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Wind project developer sells power to CVPS

LONDONDERRY — The developers of a proposed 19-turbine wind facility on Glebe Mountain have struck a deal to sell their power to the state's largest utility, Central Vermont Public Service Corp.

CVPS said Tuesday the purchase of 47.5 megawatts of below-market power will mean an annual savings of about $700,000 to its ratepayers, according to spokesman Stephen Costello.

Robert Charlebois, managing director for Catamount Energy, the active partner in Glebe Mountain Wind Energy, said the sale of renewable energy tax credits enabled his company to sell the power to CVPS at below-market prices.

Both Costello and Charlebois said Tuesday the power contract was not part of deal last December when Catamount Energy was sold by CVPS to New York investment firm Diamond Castle for $60 million.

Catamount is developing several wind energy projects in the country, including projects in Texas and Pennsylvania, in addition to Vermont.

News of the contract, which means that the power would stay in the state, comes only three days before Londonderry residents go to the polls Friday to cast an advisory vote on the issue of industrial wind development in their town.

While the Glebe Mountain project is not mentioned by name in the vote, it is widely interpreted as a referendum on the Catamount-led project.

The project is evenly divided between the towns of Londonderry and... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
CVPS said Tuesday the purchase of 47.5 megawatts of below-market power will mean an annual savings of about $700,000 to its ratepayers, according to spokesman Stephen Costello.

Robert Charlebois, managing director for Catamount Energy, the active partner in Glebe Mountain Wind Energy, said the sale of renewable energy tax credits enabled his company to sell the power to CVPS at below-market prices.

Both Costello and Charlebois said Tuesday the power contract was not part of deal last December when Catamount Energy was sold by CVPS to New York investment firm Diamond Castle for $60 million.

Catamount is developing several wind energy projects in the country, including projects in Texas and Pennsylvania, in addition to Vermont.

News of the contract, which means that the power would stay in the state, comes only three days before Londonderry residents go to the polls Friday to cast an advisory vote on the issue of industrial wind development in their town.

While the Glebe Mountain project is not mentioned by name in the vote, it is widely interpreted as a referendum on the Catamount-led project.

The project is evenly divided between the towns of Londonderry and Windham. In addition to the vote, Londonderry residents will consider spending $100,000 to represent the town in upcoming state hearings.

Charlebois declined to say when the renewable energy tax credits for the Glebe Mountain project would be sold, or to whom, noting that the market for the credits was highly competitive.

He denied there was any significance to announcing the contract days before the Londonderry vote.

"We've been working on this for several weeks and we finally reached an agreement," Charlebois said. "The fact that it occurs today is a function of when we finished negotiations."

Costello said the purchase of the 47.5 megawatts of wind power represented about a seventh of the utility's electric load. "This will meet the needs of about 21,000 customers," he said.

He said the contract was a plus for CVPS in three different ways — the dollar savings in the contract, the fact that the company was purchasing renewable energy, and "tremendous environmental benefits" to purchasing the wind power.

He said the wind energy would replace the power generated from burning 323 railcars of coal or 147,681 barrels of oil.

"It is virtually without risk," Costello said of the contract. "We have a surplus of power and we will make money on this."

Charlebois said that while the power would be sold below market prices, the company would not sell at a loss.

He said Catamount had always sought to sell the power to a Vermont utility.

He said he hopes the state Public Service Board, which will have the final say on the Glebe Mountain wind project, will find the CVPS contract "a compelling feature."

Charlebois said he wants to file the project's formal application within a month.

"We're working very hard on it," he said.

Source: http://www.timesargus.com/a...

FEB 22 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/1406-wind-project-developer-sells-power-to-cvps
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