Articles from Vermont

Windmill project to be argued in court this week

But VCE believes that the process by which the project achieved approval is flawed, along with the project’s location. Constructing industrial power on national forest land is something that VCE executive director Annette Smith says is a dangerous slope. “If these are allowed to be built on US forest land, it opens wind turbines to be built all over the country’s forest lands,” said Smith.
19 Jul 2014

When energy claims “green,” who do you trust?

“When an energy producer says they are clean or green, you should be skeptical,” said Kevin Jones, deputy director of the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School. He noted the proliferation of large-scale solar projects in the state. The energy generated from these projects are not used by Vermonters, but are sold to out-of-state electricity producers in the form of renewable energy credits.
14 Jul 2014

How’s that for irony: Well-funded lobbyists ‘taking on big money in politics’

VPIRG’s board of trustees reveals cozy ties with executives of the state’s top solar companies and wind farms — people who benefit directly from the group’s renewable energy advocacy. VPIRG board member Duane Peterson is a co-president of SolarCommunities, Inc. VPIRG’s treasurer, Mathew Rubin, is president of East Haven Windfarm. The group also has ties to David Blittersdorf, founder of NRG Systemsand now CEO of AllEarth Renewables in Williston.
25 Jun 2014

Conservation group slams 'secret' work between governors, utilities

“The states and NESCOE are deliberately working out the details of this plan in secret, consistent with the view of one of NESCOE’s staffers that the plan should be ‘formulated behind closed doors’ because the ‘court of public opinion can be fickle and recalcitrant,’ ” Courchesne wrote, quoting an email from a NESCOE staff member to Executive Director Heather Hunt.
25 Jun 2014

Energy issues matter to Vermonters, two polls show

The Vermont Legislature has instituted policies that fast-track regulatory review of large-scale energy projects despite mounting opposition from local communities that would host the projects. Much of Vermont’s renewable power is sold out of state in the form of a renewable energy credits. ...“They’re continuing to allow not only the destruction of our neighbors’ communities and towns, but also the environment.”
24 Jun 2014

Boost for Northern Pass partners?

The six New England governors, working with the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCO) and regional grid operators, have launched a process under which Northern Pass partners may be able to acquire substantial ratepayer funding and eminent domain powers for the controversial plan to bring hydroelectricity from Quebec into New England.
24 Jun 2014

Vermont blames the victims

Blaming turbine neighbors for their illnesses is not the sole province of the greedy, insensitive, and mean-spirited. It’s state policy. Here’s how Vermont Department of Health official William Irwin explained the Department’s view to a legislative committee: The fact that they (the neighbors) can hear it (the turbines) annoys them and it has a different sound so it will be discernable above all the others and that's like the dripping faucet…  It's their attitude about the sound… if you can change that, it may help.
11 Jun 2014

Vermont smack in the middle of crucial electricity supply and demand

Developers are pitching plans, and are now offering states handsome “benefits packages” in seeking their support. In addition, states could earn millions from new property or infrastructure taxes, the leasing of existing right-of-ways and financial returns on public investment in the lines. But these assurances aren’t enough, according to Kerrick Johnson, vice president of Vermont Electric Power Co., or VELCO.
9 Jun 2014

Lowell Wind opponents slam noise monitoring plans

In reaction to those complaints, the PSB wants to know what the department thinks about the impact of background noise when monitoring turbine-generated sounds. The board also wants to know what the obstacles are to real-time monitoring, and what steps would be taken to bring the project into compliance if a noise violation is found.
3 Jun 2014

Seneca Mountain Wind project on hold as developer pulls application

The decision to back off the 20-turbine ridgeline wind project in Ferdinand was likely due to the cost of upgrading the transmission infrastructure needed to connect the remote wind power to the weak rural grid network. Transmission line upgrades were estimated to cost $86 million, according to David Hallquist, CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative.
23 May 2014

Electricity supplier won’t buy Vermont renewable energy credits

One of the nation’s top renewable energy suppliers said it will no longer trade Vermont’s renewable energy credits that are also counted toward the state’s clean energy target. “It is a fundamental principle of all renewable energy market sales that the environmental characteristics associated with the electric energy generated cannot be counted or claimed twice,” NextEra Energy said.
19 May 2014
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