Electricity supplier won’t buy Vermont renewable energy credits

One of the nation’s top renewable power suppliers said it will no longer trade Vermont’s renewable energy credits, which are also counted toward the state’s clean electricity goals.

nexteraenergy 3

NextEra Energy announced last week that it will no longer take double-counted power in a letter to New England renewable energy credit brokers. The $15 billion North American company purchases and sells renewable energy credits (RECs).

“It is a fundamental principle of all renewable energy market sales that the environmental characteristics associated with the electric energy generated cannot be counted or claimed twice,” NextEra Energy officials wrote.

Renewable power producers can sell RECs to other companies to meet state renewable energy standards. Vermont utilities often sell credits for renewable power generated in the state to out-of-state power suppliers. Under Vermont’s clean energy development incentive program, this renewable power also counts toward the state’s clean energy target.

On Jan. 1, Connecticut banned the purchase of Vermont credits that are also used to meet the state’s renewable energy target. As a result, NextEra, which provides electricity in Connecticut, will no longer trade Vermont RECs in Connecticut.

Critics of Vermont’s program say the state is claiming renewable energy credits that are sold to other states.

“The Connecticut Legislature did this because they knew that Vermont was trying to create the perception of being green without paying the full price of being green,” said Kevin Jones, deputy director of the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School.

He said Vermont is selling its renewable energy to other states while importing fossil fuel-generated electricity. By claiming those credits to meet Vermont’s renewable energy targets, Jones said, companies could be liable to pay penalties for purchasing fraudulent credits.

Darren Springer, deputy commissioner of the Department of Public Service, provided the department’s recommendation for a net metering program to the House Committee on Natural Resources and Energy. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Darren Springer, deputy commissioner of the Department of Public Service. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Darren Springer, deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service, said NextEra’s announcement will not slow renewable energy development in the state.

“There’s going to be a value to the renewable energy credit regardless,” Springer said. “It doesn’t necessarily signal a broader market issue at this point.”

RECs currently sell on the market for about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. Springer said the sale of RECs reduces rates by about 5 percent.

The state’s largest utility, Green Mountain Power, has sold $22 million in RECs to date, a company spokesperson said. The state also counts this renewable power generation toward the statewide renewable energy targets.

“This basically seems like blatant fraud to me,” said Ben Luce, a Lyndon State College professor who last year unsuccessfully lobbied lawmakers to revise the program.

“The net effect of this is it gives Vermonters a false impression of how much renewable power costs,” he said.

Luce is an outspoken opponent of Green Mountain Power’s Lowell Mountain wind project. Lowell voters have voted twice to support it, but he said residents may be hesitant to back a project that produces renewable power legally credited to other states.

He said the statement from NextEra, a key industry player, could force Vermont to reconsider its renewable energy incentive program.

“It could finally expose this whole thing,” he said. “It could bring about pressure to have a renewable energy standard.”

The state operates under what is called the SPEED program, which is designed to move the state toward generating 20 percent of its power from renewable energy by 2017 by providing developers incentives for their projects.

Vermont is the only state in the nation that sells RECs and counts the power towards its renewable energy target, Jones said.

The Department of Public Service will report back to lawmakers next year on the environmental and economic benefits of adopting a renewable energy portfolio standard. Unlike Vermont’s current voluntary program, an RPS would require Vermont to sell or keep renewable energy credits.

Correction: Residents of Lowell have voted twice to support the Kingdom County Wind project. Residents of surrounding towns have not voted on the matter.


John Herrick

Comments

  1. This action by NextERA comes only a few months after Connecticut Light & Power asked REC suppliers to cited whether their offerings were tied to Vermont SPEED projects. Watch for other load serving entities to follow suit.

    • Richard Ratico :

      Meanwhile, NextEra is on the Connecticut Attorney General’s list of ten companies who may be overcharging ratepayers.

