This Week: S. 30 Becomes Law, New Hydro, More Solar Options, Opinions & More…

May 24, 2013 No Comments by
Great news! Senate 30 has been signed into law by Governor Shumlin. It is now officially known as Act 38. The law requires the energy committees from both the House and Senate to meet over the Summer to discuss how to follow up on recommendations from the Energy Siting Commission. This also provides a forum for the public to continue to engage on siting matters, and hopefully means we’ll head into the next legislative session with ideas to act on.

In solar news, our Power Up Program (PUP) has over 100 Vermonters interested in participating. That’s great news for everyone involved, but it means we’ve been a little slow getting back to people. So if you haven’t heard from us, you will shortly. In the mean time if you are interested in going solar in the most affordable manner possible at your home or business, consider inquiring about the PUP program at

This week Green Mountain Power announced a pilot program for bringing solar power to homes through smaller, centralized installations. The program is a nice complement to our PUP program because not everyone has a great site for hosting solar at their home. GMP’s program offers multi-year leases that support solar installations and may save money over the length of the lease. They are running the program with a large, out of state company called NRG Energy. We would have liked to see them utilize a local partner for this work.

In North Bennington, a company called Carbon Zero has received both state and federal permits to retrofit an almost 200 year old dam at the old Vermont Tissue Mill. They plan to start construction on the project this summer. It is a rare example of new hydro facilities being developed.

The AP broke the news last week that the Obama administration has never fined a wind farm for killing eagles or other protected birds. They have however done so for other industries. They’ve also refused to make some of the deaths public. Many in the environmental community are concerned about this double standard and want to see renewables developed with the necessary protections enforced.

There have also been several good opinions on utility-scale wind in Vermont recently, including:

VNRC released their annual member survey. The survey included a question about ridgeline wind. The results were that 79% said we should build it with (many) considerations and only in certain areas. The rest, 11% and 10% respectively either thought we shouldn’t build any, or that we need to build it, “as quickly as possible.”See page 12 for details.

New England Grassroots Environment Fund is hosting their 2013 rootSkills conference on June 7th and 8th. The purpose of the conference is to help those working in grassroots movements to increase their skillsets. Theystill have openings and it isn’t too late to register if you are interested.

A couple of events are coming up you should be aware of and consider attending:

Lastly, please make a tax deductible contribution to Energize Vermont today. We are making progress bringing renewable energy to Vermont in harmony with our natural resources and people – but we need your help.

Thank you for your support.

Have a great weekend,

Lukas B. Snelling

Hydro, Latest News, Solar, Weekly Update, Wind

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