VTDigger covers electric utilities, renewable energy, nuclear and natural gas industries in Vermont. John Herrick is our energy reporter. He can be reached at [email protected]

Stowe to vote on solar project

A solar array in Williston. Photo by Roger Crowley for VTDigger

-+*Stowe voters go to the polls Thursday to decide whether to allow the town to pursue a $3.5 million zero-interest loan, payable strictly out of electric department revenue, for a 1-megawatt solar-power generating facility on the filled-in portion of the town gravel pit.

Entergy dodges hearing on emergency planning cuts

Dry cask storage

-+*The Nuclear Regulatory Commission rejects state’s argument that Vermont Yankee’s storage of spent fuel continues to pose public health and safety risk.

Law creates Vermont’s first renewable energy standards

Sen. President Pro Tem John Campbell (center), D-Windsor, and Sen. Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland, confer on the Senate floor Friday. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger

-+*Major legislation sets state goals for renewable energy use and asks utilities to help their customers use less fossil fuels.

Campbell delays energy bill, passage uncertain

Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell speaks on the Senate floor Thursday. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

-+*The Senate President Pro Tem booted two reporters from his office where he was meeting privately with a quorum of a Senate committee.

Renewable energy law may face late hurdle

Lowell wind JH

-+*A major overhaul of the state’s energy policy won preliminary approval in the Senate, but an effort to give towns more say in locating wind projects is expected Thursday.

Lengthy review expected of Vermont Yankee’s design for pad for dry casks

-+*Editor’s note: This article is by Michael Faher, of the Brattleboro Reformer, in which it was first published May 8, 2015. VERNON — A key, early milestone in Vermont Yankee decommissioning is moving all of the facility’s spent nuclear fuel into long-term “dry” storage. But plant owner Entergy first needs to construct a new pad […]

Renewable energy overhaul set for Senate vote

-+*A bill that will mandate state renewable energy targets is set to arrive on the Senate floor in the final week of the legislative session. The Senate Finance and Appropriation committees voted unanimously Monday to pass H.40. The legislation requires the state’s utilities to use more renewable energy beginning in 2017. The House passed the […]

GMP to sell new Tesla home storage batteries

A growing number of homes and other buildings connected to the grid are using solar panels, without the hassles or expenses of a bank of batteries in the basement or a backup generator in a shed. Photo by Jodie van de Wetering.

-+*New system can store excess renewable energy and be recharged during off peak hours. GMP will charge from $3,500 to $4,500 for the battery, an AC-DC inverter and installation.

Montpelier declares first district heating season a success

Heat Plant

-+*Officials claim buying heat and hot water from the state’s new biomass plant through the municipal District Heat Montpelier performed well over a cold winter and saves up to 11 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Vermont balks at using ratepayer money for transmission build-out

High-tension power lines cut through New Hampshire. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

-+*Vermont says it won’t pay for supply upgrades to bring power to southern New England, but would help promote energy efficiency in the region.

NRC says no significant environmental impacts to Entergy’s reduced emergency preparedness plan

Vermont Yankee

-+*NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan noted that all of the other U.S. nuclear power plants that have permanently ceased operations have been granted exemptions allowing changes to their emergency plans.

Senate panel gives towns more regulatory authority over solar projects

Chris Bray

-+*Gabrielle Stebbins of Renewable Energy Vermont said the legislation will make solar development “more uncertain.” “It will essentially make our state (renewable energy) goals far more difficult to reach,” she said.

NG Advantage to truck natural gas to International Paper

NG Advantage trailers

-+*The company abandoned plans to pay for a Vermont Gas pipeline extension last month.

Vermont Gas pipeline buildout will be on time and on budget, despite delays

Vermont Gas building

-+*The company says it has spent $61.5 million on the pipeline, which now stretches 5 miles from Colchester to Williston. The project is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2016.

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