  2. Annette Smith :

    A correction: Only Lowell voted on the wind project. $500,000 a year went a long way in that town. No other towns in the area voted.

    • Cate Chant :

      Annette, Thank you for the correction.

  3. Steve E. Wright :

    John Herrick made a grievous error when, referring to the Lowell project, he reported, “Towns adjacent to the project have voted to support it ……….”

    No towns other than Lowell voted to support the dumb decision to tear up a mountain in order to sell green credits to southern New England polluter plants. And Lowell taxpayers
    profited handsomely from that action.

    For three years many people have told the governor, the Legislature, the Judiciary, the Public Service Board, the Public Service Department and anyone else willing to listen that the SPEED program is a sham and disgrace.

    Now, SPEED cooks in its own juices and Vermont ratepayers will pay for the fuel.

    We can reduce greenhouse gas emissions without tearing up the landscape. Let’s get on with weatherizing homes/buildings and reducing miles driven.

    Generating excess renewable energy with no effective storage system is a fool’s errand. All it does is burden the ratepayers and make money for large corporations.

    Three cheers for the State of Connecticut. Their regulators saw the truth of the matter and had the courage to take action.

    • Cate Chant :

      Steve, Thank you for the correction.

    • Steve,

      You are being too nice.

      SPEED is not only a fraudulent sham and a disgrace, but it far too expensive for poor Vermont.

      Here are the production and cost data from the DPS website:

      Here are the production results for the SPEED Program, 2.2 megawatt or less:

      2010……..5,980,779 kWh……..0.1387 $/kWh; July – December
      2011……20,172,973 kWh………0.1644 $/kWh
      2012……29,666,592 kWh………0.1716 $/kWh
      2013……44,822,813 kWh………0.1919 $/kWh

      Note the RISING trend, whereas RE promoters were claiming RE rates would decline. NE annual average grid prices are about 5 c/kWh.

      Such high RE energy costs will increase Vermont household electric rates, which already are the 4th highest in the US, right after Connecticut, Alaska, and Hawaii.

      http://vermontspeed.com/speed-monthly-production/

      Solar SPEED is compensated at an outrageously high 27 c/kWh for ALL energy fed into the grid, and non-SPEED, mostly roof-mounted solar systems, is compensated at the electric rate + 6 c/kWh, for all energy produced, in the GMP North service area. In the GMP South service area different, less generous, rules apply.

      NOTE: The SPEED value of 27 c/kWh is at least 10 c/kWh too high. According to David Hallquist, CEO of VEC, it should be 17 c/kWh for systems 1,000 kW and up.

      That value is of great benefit to fatten the tax shelters of multi-millionaires, but excessively increases the electric rates of already-struggling households and businesses.

      In-state and out-of-state multi-millionaires with tax shelters, who put up “PSB-approved”, heavily-subsidized, $10 million (less tax credits, grants, depreciation), 2.2 MW solar systems in Vermont meadows, get compensated at an outrageous 2,200 kW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.14 = 2,698,080 kWh x 0.27* c/kWh = $728,482 per year for 25 years!!!

      A gravy train, if ever there was one. That energy could be bought from the grid at 5 c/kWh, or $134,904 per year. The difference, $593,578, gets charged mostly to household electric bills. Multiply that by, say, 20 systems and we are talking real money.

      *The 0.27 was used for calculation purposes. The feed-in tariff was recently reduced to 25.7 c/kWh, but no new PV systems are compensated yet at the new tariff.

      SPEED is an unnecessary economic imposition on already-struggling households and businesses trying to make ends meet/hold their own, most of them with declining or stagnant real household incomes since about 2000, in a near-zero-growth Vermont economy, with a cost of living index 20% greater than the US COL, with a government and quasi-government sector growing at a greater rate than the increasingly-hollowed-out private sector, and with the fourth highest electric rates in the US, right after Hawaii, Alaska, and Connecticut, partially due to having to subsidize and finance expensive, ineffective SPEED programs that produce variable, intermittent, i.e., junk, energy at 3-4 times NE grid prices. See URLs.

      http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/332911/high-renewable-energy-costs-damage-vermonts-economy
      http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/46652/reducing-energy-use-houses
      http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/71771/energy-efficiency-first-renewables-later

      • Wendy Wilton :

        Willem and others, thank you for your insightful comments to this important article about Vermont’s flawed energy policy. Kudos to VTDigger for getting to the facts.

