. Customers also can choose to partner with Green Mountain to buy a battery and receive a monthly bill credit.

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