RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — Green Mountain Power plans to turn a blighted property in Rutland into its new Energy Innovation Center where the company envisions it can work with other energy providers and customers on new customer programs, officials said Friday.
The Eastman building will undergo renovations and include office space and interactive displays as well as a heat pump system and solar on its roof.
"We will create a place where customers can learn about energy, generation and the environmental impact of energy decisions, cutting-edge technologies and new customer programs," GMP president and CEO Mary Powell said.
The center will be the focal point of GMP's renewable energy development including efforts to make Rutland the solar capital of the Northeast, she said.
GMP expects staff to move in next fall.
Mayor Christopher Louras, who lead a city panel that provided input on the selection this summer, said the center will replace a liability with an asset.
"When I think of the challenges facing downtown Rutland, this building is at the top of the list," Louras said. "It has been in serious decline for years."
Gov. Peter Shumlin on Friday also praised the news.
"This is great news for Rutland," he said. "An investment like this in the core of the city will help revitalize downtown, create jobs, and serve as a national model for energy innovation