  4. Kevin Jones :

    Two utilities cannot consume the same MWH of electricity. It is a simple fact. Since Vermont utilities sell almost all of their renewable energy credits out of state ,Vermont’s renewable energy goals and programs are an illusion. Vermont is largely subsidizing large renewables (both wind and solar) to be sold to out of state customers. This makes as much policy sense as it would for Vermont taxpayers to subsidize school construction in Vermont in order to educate students from CT and MA. Most Vermonters would just call that ridiculously bad policy but that is what our political leaders are doing with our renewable energy programs. Vermonters are subsidizing renewable construction so that it can be sold to out of state customers. It is unlike any other state’s policy. The Vermont SPEED and standard offer programs raise both Vermont’s electric rates and greenhouse gas emissions since Vermont is credited with importing fossil fueled energy while our utilities sell our renewables out of state. Meanwhile the State of CT and large renewable energy company NextEra have said enough is enough and are trying to clean up the sham renewable energy transactions facilitated by Vermont law. Meanwhile Vermont electric costs rise as well as our greenhouse gas emissions. It is the most fundamentally flawed renewable energy policy in the nation.

    Worsening this problem is the fact that energy developers and financiers are doing the same thing with our net metering program. While some customers may believe they are purchasing renewable energy the developers through their purchase power agreements are actually selling the renewable energy out of state. Vermont should become a renewable energy leader and end these misleading sham policies.

    • Kevin,

      You keep making the same error, and, what is worse, are creating the wrong impressions in the minds of lay people.

      You are mixing the bookkeeping and which state gets the CO2 emission reduction credit with the physics.

      Vermont utilities, etc., sell the RECs associated with PRODUCING renewable energy to out-of-state entities. It is allowed by a dysfunctional Vermont SPEED law. See my above comment.

      Physics: The energy itself is fed into the grid, as electro-magnetic waves (the electrons vibrate in place at 60 hertz), and immediately dissipates, at near the speed of light, all over the grid, to fill in voltage valleys, where ever they may be. If that were not the case, the grid could not function.

      The act of producing the RE reduces New England’s CO2 emissions, and does not physically increase imports of energy from other sources, including coal energy.

      In fact, if NE produced RE for ALL its needs, no energy from other sources would need to be imported.

      Whatever legislative bookkeeping tricks are used to allocate, on paper, CO2 emission reduction credits to the various states is totally disconnected from the physics.

      • Kevin Jones :

        Willem

        I agree with you on the physics. If there are two utilities in New England with one in MA and one in VT. The MA utility contracts for 100 MWh with a coal plant and the Vt utility contracts for 100 mwh with a wind farm. The Vermont utility sells all of its RECs to the MA utility so the MA utility can claim to be 100% renewable. Then if the only other energy resource is the coal plant isn’t the accurate accounting that the Vermont utility must be buying the coal energy and claiming the significant greenhouse has emissions?If not what is the Vermont utility buying since it is not the wind energy?

        • Kevin,

          Your hypothetical case is not the real world.

          New England has a mix of sources, and any utility can buy that mix as much as it wants from the grid at an average price of about 5 c/kWh, a very good deal, partially so because of low-cost nuclear, and low-cost gas, and low-cost hydro.

          The MA buying the VT RECs and then claiming to be 100% renewable is as phony as a $3 bill. Only lawyers and politicians can argue it to be true with a straight face.

