Time magazine has a big spread on the push by Green Mountain Power, Vermont’s electric utility, to remake itself.

This month is should become the first U.S. utility-built community microgrid able to run on renewable energy without a fossil-fuel backup. The home Tesla battery program, creating a virtual grid, is part of it but there are other technical tweaks, e.g.: “power-line circuit breakers—which cut off electricity if, say, a tree knocks down a utility pole—weren’t designed to operate with only a single battery pumping power through their lines. GMP’s solution is a novel use of a type of transformer known as a grounding bank to increase the voltage of the microgrid high enough to make sure its breakers trip if electrical wires are damaged.”

Of course, it includes very Vermont-y individuals, such as the guy who developed “a business mitigating local invasive plants without herbicides, using a jerry-rigged flamethrower and a self-designed tractor-mulcher”

The whole story is here.

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