Library filed under Energy Policy from Vermont

Just Not Worth It

Despite all the lofty talk of saving the world from global warming, these renewable energy projects have always been about the money. Throw up a bunch of renewable energy projects, hustle the tax credits and subsidies, and charge ratepayers exorbitant fees for intermittent power. Communities and mountains be damned.
20 Jan 2014

Towns want more local input in energy project permitting

Horn said she is not suggesting that towns have veto power over the board’s decisions, but she does want the statute’s language changed to give towns an effective voice in the process. Communities have become concerned over the permitting process because of the impact some energy generation projects, such as the 21-turbine wind project on Lowell Mountain, have on the surrounding landscape.
30 Oct 2013

Vt. lawmakers voice concerns on energy siting

Sen. Robert Hartwell, D-Bennington and chairman of the Senate panel, cited the example of a man who told him he was trying to establish an organic vegetable farm in Addison County between a Vermont Electric Power Co. high-voltage power line and the route of a natural gas pipeline Vermont Gas Systems is proposing. Like many property owners affected by such projects but who can't afford to hire lawyers to represent them before the state Public Service Board ...He's nowhere" in terms of having an adequate voice in the process.
26 Sep 2013

Energy plan criticized, Shumlin defends goals

Guy Page is communications director for the Vermont Energy Partnership, said most Vermonters don't realize the scale of change to the landscape that's required to achieve just a 5 percent increase for in-state renewable sources. More mountain top wind projects - such as those that have stirred controversy in Sheffield and Lowell - would be needed to reach the goal, Page said.
13 Aug 2013

Familiar differences emerge on energy panel

Discussion Thursday reflected the strong support among House members for renewable energy, especially wind power, and the more sympathetic posture among senators to critics who say the process for siting wind turbines needs big improvements. Legislation introduced on the Senate side originally called for a moratorium on new wind-power development.
15 Jun 2013

Harnessing wind

It would be too bad if a project had local support but a moratorium quashed it. It would also be too bad if a project were universally despised in its host communities but a town's lack of standing in the process did not allow the PSB to take into account local views. ...Even boosters such as Shumlin say they don't want to cram any projects down townspeople's throats. The Legislature ought to be looking for ways that towns can be empowered to prevent that from happening.
25 Apr 2013

No freeze on wind projects, but greater voice for towns

Advocates of the temporary ban say a compromise package being voted out of a House committee this week could at least bring more scrutiny of the regulatory process that governs ridgeline wind projects. ...Sen. Robert Hartwell, a Bennington County Democrat and lead sponsor of the original moratorium language, said he believes those summer hearings will yield legislation next year that will amplify citizens' voices in the regulatory process.
24 Apr 2013

Energy Siting Panel: Towns could say no to big wind

The latest round of draft recommendations from the Governor's Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission would not force a town like Newark or Brighton to find a place for big wind turbines, unlike a previous draft. Instead, the draft recommendations now say that towns can reject one form of renewable technology as long as the towns promote alternative renewable energy projects instead.
22 Apr 2013

Margolis: Does it or doesn't it?

Vermont utility companies may both sell their renewable energy credits (REC) and count them toward their state-required renewable energy quotas. According to some authorities, Vermont's renewable energy projects aren't renewable. "If a marketer generates renewable electricity but sells renewable energy certificates for all of that electricity, it would be deceptive for the marketer to represent, directly or by implication, that it uses renewable energy," said the Federal Trade Commission in a report cited by Vermont's Public Service Board.
31 Mar 2013

Vermont Senate: Study turbine impacts

On Friday, Galbraith argued that the significance of that assessment and report should not be downplayed. Armed with information from the study, lawmakers could revisit the wind-power legislation in their next session starting in January. "Then, we have our bite at the apple," Galbraith said. He also pointed out that the bill still contains a provision banning wind turbines -- or any other commercial development -- on state land.
30 Mar 2013

Vt. Green energy bill advances but is scaled down

Foes of mountaintop wind power in Vermont were dealt a setback Tuesday when a bill calling for more study of large-scale renewable energy development was significantly reduced in scope. Though the bill won preliminary approval in the Senate, it was only after provision calling for a slowdown of such development was scaled back, then removed completely.
26 Mar 2013
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