  5. John McClaughry :

    It’s interesting that both the fans of subsidized renewable energy (Jones and Luce) and the opponents (i.e. Post and me) completely agree that what Vermont state government is doing here is fundamentally dishonest. Vermont has had a well earned reputation for honest dealing, but like looting the teachers retirement fund to pay post retirement health benefits, the double counting of RECs is a black mark on our public character.
    Once the power market refuses to buy Vermont RECs out of state, Vermont consumer power prices will go up, and then maybe enough Vermonters will catch on and vote to scrap the whole renewable subsidy scam altogether.

    • Kevin Jones :

      John is correct that people should note with interest that I never agree with him with the exception of this issue. I am a strong supporter of meaningful renewable energy programs, transitioning to electric vehicles, and taking all sensible actions to mitigate climate change. Unfortunately similar to John I believe that Vermont renewable energy policy is a sham. No other state plays these shell games with renewable energy and as a result our citizens are subsidizing programs that are not benefiting the climate and thus these entities are both wasting ratepayer money and misleading the public about their climate benefit. John and I agree that these policies should end. Of course I believe that we should replace them with a well functioning RPS and solar feed in tariff. John like the Tea Party wants to deny climate change science. In this case John is at least right that we should stop wasting ratepayer money when the policies are having no environmental benefit. The problem is too serious to spend money on policy illusions. We need good policies that actually reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

      • Vanessa Mills :

        WELL SAID, Kevin Jones. It is very frustrating how certain individuals continue to try and drub out the common sense you have articulated so clearly here.
        With the same old continued static, certain individuals I needn’t even name, deceitfully lump people together and over-generalizing with no basis. (What’s in it for them, I wonder.)

        I too am for
        renewables that are sited appropriately and scaled to Vermont and that are done in such a way that benefits instead instead of divides Vermont communities.

        And I’m vehememntly opposed to the racket pushed down on the people for as Kevin states: “The problem is too serious to spend money on policy illusions. We need good policies that actually reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”

      • Kevin,

        “No other state plays these shell games with renewable energy and as a result our citizens are subsidizing programs that are not benefiting the climate and thus these entities are both wasting ratepayer money and misleading the public about their climate benefit.”

        You are spouting nonsense again.

        Vermont’s RE programs DO increase RE on the NE grid, and they DO displace energy from OTHER generators. In the extreme, if those programs were to generate ALL energy on the NE grid, zero energy would be needed from the OTHER generators.

        Regarding Vermont’s RE programs, the world’s CO2 IS being reduced. That means there COULD be a climate benefit, although many OTHER factors are at work affecting climate change.

        It is the energy mix we need to clean up. Forget about the wacky accounting and who gets credit.

        For example: The world has been in a warming trend since the late 1700s, the low point of the Little Ice Age, and that ongoing trend is likely an ADDITIONAL, if not THE major factor regarding global warming.

        To state, as some people imply, it is just CO2 is irrational, being uninformed, and misleading the lay people.

        It is the wacky legalities of the ACCOUNTING, concocted by lawyers and politicians, regarding who gets credit for CO2 reduction that is the problem, and an RPS is to solve THAT problem?

        All an RPS will do is FORCE utilities to buy expensive, variable, intermittent, i.e., junk energy, mostly from wind turbines owners, who will be fattening their risk-free tax shelters, while grinning from ear to ear; Warren Buffett buys billions of dollars of wind turbines for the tax shelter benefits.

        It will be the already-struggling households and businesses who will be getting shafted. See my above 19 May, 10:44 comment.

        Avram,

        The electrons do not enter the grid, they are are already there. They merely vibrate in place. It is the electro-magnetic waves that enter the grid and travel at near the speed of light, i.e., about 1800 miles in o.o1 second.

        Thus, it is invalid to say, as some people do, I consume my own solar energy, or my own wind energy.

        We ALL consume the energy mix that is on the grid at all times!

