Utility, UVM to study climate and energy
BURLINGTON — Vermont’s flagship university and its largest power company will work together to develop energy efficiency programs and seek ways to protect the environment under an agreement announced Tuesday.
UVM President Thomas Sullivan and Green Mountain Power CEO Mary Powell announced the details of the deal, including plans to work with any public or private group that advances climate science and understanding of how weather affects energy use.
“I am very pleased that as part of this agreement UVM will work with our Energy Innovation Center in Rutland to encourage new businesses in the energy and technology sector that will benefit the whole state,” Powell said.
GMP established the Rutland center after acquiring Central Vermont Public Service Corp., which was based in that city, two years ago. Since then it has launched several initiatives from the center, including a big expansion into solar energy and a new push to install heat pumps in customers’ homes.
Sullivan said the new partnership will play to the university’s strengths in environmental science, electrical engineering and related fields. He called the agreement, which he and Powell signed at Tuesday’s event, “an important step in assisting in the transfer of university-created intellectual property for commercial use by Vermonters in their homes and businesses.”
The agreement calls for UVM to devote research to climate science and to the impacts of weather on energy usage and utility operations; establishment of a lecture series at the Rutland center; internships and other learning opportunities for UVM students; and investigation of opportunities for renewable energy investments at the university.
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