This Week: VELCO Debate, Derby Hearing, Fair Haven Permit and More…

Feb 17, 2012 1 Comment by

This week saw continued State House debate about the future Vermont’s transmission infrastructure company VELCO as a group of Senators continued to push for the State to study whether it might make sense to acquire the operation. VTDigger covered the events, as did the Barton Chronicle, and it seems the sticking point is most feel it would be too expensive, and of course the utilities have no desire to see their control (or profit source) weakened. At the same time folks were debating the future of VELCO, The Rutland Herald covered GMP and CVPS’s attempt to solve the issue of CVPS paying back ratepayers from earlier loans by saying they would invest $21 million in energy efficiency. This proposal was criticized for not just paying back ratepayers, and instead investing in other initiatives.

Media also covered the Derby wind project PSB pre-hearing this week. All reports seem to indicate there were a lot of questions for the developer based on what appeared to be an incomplete application. The developer was also questioned for why they failed to alert folks in Canada to their plans. The developer was also looking for an aggressive hearing schedule to get the Certificate of Public Good (CPG) in hand by May. If you are interested in this project you are encouraged to attend the PSB public hearing on March 1st in Derby. Also related, folks down in Massachusetts were debating the impacts on health from wind turbine noise, with many discussing the real world impacts of when turbines are built too close to homes.

The Fair Haven biomass project received its air quality control permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation. They are still working towards receiving their CPG. Fair Haven also made news this week when they announced they were looking at utilizing a hydroelectric turbine on the outlet of their water treatment facility to generate 10kw of power.

Also in the news this week was the rumpus surrounding Public Service Board Chairman James Volz’s confirmation hearing. Seven Days did a lengthy write-up of all the factors in playon both sides of the issue. It’s an interesting read and worth checking out if you want to learn more about how the PSB works and its history.

Before closing, I also wanted to point out an opinion piece from the Times Argus. In it Michael Reddy calls out GMP parent company Gaz Metro for its apparent ambition to make Vermont into an energy highway to other more lucrative markets. This opinion seems representative of folks that feel the goal behind the merger is to make us into an energy colony of Quebec.

At Energize Vermont we are working for community-based energy solutions, and if youappreciate the work we are doing (including this newsletter) please make a tax deductible donation today.

Thank you for your support and have a great weekend,


Lukas B. Snelling

Feb 16, 2012 12:42 pm | alina

This week’s Barton Chronicle included coverage of the Derby Line wind project as well as Iluzzi’s fight for public transmission line ownership.  Download the relevant pages in PDF format.

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Feb 16, 2012 10:01 am | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   The state’s two largest utilities have proposed investing an additional $21 million in energy efficiency as part of their planned merger. The proposal is designed to resolve the issue of how Central Vermont Public Service must repay its customers for an emergency rate hike approved by the Public Service Board …

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Feb 16, 2012 09:58 am | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   Vermont regulators will conduct a public hearing on the Derby Line wind project March 1 in Derby Line. Hearing Officer John Cotter of the Vermont Public Service Board will preside at the hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Derby Elementary School on Elm Street.   Cotter will take verbal and …

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Feb 15, 2012 04:09 pm | alina

Reposted from Seven Days.   Confirmation hearings don’t normally draw a crowd — not in Vermont, anyway. But reporters and TV crews filled every seat in the Senate Finance Committee room late last month to get a look at James Volz, chair of the Vermont Public Service Board, who is up for another six-year term. …

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Feb 15, 2012 04:03 pm | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   NEWPORT CITY — The Chronicle Publisher Chris Braithwaite’s decision to follow protesters onto the Lowell wind site is similar to how reporters covered a 1979 protest at a nuclear power plant under construction in Oklahoma, according to Braithwaite’s attorney.   Nine reporters were arrested at that time for trespassing, along with …

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Feb 15, 2012 03:57 pm | alina

Reposted from Times Argus.   The proposed takeover of CVPS by Green Mountain Power poses a grave threat to the state of Vermont. Like “renewable wind,” Green Mountain Power sounds so wholesome and Vermont-y, but as is the case with ridgeline wind projects, further investigation reveals a seedy underside carefully managed by public relations teams, lawyers …

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Feb 15, 2012 03:49 pm | alina

Reposted from Mass Live.   BOSTON — Neil Anderson says the headaches, dizziness and palpitations began shortly after Wind One, a 400-foot high wind turbine, began operating about a quarter mile from his Falmouth home. So did sleep disruptions, ringing in his ears and elevated blood pressure. Anderson was among a number of Massachusetts residents …

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Feb 15, 2012 03:43 pm | alina

Reposted from Bennington Banner. FAIR HAVEN – A biomass project proposed for Fair Haven has received a necessary air quality control permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The plant is being proposed by Beaver Wood Energy LLC, and is planned to produce 29.5 megawatts of biomass power as well as manufacture wood pellets …

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Feb 14, 2012 01:12 pm | alina

Reposted from Seven Days Blog.   A routine budget bill led to some drama on the Senate floor yesterday in Montpelier. The Senate went into session to take up the budget adjustment bill, normally not the most controversial piece of legislation. But sparks flew over a proposal to have the state purchase a majority stake …

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Feb 14, 2012 12:50 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   FAIR HAVEN — The energy committee in Fair Haven is spearheading a project that could provide up to 10 kilowatts of hydroelectric power for the town. The four-person committee is looking into the possibility of installing a water turbine at the town’s water treatment facility with the hopes of generating …

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Feb 14, 2012 12:46 pm | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   MONTPELIER — The developer of the Derby Line wind project did not notify Canadian landowners whose property abuts the proposed sites of two industrial turbines. John Cotter, hearing officer for the Vermont Public Service Board, wants to know why not.   On Monday at a “pre-hearing” about the wind project in …

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One Response to “This Week: VELCO Debate, Derby Hearing, Fair Haven Permit and More…”

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