Library filed under Energy Policy from Vermont

Town commits funds to combat global warming

MANCHESTER — According to town officials, when it’s 12 days until Christmas and temperatures are in the 50s, it’s time to do something about global warming and Manchester is taking an unprecedented step. On Wednesday, the Select Board voted to approve a budget for 2007 that includes two new budget items, both for $6,145. The first will be a ballot item asking voters to contribute money to offset the carbon dioxide emissions created by the town’s energy use. The second would pay for the town to study and implement ways to reduce energy.
15 Dec 2006

Senate leader wants to focus on climate

Shumlin, the new president pro tempore of the Vermont Senate and a lifelong resident of Windham County, says one thing Vermont can do to fight global warming is to generate more of its own electricity — and clean energy. Windham County has long hosted the state's largest power generator — Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, he noted. Vermont Yankee, which is owned by the Louisiana power conglomerate Entergy, has provided about one-third of all the electricity consumed in the state. But Shumlin says it's time that Vermont started generating more electricity from wind power, the debate about aesthetics aside. Southern Vermont has hosted the state's only operating wind facility, he noted, in Searsburg in neighboring Bennington County. While the scale of the current generation of wind facilities is substantially bigger than the 198-foot tall Searsburg towers, aesthetics will have to take a back seat, he said. "I think it's a moral imperative to use them," he said of the wind turbines.
11 Dec 2006

Keep coordinated on regional energy

Although the approach is too late for projects that have already begun a federal review process, a dozen New England congressmen and senators have asked for help from the Department of Energy in coordinating a regional approach to siting liquefied natural gas facilities. Reps. Tom Allen and Mike Michaud have both signed on to this request, which makes sense for future energy projects.
8 Dec 2006

ISO New England warns $3.4B in plant investments needed

New England will need to add power plants capable of generating 4,300 megawatts, and $3.4 billion of additional transmission investment, by 2015 to avoid blackouts, the region’s grid operator says. The area will need 170 megawatts of new power before the summer of 2009 to assure adequate supplies, according to ISO New England Inc., the power grid and wholesale market operator that serves the region’s 14 million people........ If a 1,000 megawatt coal or nuclear power plant had been installed in 2005, buyers in the wholesale market would have saved $600 million in power costs, the report said.
28 Oct 2006

Consider energy future

Hydro Quebec (HQ) and Entergy/Vermont Yankee (VY) combine to provide Vermont with over 60 percent of its base load power, 24 hours per day 7 days per week, 365 days a year. Together, they represent safe, reliable and very clean sources of electric power. Renewables (i.e., small hydro, small wind, methane), efficiency and demand side management programs should be our first choice for new energy sources but, cannot realistically be relied upon to fill the enormous gap that would be created if VY’s license is not renewed beyond 2012 and the HQ contract is not renewed by 2016.
20 Oct 2006

Douglas, Parker Take Center Stage at Energy Conference

Wind Turbines drew a big contrast. Parker supports large scale wind projects. "The other thing we need is a governor who isn't opposed to large scale wind development. The state of Vermont is losing tax revenue, it's losing the opportunity of having a part of its portfolio from wind energy." Douglas does not support large wind projects. "This is a very controversial topic, lets face it, I think its very important as we move forward we respect everyone's point of view and have a civil discussion about the role of wind in our energy future."
20 Oct 2006

Draft: Update To the 2005 Vermont Electric Plan

Draft_update_dps_electric_plan_thumb The Update to the 2005 electric plan frames issues within the statutory directive provided by the legislature in 30 V.S.A. §202, which requires that the electric plan ensure, . . . to the greatest extent practicable, that Vermont can meet its energy service needs in a manner that is adequate, reliable, secure, and sustainable; that assures affordability and encourages the state’s economic vitality, the efficient use of energy resources and cost effective demand side management; and that is environmentally sound.
20 Oct 2006

Where they stand: On energy issues

The Free Press Editorial Board is asking candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and governor five questions about issues in their campaigns. Their answers will appear on the Opinion and Forum pages through this month. The series continues today with candidates for governor of Vermont. You can also follow the series online at Go to the Opinion page and click on "Where they stand."
7 Oct 2006

Governor candidates spar on energy, wilderness

Two very different versions of where Vermont is headed in environmental and energy policy were set out by Republican Gov. James Douglas and Democratic challenger Scudder Parker Monday night as the candidates met in their first debate centered on the environment. In Douglas’ Vermont, the state has made significant strides during his term in office in protecting the environment while easing the complexity of regulatory appeals. While not solved, the state is on its way to figuring out where it will get its electricity in the future, in Douglas’ view.
3 Oct 2006

Energy officials: Supply looks good Flurry of power plant plans may ease crunch

Under the agreement, ISO New England will project regional power needs three years in advance and hold annual auctions to buy power resources, including new and existing power plants. Incentives would encourage private operators to respond to power system emergencies, and operators that don't make extra capacity available would face penalties.
1 Oct 2006

Business Leaders Consider Vermont Energy Future

The group of executives at the state’s largest employers talked about the state’s energy future. The track record to date isn’t bad. Vermont has the least expensive electric power in New England, due to low-cost sources at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant and Hydro Quebec. But there’s concern about what happens after Vermont Yankee’s license expires in 2012 and Hydro Quebec contracts expire after that. Chris Dutton, president at Green Mountain Power Corp., posed the question that dominated the meeting. “What are we going to do when we think about replacing our base load resources?” Vermont’s base load power from large sources that run 24 hours a day, like Vermont Yankee, provide mostly clean, non-polluting energy. The debate continues over how large a role that renewable sources, like wind power, could play in the future. The Business Roundtable says some, but not all.
30 Sep 2006

Vermont, Quebec strengthen the bond

Vermont's energy future has become a hand-wringing issue, tangled up in the uncertainty of power sources and worries about climate change. Quebec Premier Jean Charest offered another opinion Friday, a more optimistic view. Just north of the border in his province, billions of dollars are being invested in renewable energy -- hydro-electric and wind -- and Quebec wants to increase its power exports. Vermont, which relies on Hydro-Quebec for a third of its electricity, has been a longtime, valued customer and Quebec would expect to continue that relationship, Charest told an audience at Champlain College in Burlington. "We will be there in times of need for each other," he said, referring to shared energy and environmental concerns. Such words, albeit with no specific price tag or contract attached, send an encouraging message to Vermont.
17 Sep 2006

111 candidate sign VPIRG power plan

MONTPELIER, Vt. -- More than 100 candidates for federal, state and local offices in Vermont have signed onto a plan by the Vermont Public Interest Research Group to reduce dependence on foreign oil and emphasize renewable sources of electricity. VPIRG asked 329 political candidates across the state to sign their pledge and 111 signed the document while 27 candidates provided position papers, which support similar goals.
10 Sep 2006

Gov. Douglas Declares Big Wind Not Worth It

Gov. Jim Douglas took his clearest position yet on industrial wind projects in Vermont on Friday, saying they would be "an imposition" on Vermont's landscape. Industrial wind turbines on ridge lines would not aesthetically suit Vermont's small scale landscape, Douglas, a Republican, said at a brainstorming session with leaders of large and small businesses Friday afternoon at the Gateway Center. To give up Vermont's brand for an energy source that could only produce 6 percent of Vermont's energy needs isn't a good idea, Douglas said. "I can't make the case there's enough gain for the pain," he said. "I just don't think it's worth it."
2 Sep 2006
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