VELCO Named Finalist for Energy Innovation Award
Green Mountain Power also selected
No Vermont-based company has ever earned award
Rutland, VT — Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) was named today as one of eight finalists for the electric industry’s highest honor, the Edison Award, based on the company’s work to create the Vermont Weather Analytics Center — a breakthrough for increasing electric grid resiliency and sustainability. Green Mountain Power is also a finalist for their innovative customer-driven programs.
“Our industry is in the midst of a profound transformation, and this year’s Edison Award finalists, chosen from a record number of quality applications, demonstrate that innovative and groundbreaking projects are underway across the electric power industry,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. The Edison Award, presented annually by the Edison Electric Institute, the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies, honors “distinguished leadership, innovation and contribution to the advancement of the electric industry for the benefit of all.”
“VELCO has never previously applied for the Edison Award, let alone been named a finalist. This is very exciting for us, especially as it coincides with our 60th anniversary year,” noted VELCO President and CEO Tom Dunn. “I am particularly gratified because the Vermont Weather Analytics Center (VTWAC) is a collaborative accomplishment whose value needs to be broadly shared. Every utility needs, or will need in the near future, the capability we’ve created.”
VTWAC is a powerful tool that enables utilities to better protect communities, meet customer needs, and garner renewable energy’s full value. VTWAC delivers advance weather forecasts up to three days ahead, precise to 1 km², linked to customer demand data and to solar and wind generation models. Partners in this work included every local Vermont utility, state agencies, renewable energy developers, Vermont academic institutions and the formidable intellectual resources of IBM Research. The results are the most precise and accurate wind and solar generation forecasts in the world.
Since the Edison Award’s inception in 1922, no Vermont-based company has ever been honored. The fact that this year there are two Vermont finalists, VELCO and GMP, underscores our state’s role as an energy innovation workbench for the nation. “GMP is committed to delivering innovative strategies that benefit customers and it’s great to work in partnership with an equally customer-driven company like VELCO. The fact that we’re both finalists is a testament to the power of collaboration in pursuit of a common vision. Whether GMP or VELCO, in either case Vermont wins,” said GMP Chief Operating Officer Brian Otley.
A panel of former electric company chief executives will select the winning U.S. and international companies for the 89th Annual Edison Award which will be presented in June during the EEI Annual Convention in Chicago.