This Week: RPS Update, Merger MOU, Wind Strife & More…

Mar 30, 2012 No Comments by

After weeks of debate about how to payback the money ratepayers loaned to CVPS in the ’90s, the big news this week came when the Department of Public Service announced they had reached an agreement (MOU) with GMP and CVPS not to oppose the merger if the companies agreed to a handful of concessions. None of the concessions unfortunately involved paying back the ratepayers upfront, and now instead the money will be invested in efficiency efforts. This agreement came after GMP complained that having to payback customers upfront would likely “kill” the merger. The agreement makes it very clear the administration supports the merger, and mostly clears the way for the merger to go through the PSB approval process unopposed.

A lot of wind related news this week, and most of it related to the on-going controversy on the topic in Vermont. The Caledonian-Record covered the announcement that the six individuals arrested at Lowell would begin jury selection in June. They also covered GMP’s attempt to take an easement from a neighbor of the Lowell wind project through the condemnation process. The neighbor is contesting the request.

Concern is growing over the proposed Grandpa’s Knob wind project in West Rutland, VT.Residents in the in the town demanded more information from the developer at a recent public meeting, and the Rutland Herald ran an opinion from a neighbor strongly opposing the project and questioning the methods the developer is using. The proposal calls for building 20 to 25 459ft tall turbines in the area. Similar concerns were expressed this week over in Derby. There the Public Service Board held a public hearing where over 100 people attendedwith many speaking out on both sides of the project. The PSB also granted the towns of Derby and Holland and the villages of Derby Line and Derby Center party status in that case.

I had the pleasure of spending some of the week at the State House where there was significant testimony being given in the Senate Natural Resources and Energy committee on the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) bill (H. 468).  I briefly testified that if we are going to set aggressive goals for renewable energy development in Vermont we must also ensure that our ability to protect the state from inappropriate development remains intact. You can see an outline of my comments here.

Lastly this week I call your attention to a opinion piece by former Vermont State Naturalist and author Charles W. Johnson where he talks about the love of our land and how that comes headstrong against our desire to develop our ridgelines for energy. Give it a read.

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

Luke

 

 

 

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

Mar 30, 2012 02:38 pm | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   DERBY — Towns and villages near the Derby Line Wind Project have all been granted party status in the formal hearings before state utility regulators. John Cotter, hearing officer for the Vermont Public Service Board, has said that the towns of Derby and Holland can intervene in the process as well …

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Mar 30, 2012 09:59 am | alina

Reposted from VTDigger.   Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Charles W. Johnson, the retired Vermont State Naturalist and author of “The Nature of Vermont” and other books on natural history.   Huge wind turbines vs. the mountains. Environmentalists vs. environmentalists. An unfamiliar, uncomfortable fight is on. I have been involved in conservation in Vermont …

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Mar 30, 2012 09:56 am | alina

Reposted from Newport Daily Express.   DERBY – Approximately 100 people turned out for the Public Service Board (PSB) hearing on the proposed Derby Line Wind Farm, held Monday evening at the Derby Elementary School. Comments were mixed between those who support the project and those who oppose it. But opponents dominated the time and …

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Mar 30, 2012 09:53 am | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   DERBY LINE — Opinions were evenly divided over the Derby Line Wind Project at a public hearing that drew over 100 people Monday evening to the Derby Elementary School. An official with state electricity regulators on the Vermont Public Service Board took verbal and written testimony about the plan to erect …

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Mar 29, 2012 10:37 am | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   Reunion Power has targeted Grandpa’s Knob and the Pittsford Ridge through Castleton, West Rutland, Pittsford and Hubbardton for 20-25, 459-foot-tall wind turbines. We are writing to express our concerns and opposition to this project, and raise some questions for thought.   Reunion Power has already begun negotiations with the landowners …

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Mar 29, 2012 10:31 am | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   WEST RUTLAND — Residents are concerned about a proposed wind project at the top of Grandpa’s Knob and want answers from the developer. At a public meeting with town officials on Monday, about 18 West Caledoniasidents voiced their concerns regarding the project that included the impact on property taxes …

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Mar 29, 2012 10:27 am | alina

Caledoniarom Caledonianedonian-Record.   Green Mountain Power is seeking a private property easement near the site of the 21st turbine proposed for the Lowell wind project. The easement would give GMP the right to a 1,000-foot blast safety zone on private land in Eden adjacent to the wind project site.   If approved by state …

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Mar 26, 2012 02:14 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   The state’s renewable energy policy and the attempts to close Vermont Yankee came under criticism by several energy experts at a panel discussion on the “Role of Renewables in Vermont’s Energy Future,” hosted by the Rutland County Republican Party on Saturday. Panel members included David O’Brien, former commissioner of the …

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Mar 24, 2012 12:54 pm | alina

Reposted from Caledonia  Representatives for Green Mountain Power say an attempt by the Vermont legislature to require a cash payback as a result of a utility merger could sour the deal. Earlier this week, four representatives proposed an amendment to House Bill 468 that would require Central Vermont Public Service to pay ratepayers $21 …

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Mar 24, 2012 12:17 pm | alina

Caledoniarom Caledonian-Record.   NEWPORT CITY — The six Lowell wind protesters accused of trespassing on land controlled by Green Mountain Power are set to pick juries June 21. The protesters were arrested Dec. 5 after they hiked to the Lowell wind site and blockaded the crane path for hours.   During a calendar call …

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