Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Vermont taking a unique approach to smart grid endeavors
The recent Vermont Energy Summit highlighted some significant growth in renewable energies and smart grid efforts across the Green Mountain State. Speaking at Middlebury College, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told attendees that the state is taking a unique approach to sustainable energy, leading the nation in public and private collaboration and cooperation efforts.
"The Third National Climate Assessment shows the fast-evolving impacts of global climate change – effects we have already felt in Vermont," said state Senator Patrick Leahy, who was also in attendance. "The Secretary's strong comments make it clear that not much time remains for us to get this right. We've made a strong case this weekend for the strengths that add up to make the City of Rutland, our dairy farms and Vermont as a whole ideal partners for the Energy Department on a variety of energy solutions."
Vermont has been focusing on smart grid projects for some time, focusing on renewable energy sources, power storage, grid resiliency, cold weather adaptation and agricultural methane digester technologies, according to FierceSmartGrid. The state was also the recipient of a Department of Energy Smart Grid Investment Grant worth $138 million, which it has been using to fund these projects and general smart grid investments. Substation upgrades, serial to Ethernet converters, efficiency retrofits and distribution automation have all been a focus.
"The secretary's visit today demonstrates that Vermont is a model for the nation in our approach to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change," said Rep. Peter Welch. "I applaud his strong leadership on these issues and am confident he will be going back to Washington with some practical Vermont ideas to make progress for the country on these issues."
Continued investments into smart grid programs will help every state start to innovate and achieve some of the results Vermont has with its focus on clean, reliable energy sources. This forward movement will be critical as part of the effort to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint as a species.
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