  6. Annette Smith :

    Root cause? How did we get here? Back in 2005, when Robert Dostis chaired the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, the discussion was about establishing a Renewable Portfolio Standard. The utilities balked. Time was running out. Scudder Parker came in and saved the day by coming up with a voluntary program that the utilities agreed to. I do not recall any detailed discussion about the ability to use the RECs to meet the SPEED goals while also selling them out of state so other states could meet their RPS. Maybe it was discussed, perhaps it was not. In any case, policies were put in place that the utilities agreed to, and then Robert Dostis went to work for Green Mountain Power, capitalizing on and personally benefiting from the policies he helped put in place.

    The problems with this flawed system have been brought to the same committee, now chaired by Tony Klein, since 2010 or 2011. Vermont’s legislators who are in the position to fix the problem are consciously allowing it continue.

    Those of us watching this scam and speaking out about it are vilified for being “anti-renewable” when it is the legislators, NGOs and utilities who put this policy in place and are implementing it to the enormous financial benefit of corporations and wealthy investors who are responsible for making sure that Vermonters are not getting renewable energy.

    Today, the PSB is holding a site visit for yet another 2mW solar project, this time on a field with prime ag soils, Class II wetlands, aesthetic and historic preservation issues. The rubber stamp is already warm. The town is upset and feeling helpless. The investors are gleeful at the windfall they will receive from you, the ratepayers.

    Legislators who oppose giving towns more say in these projects are working against the interests of the Vermont renewable energy future they claim as a top priority for addressing climate change.

    • Annette,

      Hypocrisy from top to bottom.

      A circle of crony-capitalist deceit and obfuscation, to gather as much RE and EB-5 and F-16 subsidies as quickly as possible, to keep the near-zero-growth Vermont economy from becoming even more of a basket case.

      It would be better, and more challenging, to have a more business-friendly, less government-intrusive, less taxing economic climate that attracts talent and capital.

  7. Carl Marcinkowski :

    I’d like to hear the Governor comment on this. He’s been very vocal about the green energy initiatives and how much good it does. I’m sure he was aware of how this game worked and thought it not to be a scam. What say he?

  8. Robbin Clark :

    It’s about time our legislators wake up and stop feeding us to the wolves. We are being forced to do all of the sacrificing while the fat cats get fatter. We have lost an intact eco-system, we have lost head water streams, we have lost critical wildlife habitat, we have friends and family members getting sick from living to close to the industrial wind plants and we have lost our community and we are paying the high utility prices for non-renewable projects.

  9. Ralph Colin :

    Just another feather (?) in the Shumlin administration’s cap. Taking care of his friends and dumping on everyone else by employing questionable methodology. How long must we tolerate such problematic practices?

  10. Chet Greenwood :

    This renewable energy scheme is Crony Capitalism at it’s best.
    Could it possibly be our Governor and his campaign contributors who engineered this program?
    Unfortunately, Vermont ratepayers get stuck paying the tab!

  11. Bob Orleck :

    Somebody needs to be sued here! Where is the accountability? Or even better, some of these folks need to go to jail. When that happens maybe the fraud and deceit will stop.

    Folks, you keep hearing of these horror tales that are wrecking our economy and our state at our expense.

    The aliens in control of our government are NOT your “father’s democrats” and those who vote the party line over and over without care for what these supposed leaders are doing are the cause of the problem.

    Vote this time and vote Shumlin and those who walk in lockstep to what he wants out.

  12. Brett Gaskill :

    This May sting a little (or a lot) to some, but if you are an adult, you need to assume your responsibility to listen to the truth.
    This is just another example, in a long line of lies and deceit that is the hallmark of the disease that afflicts our government, and our society in sadly increasing degrees. Is relies on lies and charades to trick a populace that has been dumbed down. It promises grand things…..”free meals” and “affordable universal health care” that will magically appear from a governmental fountain of money. But honest adults know there is no such thing. As when a doctor tells you that you have cancer, it needs to be faced, honestly, if it is to be removed. Our cancer is PROGRESSIVISM, and it needs to be realized for what it is, and removed, if the body of government, and society is to ever heal

  13. John Greenberg :

    Various commenters here appear to be suggesting that Vermont’s decision to allow the sale of RECs benefits power companies (large corporations) and harms ratepayers. In fact, the sale of RECs allows the power companies to charge LESS for Vermont projects – which as Kevin Jones properly points out should no longer be called “renewable” – than would be the case if RECs were no longer sold. Doing so, makes these projects more palatable to ratepayers, which is precisely why – I would imagine – the legislature continues to allow them.

