New York joins Vermont in fracking ban

Paul Burns, executive director of VPIRG, holds up a photo of a fracking operation. VTDigger staff photo.

The state of New York has banned hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. The state’s top health official said it would be “reckless” to allow fracking without more research on its environmental effects.

Vernon, Entergy reach Vermont Yankee tax deal

Town officials say they have reached a one-year tax agreement with Vermont Yankee owner Entergy, a deal that will establish a value for the nuclear plant when it is no longer producing power.

Utilities to reduce solar credit; solar industry unworried

Solar panels on the McKnight Farm in East Montpelier make use of the state's net metering program. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

A new state law will allow more state residents to join “net metering” programs, but will slightly reduce the value of the energy credits they receive. Solar installers say the industry is robust enough to thrive even with the reduction.

Vernon, TransCanada reach hydro-dam value settlement

The hydroelectric dam off of Governor Hunt Road in Vernon. Brattleboro Reformer file photo by Kayla Rice

The resolution of the Vernon appeal comes at a welcome time for town officials, who are facing a certain, steep decline in tax revenue due to the pending closure of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

Administration prepared to scrap SPEED program

A turbine at Green Mountain Power's Kingdom Community Wind project on Lowell Mountain.  Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

The Department of Public Service says a system such as a renewable portfolio standard would better meet the state’s energy goals than the current voluntary system.

In This State: Leigh Seddon’s 35 years in the solar power biz

Leigh Seddon, outside his home in Montpelier on a cloudy day with flurries, says Vermont’s solar future remains nothing if not bright. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

One of the state’s chief proponents of harnessing sunshine to create electricity looks at the past — and the future — of solar energy in Vermont.

Liz Gamache to serve as director of Efficiency Vermont

Liz Gamache. VTDigger file photo

St. Albans Mayor Liz Gamache has been named director of Efficiency Vermont. Gamache will replace current director Jim Merriam on Jan. 19, according to a news release. Efficiency Vermont is an arm of the Vermont Energy Investment Corp. and serves as the state’s energy efficiency utility. Merriam will serve as VEIC’s operations director, overseeing work […]

Power outages may linger into weekend

A line worker for New England Tree Experts trims trees around a single-phase distribution line in Warren on Thursday after the second wave of this week's winter storms. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

The water density of this week’s storm was a surprise, state and utility officials say. According to Roger Hill, a professional meteorologist in Worcester, the water to snow ratio where he is located was 5 to 1. He said this is unusually wet and more common in coastal areas.

Report: Changes needed to meet renewable energy goals

Green Mountain Power’s 21-turbine wind project on Lowell Mountain. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

The state aims to get 90 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2050. But a new report says Vermont will fall short unless new policies are put in place.

Entergy will seek loan for spent fuel costs

Spent fuel rod storage containers at  Vermont Yankee. File photo by Zachary P. Stephens/Brattleboro Reformer

The owner of Vermont Yankee will not dip into the decommissioning fund to pay for initial spent fuel storage after closing this month, but still plans to do so for other spent fuel costs.

Permit sought for transmission line under Lake Champlain

Aerial photo of a Hydro Quebec dam. Hydro Quebec photo

TDI New England is seeking state OK to build a 154-mile power transmission line under Lake Champlain and over to Ludlow. State would receive compensation but none of the electricity.

Agencies deem emergency exercise successful

A member of the group of emergency personel in charge of radioactive decontamination tries on a hazmat suit in the Bellows Falls Union High School gymnasium during a functional exercise of the Vermont Radiological Emergency Response Plan reception center facility on Thursday evening. Photo by Kayla Rice/Brattleboro  Reformer

A drill last week tested the capabilities of local and state responders to open and operate a reception center at Bellows Falls Union High School in the event of a radiation emergency.

State’s attorney clears pipeline protesters

VT Gas occupy 1

A state’s attorney decided not to file charges against the dozens of protesters who were arrested during a rally against the Addison County natural gas pipeline at the Pavilion Office Building in Montpelier this fall. Washington County State’s Attorney Thomas Kelley said Monday he did not charge the protesters for a variety of reasons, including […]

Shumlin administration backs hold on eminent domain for VT Gas pipeline

Vermont Gas building

The Shumlin administration has asked the company to put a moratorium on condemnation proceedings until after March 2. The company agreed to hold off for now.

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