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Greg Vail, Community Climate Hero

The Community Climate Hero this month is Greg Vail of Vail Buick GMC in Bedford Hills, for their Managed Microgrid project. This project checks all the high-priority boxes in the Town of Bedford Climate Action Plan

  • A shift away from dirty fossil fuel
  • Adoption of clean energy and electrification
  • Energy resilience
  • Measurable reductions in GHG pollution
  • A model that can inspire other businesses

Transportation makes up 28% of NY State’s GHG emissions, and 48% of Bedford’s emissions. We are proud to have innovators like Greg Vail and Maria Fields at Sprocket Power taking impactful steps to make our community healthier.

As I prepare for GMC’s EV rollout, a main concern is the volatile and rising utility cost associated with EV charging. The microgrid approach gives me the ability to control these expenses and maintain predictability over my bottom line - all while “greening” my business and moving to a Zero Carbon Future.”

The managed microgrid project at Vail Buick in Bedford Hills represents a model for electrification that strengthens business, reduces electrical grid stress, and meets policy goals for reducing GreenHouse Gases (GHG).

 Working alongside Maria Fields and Sprocket Power, Vail adopted a managed microgrid approach which integrates solar, energy storage, EV charging management, facility controls, and complete energy management. This reduces utility bills, increases energy independence, allows them to remain operational during power outages, and charges their EV fleet with green energy.

Policies to electrify transportation include rebates/incentives and the banning of sales of new vehicles with internal combustion engines past 2035. Those policies, plus demands for franchise dealers to install EV chargers, place automobile dealerships on the front lines of rolling out the nation’s new vehicle fleet. 

Automobile dealers are frequently faced with high and volatile energy demand, and costs from the installation of EV chargers. This increase in energy demand also puts stress on an already fragile and expensive electric grid.

Sprocket Power’s offers an integrated technology solution to overcome these barriers. By taking advantage of available federal tax credits, Con Ed programs to reimburse EV charging infrastructure, and NY State programs that provide utility bill credits for feeding back into the grid at times of high stress, Vail realized the economic benefits of the managed microgrid approach. Vail’s managed microgrid also aligns with New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) and demonstrates the benefits of policies designed to advance climate goals.