    Personally, I think it’s time to end the program and adopt a renewable portfolio standard as other states have done, but that’s just one person’s opinion.

    If we’re going to have an honest discussion here, we ought to be doing so on the basis of actual facts.

    • Annette Smith :

      It will harm ratepayers when the market for Vermont RECs evaporates. That is what this article is about and it is happening.

      • Brett,

        Great comments.

        Annette,

        Thank you for clear-headed thinking, calling a spade a spade.

        The REC scheme aims to make RE less costly to Vermonters.

        As the REC scheme evaporates, the electric rates of already-struggling Vermont households and businesses (already 4th highest in the US, right after Hawaii, Alaska and Connecticut) will become even higher as more of the expensive, variable, intermittent, SPEED energy is produced.

        Numerous studies show Renewable Portfolio Standards, RPS, INCREASE household and business electric rates.

        http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/eper_10.htm

      • John Greenberg :

        “It will harm ratepayers when the market for Vermont RECs evaporates.” In other words, it will harm them when it stops helping them!

        • John Greenberg :

          I really should have said IF AND when it stops helping them, since there is no certainty here.

  14. Avram Patt :

    A few clarifications are in order, especially regarding some of the comments. (Although my comments & opinions are my own, they are informed by having been involved in both legislative discussions about RECs, renewable portfolio standards and SPEED, as well as by the sale of significant amounts of RECs on behalf of my former employer, Washington Electric Co-op. )

    Although it has been amended and added to a number of times, the SPEED program was established in 2005 and signed into law by Governor Douglas and predates Governor Shumlin.

    I think it has been understood since the beginning of the SPEED program that at some point, Vermont would probably adopt its own Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). My own testimony in legislative committees over the years assumed this— the question was what percent the standard would be set at and what the timetable for it would be.

    Vermont utilities have been selling RECs in other New England states before the establishment of SPEED and in at least one case, since 2002.

    If a Vermont RPS is established, Vermont utilities would need to retire (not sell) whatever amount of RECs was needed to meet the standard. This would mean loss of revenue from REC sales (more about the use of RECs revenue below.) Some utilities might need to acquire additional renewable resources to meet the standard. Other utilities, after retiring the required amount, would still have additional RECs which they might choose to sell.

    The RECs a Vermont utility has title to can come from a renewable project it owns, or can be part of of a power purchase agreement with the owner of a renewable project. The project may be located in Vermont or elsewhere on the New England grid. The first sale of RECs by a Vermont utility that I’m aware of was associated with generation from a landfill methane project in Connecticut.

    I don’t usually agree with Willem Post on energy issues, but he is correct in part of his reply to Kevin Jones, above. (excerpt: “… The act of producing the RE reduces New England’s CO2 emissions, and does not physically increase imports of energy from other sources, including coal energy. In fact, if NE produced RE for ALL its needs, no energy from other sources would need to be imported.”) In other words, regardless of who gets the credit whether in Vermont or elsewhere, the energy generated from renewable projects located in Vermont reduces the amount of non-renewable energy needed on the New England grid by that amount.

