This Week: RPS Concerns, Merger Money, Solar for Business & More…

Mar 23, 2012 No Comments by

The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) bill passed the House this week with a vote of 91-46. The bill sets goals for the amount of renewable energy the utilities will need to purchase over the next four decades, and provides them with several options to achieve those goals. Now that the bill is on to the Senate, it appears folks are starting to express concerns over some of the implications of the bill. I’ve heard the following from Vermonters:

  • Many are concerned the bill encourages utility-scale renewable development just as much as it does small-scale renewables
  • The bill states its goal is to combat the environmental impacts of climate change, but fails to address environmental impacts of utility-scale generation
  • WCAX and Rutland Herald report on potential increases to our rates (and their impact on businesses)

Whether the merged GMP and CVPS would have to payback Vermonters for CVPS’s earlier $21 million dollar loan briefly got wrapped up into the RPS debate. Speaker Shap Smith ended a potential amendment to the bill that would have required ratepayers to be paid back directly. However VTDigger reports that efforts are being made to get it into another bill this session. Currently GMP is offering to invest the money in energy efficiency.

Montpelier wasn’t the only source of energy news this week. The Burlington Free Press ran an article talking about how Vermont businesses are using solar to control costs. Many folks protested at Vermont Yankee as the plant’s original license was set to expire. Entergy plans to continue operating the plant.

In wind related news, the Town of Wilmington filed an appeal to the Forest Service over the Deerfield Wind Project’s recent approval. Folks concerned about the Derby wind project asked the developer to enter into a contract to respond to their concerns about health, property values, and decommissioning. This week’s Barton Chronicle covered the big wind project proposed by Eolian Renewables for Newark, Ferdinand, and Brighton. We’ve posted the project’s application for MET towers, you can review it here.

Also worth noting, Josh Schlossberg authored a commentary on VTDigger calling for more “Vermont-Scale” energy solutions. We certainly agree!

See or hear news? Email me.

Thank you for your continued support and have a great weekend,

Luke

 

 

 

Lukas B. Snelling
802-778-0660
luke@energizevermont.org

Mar 23, 2012 10:58 am | alina

Reposted from Burlington Free Press.   Solar power has many Vermont companies rethinking energy consumption. Installing energy efficient lights is one thing, but large rooftop solar panels are quite another undertaking. Saving energy has come to the forefront of facilities management. Being that solar power is free, clean and renewable, managers are looking into available, …

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Mar 23, 2012 10:51 am | alina

Reposted from WCAX.   In a state where natural resources are celebrated, lawmakers are asking folks at home to harvest them and make them Vermont’s main source of power.   “The future for Vermont and Vermonters is we’ll be more independent as individuals, communities and as a state,” said Robert Dostis of Green Mountain Power. …

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Mar 23, 2012 10:47 am | alina

This week’s Barton Chronicle included coverage of the Newark wind project as well as a relevant letter to the editor.  Download the relevant pages in PDF format.

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Mar 23, 2012 10:39 am | alina

Reposted from VTDigger.   An amendment that would require CVPS to pay back ratepayers in cash for a 2001 bailout may get a second chance. Rep. Cynthia Browning, D-Arlington, will be proposing the measure when the Department of Public Service omnibus “housekeeping bill” comes out of House Commerce and Economic Development next week. The amendment …

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Mar 22, 2012 02:12 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   MONTPELIER — The House passed an energy bill Wednesday designed to expand the amount of electricity Vermont gets from renewable sources like wind and solar, despite concerns from some lawmakers that the legislation would hurt businesses by raising electricity rates. The bill passed on a 91-46 vote, sending it to …

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Mar 22, 2012 02:09 pm | alina

Reposted from VTDigger.   A bill that would require homeowners to disclose the efficiency of their homes to prospective buyers will likely see debate in the Senate Finance Committee this week. S.143 squeaked out of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy on a 3-2 vote Friday. The finance committee should decide on it …

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Mar 22, 2012 10:25 am | alina

Reposted from VTDigger.   House Speaker Shap Smith put the kibosh on an amendment on Wednesday that would have prevented the Vermont Public Service Board from approving the merger of Central Vermont Public Service and Green Mountain Power unless it required CVPS to pay back ratepayers $21 million. Ratepayers bailed out CVPS in the early …

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Mar 22, 2012 10:22 am | alina

Reposted from WXAC.   VERNON, Vt. – Members of the New England Peace Pagoda marched toward the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon just after noon Wednesday. They’ve been traveling the country by foot protesting nuclear power. “Some of us came from New Jersey and some of us started around the Boston, Seabrook area. …

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Mar 21, 2012 10:02 am | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   MONTPELIER — With summer temperatures in Vermont on the first day of spring, House members gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill to address climate change. “We see its evidence everywhere and we see it at an ever increasing rate,” Rep. Margaret Cheney said on the House floor while the …

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Mar 21, 2012 09:59 am | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   DERBY — Opponents of a proposed wind turbine project asked the Derby select board to enter a contract with the developer to protect the town from liability. At the regular meeting Monday evening, opponents cited several concerns related to health, property value decline, and decommissioning of the project.   “We should …

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Mar 21, 2012 09:55 am | alina

Reposted from Bennington Banner.   MONTPELIER — With summer temperatures in Vermont on the first day of spring, House members gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill to address climate change. “We see its evidence everywhere and we see it at an ever increasing rate,” Rep. Margaret Cheney said on the House floor while the …

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Mar 20, 2012 10:17 am | alina

Reposted from VTDigger.   Editor’s note: Josh Schlossberg is the editor of The Biomass Monitor.   High temperature records in Burlington recently were broken for two days — March 13 and 18. The frigid, snowy winters that thrilled me when I first moved to Vermont at age 17 have become mild and bare, almost disingenuous. …

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Mar 19, 2012 03:02 pm | alina

Reposted from Deerfield Valley News.   WILMINGTON- The town has appealed the US Forest Service’s decision to approve the construction of 15 wind turbines on two ridgelines on Green Mountain National Forest land in Searsburg and Readsboro. In an appeal filed on February 24, the town claims the Forest Service failed to consider impacts on …

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