Library filed under Energy Policy from Vermont
Hallquist said it just makes sense to focus on the real causes of Vermont's carbon production -- oil and gasoline -- than burn so much political energy battling over wind and solar energy. Both are much higher in cost than the market rates for electricity today, and both carry a high cost in dividing communities that would otherwise be supportive of a less-intrusive energy source like geothermal, Hallquist said.
A new state commission has begun to wade into the contentious debate over where Vermont builds energy projects. Critics say the state's ridgelines are at risk from industrial-scale wind development. But the panel will confine its review to the permitting process and will not examine the state's overall goals for renewable energy.
While renewable energy is well meaning, it is driving the cost of electricity higher in Vermont, which leads to money being diverted from consumers while also discouraging businesses from investing in the state, according to the Campaign for Vermont.
This document, prepared by Campaign for Vermont, explains how the State of Vermont's aggressive effort to force utilities to buy very high cost electricity from solar, wind and small hydro dam developers, is driving up electric rates. The authors argue this ia a "misguided energy and economic policy." The executive summary of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking on one of the links at the bottom of the page.
Public Service Department Commissioner Elizabeth Miller, whose department represents the public in cases before the Public Service Board, said she expects to deliver on Gov. Peter Shumlin's promise to support towns that vote not to allow wind turbines within their borders.
The state Public Service Department is poised to oppose a developer's first step toward constructing a wind energy project in the town of Newark after townspeople voted overwhelmingly against accepting turbines in their community.
This updated short feature from a larger documentary entitled Vermont's Energy Options examines several of the paths towards a renewable energy future for the state of Vermont. In this feature, utility-scale renewable energy is compared to community-oriented, small-scale renewable energy solutions. This feature, and the future full-length documentary, is produced by non-profit Energize Vermont. Energize Vermont advocates for renewable energy solutions that are in harmony with the irreplaceable character of Vermont and contribute to the people's well-being. Learn more at energizevermont.org. Duration 23 minutes 13 seconds
Encore pulled the application for the Grand View Farm turbine and announced it would no longer pursue a second turbine closer to the Canadian border. Encore then asked for a two-year extension of the commissioning milestone in hopes of reapplying for approval next year. The Public Service Board refused.
"I'm concerned by the large amount of land that has to be bulldozed and opened up in order to get these towers up to the top of the mountains," Brock said. "People don't come to Vermont to look at wind towers with lights with noise and with all the associated issues that go along with them." Brock is also concerned about the economics of these projects.
"The major concerns were the cost impact of a renewable portfolio standard," she said. Cheney said the new bill requires a study of the impacts of a renewable portfolio standard and better ways to design it. The Associated Industries of Vermont has lobbied persistently against the bill, citing the impact it will have on electric rates.
Klein and Cheney said they had been hearing a groundswell of concern voiced by business lobbyists that getting more power from renewable sources, which are usually more expensive than electricity generated with nuclear or fossil-fuel-fired power, would drive up electric rates and make Vermont less competitive economically.
A federal order issued last fall is intended to make it easier to construct transmission lines, costly and controversial projects that are notoriously tough to build.
The exact goals and when power companies would have to reach them is part of a legislative work-in-progress. But the push to an RPS -as the standard is known - is generating intense discussion in the Statehouse.
The head of Vermont Electric Cooperative says the boom in U.S. discoveries of natural gas will keep electricity prices low and put the brakes on more large wind projects in the Northeast Kingdom. That's unless Vermont forces utilities to buy more renewable local electricity, says Dave Hallquist, VEC chief executive officer.
"And when you actually look at even what's been approved, there is no appropriate site for these big machines, especially on top of our mountains. This is simply an inappropriate technology for Vermont. And the sooner our leaders recognize that, the better."
Elizabeth "Liz" Miller, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service, doesn't believe Vermont will encourage many more industrial-grade wind projects on the state's ridgelines.
In this interview, Tom Evslin explains how the economics of the Lowell Wind project in Vermont will drive up use of fossil generation. Evslin is a former member of the Clean Energy Development Fund board and the former chief technology officer under Vermont's Douglas administration. Duration: 5 minutes 26 seconds
Windham County Sen. Peter Galbraith announced Monday his plans to introduce legislation banning a controversial gas-producing practice and wind projects on Vermont-owned property. ...Galbraith pointed to the hotly-contested Lowell Wind Project as evidence his legislation is needed.
The townspeople of Sheffield are conducting meetings to decide what to do with the $500,000 annual windfall that First Wind will pay their town from revenues derived from the newly opened wind farm. That was the bribe from First Wind to kill opposition to 16 of their heavily subsidized, 400-foot-tall wind towers.
Current governor, Peter Shumlin, supports wind energy on Vermont's ridgelines. His Natural Resources Secretary, Deb Markowitz, says development on state land is possible, even with the moratorium.