    RECs are frequently confused with carbon credits. They are not the same thing. On the ISO-New England system, he “C” stands for “Certificate,” not “Credit.” It would behoove expert commentators as well as journalists to get this right. Each certificate represents one megawatt hour of generation from a renewable energy plant, as defined by the various state statutes, that is delivered to the New England grid. It is not a direct measure of carbon emissions reduction. Carbon credits can be created for emissions reductions in energy generation but also from other means (industry, transportation, efficiency.) Most of the arguments for renewable energy have been around long before most of us (myself included) were really aware of climate change and the effect of CO2 emissions specifically)

    The Vermont utilities that sell RECs out of state include not-for-profit consumer owned utilities (cooperative and municipal) as well as investor-owned. The revenue these utilities get from RECs sales offsets power costs. It goes directly to benefit ratepayers, by lowering the amount that the utility would otherwise need to collect in electric rates.

    • Kevin Jones :

      Avram Is confused in his discussion of the impact of REC sales from Vermont utilities. Two customers cannot consume the same MWH of renewable energy. It is accepted industry practice for a contract in New England that is stripped of its environmental attributes to give that contract the environmental attributes of what is called the residual mix in New England. The residual mix is what is left over on the New England power grid after all the renewable energy certificates are claimed by others. For NewEngland the residual mix is 60% fossil fuel and 40% nuclear. So when you take a Vermont wind, landfill gas or solar contract and sell the RECs out of state the correct environmental accounting results inVermont customers purchasing fossil fuel and nuclear energy. Willem Post is correct that this is accounting (and the accepted law/policy) not the physics. Since according to the physics the energy travels at the speed of light and follows the path of least resistance and we cannot track or follow who gets it. So instead we have developed honest accounting rules so that utilities and other suppliers cannot make false and misleading statements to their customers. Unfortunately Avram either does not under stand this or willingly misleads others. I ask Avram that given that WEC under his former leadership sold their RECs out of state what did WECs customers buy? It was clearly not low carbon renewable energy. As a result Vermont’s Utilities including WEC are increasing Vermont’s carbon footprint from these actions. In public meetings PSD staff has acknowledged that the SPEEDprogram results in rising electric sector carbon emissions

      Furthermore since most of Vermont’s SPEED resources are well above market even after REC sales these resources result in increased cost to Vermont ratepayers. An energy policy that both raises electric rates and greenhouse gas emissions now that is truly a flawed energy policy

      • Avram Patt :

        I don’t know how many times this needs to be repeated but here goes, using two examples from WEC’s supply portfolio during my tenure. WEC purchased from its subsidiary 100% of the energy generated by the Coventry landfill gas plant, and purchased 10% of the energy generated bt First Wind’s Sheffield wind project. As Willem points out, the electrons from those facilities did not travel to WEC’s members’ meters but rather simply went out into the grid as any generation would, whether the RECs were sold or retired.

        However, WEC was contracted to receive a defined amount of power based on the production of those specific facilities, at a defined contracted cost. WEC sold the RECs so did not claim the renewable characteristics of the generation because the RECs purchaser in another state did. So the end result is that these two projects added renewables to the New England grid mix that had not been there before, thus reducing the amount of non-renewable energy needed to meet New England’s total demand. Less fossil fuel generation was needed than would have been the case without these facilities.

        The energy that went to WEC members’ meters was directly tied in quantity and price to the output of these two facilities. And as ratepayers, WEC members benefitted from the revenue the Co-op received in exchange for forgoing the ability to call it renewable in Vermont.

        Although WEC cannot claim the renewable characteristics, it developed or contributed to the development of two renewable energy generators that are helping reduce the regional need for non-renewable energy resources.

        I understand the desire to move Vermont to an RPS, but to keep claiming that the new projects that have been built in Vermont do not increase the renewable mix of the regional grid system we are served by is just not true.

        • Bob Stannard :

          I think you should repeat it at least one more time; maybe three or four. It’s like advertising. The regular naysayers and deniers that show up here everyday will need to here this numerous times, but most likely will still not choose to believe it.

          • Paul Lorenzini :

            If a lie is repeated often enough and loudly people will believe it right Bob? The problem is that only the folks profiting from wind support it, and the majority of folks have to pay for it on their ever shrinking incomes. What’s your stake, saintliness to the earth?

