RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — Green Mountain Power's new Energy Innovation Center in downtown Rutland is a symbol of the future of the company, the city and the region, utility officials said Wednesday.
The super-efficient structure is located in what was once a department store and was more recently considered one of the most blighted buildings in downtown Rutland, officials said.
"GMP is quickly becoming the utility of the future, seeking out new ways to serve customers better and more cost effectively by anticipating their needs, and bridging the gap between traditional electrical, transportation and home heating needs," GMP President Mary Powell said at the event. "The EIC will be the focus of that effort."
The center is intended to be the development hub of cost-effective power generation and finding ways to improve energy efficiency and technology to serve GMP's entire service area and beyond.
"The people working here will be paramount to our efforts to make Rutland the solar capital of New England, and meet our customers' evolving energy needs," Powell said.
The renovated building includes air-source heat pumps, two solar arrays, small-scale wind, high-efficiency LED lighting, light tubes, triple-pane windows, efficient skylights and motion sensors to reduce artificial lighting needs, said GMP Vice President Steve Costello.
It uses direct current to power lights, and includes energy storage and super-dense insulation to reduce heating needs. But the restoration preserved historic features of the building including a metal ceiling, stainless steel window frames and an art deco facade.