August 2020

VELCO Brings Together Two Vermont Renewable Energy Leaders for Solar plus Storage Project

 Catamount Solar and Northern Reliability to install Solar Array and Battery Energy Storage System

Solar farm

August 10, 2020 – Rutland, VT – Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) has selected two leading Vermont renewable energy companies, Catamount Solar of Randolph and Northern Reliability of Waterbury, to construct VELCO’s Pinnacle Ridge Solar and Storage Project at the Company’s headquarters in Rutland, Vermont. Work is well underway on this project that includes a 500 kW solar array tied to a 1.2 MWh energy storage system designed to reduce VELCO’s energy use at times of high-cost, peak system demand and increase electric grid stability. “Catamount Solar and Northern Reliability have hard-earned reputations for safe, reliable and cost-effective project delivery”, said Mike Fiske, VELCO’s Director of Transmission Assets. “With nearly 100 years of combined experience working on solar power, remote power systems and energy storage infrastructure, we knew they could do the work. What sets them apart though is their deep commitment to Vermont and to helping VELCO better serve the state. We’re grateful to be working with them to lower our energy costs.”

Catamount Solar was selected as the prime contractor and is responsible for site work and construction of the solar array infrastructure, as well as the site’s power distribution and utility connections.  Northern Reliability will oversee all aspects of the battery energy storage system, including design, component integration and containerization, on-site construction, installation, and testing.

Catamount Solar is one of Vermont’s most experienced solar design and installation companies. The company works in a wide range of project environments, including residential off-grid solar, residential and commercial net-metered solar on new and existing structures, cooperative community solar and commercial-scale solar fields up to 500 kW. The company operates as a workers’ cooperative, wholly- owned by its Vermont employees. “Catamount Solar is pleased to be working together with Northern Reliability to deliver this cutting edge solar plus storage power solution to VELCO. Our Vermont companies appreciate the opportunity to contribute to greening and increasing the reliability of the state’s power grid” explained Kevin McCollister, Managing Partner at Catamount.

Northern Reliability, Inc. (NRI) is one of the most experienced engineering, procurement and construction teams in the renewable energy and energy storage industry worldwide. Over 1000 energy storage systems have been designed and deployed by the NRI team members throughout their careers reaching every continent. NRI currently has the largest functioning solar plus storage project in the US Mid-South, and has served the United States government and military, the scientific community, the utility sector, and private institutions with solar and energy storage solutions to meet their varied needs.

NRI’s Vice President of Sales and Development, Gregg Noble, explained, “You can’t put a price tag on how great it feels for the NRI team to work on a Vermont project at this scale. Our teams are so often called out across the U.S. and abroad to other utilities for these types of battery systems. To have one of our larger solutions now deployed here in our backyard supporting our friends and families…the money isn’t the real reward on this one. This project shows the tremendous value of what Vermonters working together can accomplish.  Many thanks to our friends at VELCO and our partners at Catamount on behalf of the whole NRI team for this shared win.”

“For VELCO we see this is as just the beginning of what we can accomplish with great partners,” asserted Kerrick Johnson, VELCO’s Vice President of Strategic Innovation. “We have substations, radio sites and other assets across the state. We are actively pursuing a wide range of initiatives to better leverage these assets to stabilize rates, increase use of clean power, expand broadband connectivity, and enhance grid reliability. We need to stay creative, move faster and deliver more.”

The Pinnacle Ridge Solar and Storage project is slated for completion by the end of this calendar year.

Catamount Solar Logo

Catamount Solar is a Vermont-based commercial solar developer and installer with more than 50 years of experience working throughout the Vermont Solar industry. A local employee-owned and operated cooperative, Catamount has specialized in the deployment of solar resources of all shapes and sizes across the Vermont landscape. Catamount provides solar array design and installation services for both Vermont residences and commercial operations and now adds large scale energy storage to their project list.

Northern Reliability Logo

Northern Reliability, Inc. (NRI) is a U.S.-based power systems integrator and engineering firm based in Waterbury, Vermont, whose team has been working in the energy storage field for nearly fifty years. Initially formed as the energy storage and solar division of Northern Power Systems in Burlington, Vermont, the NRI engineers broke off to become a separate organization in 2007. Having designed and deployed over 1000 off-grid and microgrid power systems around the planet since the early 1970’s, the NRI team recently made news in T&D World Magazine in 2017 (first utility-scale fleet BESS system for Xcel Energy), in 2018 for the largest solar plus storage project in the U.S. Mid-South for AECC subsidiary, Today’s Power, which won the National Prize of the United States Mayor’s Conference Climate Change Award, and in 2019 for winning the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) / US Navy Transportable Microgrid project.

VELCO logo

Vermont Electric Power Company, Inc. (VELCO) is Vermont’s statewide electric transmission provider, with our sights set on creating a sustainable Vermont through our people, assets, relationships and operating model. Formed in 1956 when local Vermont utilities established the nation’s first “transmission only” company to access clean hydro power from New York, VELCO’s system now includes: 738 miles of transmission lines, 55 substations, switching stations and terminal facilities, 13,000 acres of rights-of-way and a 1,500-mile fiber optic network that monitors and controls the electric system and serves as a key link for Vermonters’ high-speed data internet access. We are owned by the state’s 17 distribution utilities and a benefit corporation. VELCO is a for-profit company with a financial structure designed to return value to our owners, their customers, and to every Vermonter. For more information please visit our website at