        • Peter Arthur :

          As I recall, the claim “WEC members benefitted from the revenue the Co-op received in exchange for forgoing the ability to call it renewable” was in fact a 19% rate increase for the members during this tenure. One of the “reasons” for this was claimed in WEC’s newsletter as due to “devaluation and poor trading markets” for these very same REC’s.

      • Kevin,

        “Since according to the physics the energy travels at the speed of light and follows the path of least resistance and we cannot track or follow who gets it.”

        You are still mixing things up, because you do not understand physics.

        As I stated supra, electro-magnetic waves travel at near the speed of light and fill in voltage valleys as they spread across the grid.

        They do not take the “path of least resistance”. Anything continuing to travel at near the speed of light obviously finds little resistance.

        The voltage valleys are due to consumers drawing energy from the grid.

        As the EM waves travel, they cause the electrons that are already on the grid to vibrate IN PLACE, i.e., they do not travel, at 6o Hz. The greater the EM waves, i.e., energy flux at high demand, the greater the amplitude of these vibrations.

        Those vibration AMPLITUDES heat up the line. Not so much of a problem in winter, but on a sunny day in summer, the line is already hot due to the sun.

        The high energy flux, i.e., high demand, adds to the heating of the line. This causes the metal to expand and the line to sag, which may cause forest fires.

  15. David Bresett :

    Time for everyone to get into the renewable energy market. Each and every household needs to get the power companies and their bogus run operations off our backs. The power companies don’t care about people, only profits. Anyone that doesn’t like renewable energy is either braindead or tied to the profits of the power co elite.

  16. Carl Werth :

    Why and how has Robert Dostis been able to benefit for so long with no reprisal or consequences? How is this allowed by our system of government in Vermont? Why is there no law to stop legislators from benefiting in such a way – guiding legislation through to passage and then jumping ship to the very industry the legislation was written to benefit? These are very troubling questions to me. This type of thing should be illegal in my mind.

    • Kathy Nelson :

      Good sir, when it come to crony capitalism you ain’t seen nothing. Dostis is a dust speck in a mountain of dirt:

      http://www.windaction.org/posts/40512-ed-markey-lawmakers-rake-in-cape-wind-dollars#.U3x5HPldVzY

    • Annette Smith :

      See these photos https://www.facebook.com/bmlgreenguy/posts/10203862847281281
      from a recent fundraiser for Rep. Peter Welch. The header says Mary Powell was there, and there are pictures of David Blittersdorf and Robert Dostis, among others. All very cozy. Does it matter that Congressman Welch’s is one of the three members of the Public Service Board? No. Should it matter? Yes. The “club” is setting policy, which feeds itself at the expense of increasingly more Vermonters.

      Energy Action Network, eanvt.org, is another manifestation of the inner circle setting policy, about to launch a new campaign that their PR people came up with called “Brighter Vermont”, seemingly out in the open but their meetings are behind closed doors.

  17. Don Peterson :

    Vermont is a cartoon state with a cartoon green energy policy.

    We claim to have a “citizen legislature”, but our regulations are written by partisans for the industries affected.

    Our tourist websites show nice green fields with cows grazing in them, while we erect gigantic steel pylons on every ridge and roadway.

    Our leaders blather on about “shared sacrifice” and “confronting fossil fuel dependence” and then jet off to islands in the Carribbean.

    Vermonters are smug about themselves, and as this article demonstrates, deluded as well.

  18. To correct the correction it is called Kingdom Community Wind.

    • Sam,
      A feel-good misnomer thought up by PR people to lull the mostly uninformed/malinformed lay public

  19. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation and a greater lack of understanding exhibited here. Before you swallow the garbage from both sides you need to have a an accurate knowledge of what you are speaking about. Study a lot and then come discuss these issues without the hype. It is this kind of dialogue that makes issues worse.

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