Energy

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

Vermont Yankee tax value drops by $172 million

A new long-term agreement sets the shuttered nuclear plant’s value at $78 million, down from $250 million. The town of Vernon and the state will lose millions in tax revenue, but Entergy has agreed to make annual additional payments in lieu of taxes to the town.

Vernon’s fate gets turn in spotlight at national nuclear summit

Amid talk of markets and regulation at a U.S. Department of Energy nuclear summit last week, federal officials and industry leaders heard a cautionary tale about the impacts of Vermont Yankee’s closure.

In wind-sensitive Windham, energy siting bill disappoints

Officials in the town — where the state’s largest wind energy installation is proposed — have banned large turbines and lobbied for more local say on energy project permits. But they say the Legislature’s new siting bill doesn’t go far enough.

Shumlin pokes critics while touting growth of green energy jobs

“When politicians say, ‘We’re going too fast, I don’t like so many solar panels, I don’t like what they look like,’ I say, ‘Whose job are you proposing to eliminate when you propose a moratorium?’” the governor said.

State, Morrisville utility wrangle over Green River Reservoir

Morrisville Water & Light officials aren’t sure it will make sense financially to keep operating the dam under a state-ordered ban on water drawn-downs in winter that would result in a loss of 300,000 kilowatt-hours of power.

Hydro-Quebec takes credit for emissions savings in U.S.

The Canadian electric utility Hydro-Québec, which supplies about 22 percent of Vermont’s power, says the renewable energy it exported to the U.S. in 2015 prevented 7.4 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions that otherwise would have come from fossil fuel plants. The assertion was part of an annual report the publicly owned utility released […]

Feds focus on rail for moving Vermont Yankee’s spent fuel

A U.S. Department of Energy team spent several days last week in Windham County evaluating transportation infrastructure for the eventual removal of the Vernon nuclear plant’s spent fuel. Rail appears the likeliest option.

Coalition disputes Entergy experts’ testimony to PSB about spent fuel storage plan

On March 10, the New England Coalition submitted a motion to admit new evidence containing five points it believes contradict the testimony submitted by Entergy about plans for spent nuclear fuel storage at Vermont Yankee.

Rules meant to boost renewable energy could backfire, some say

The rules seek to have Vermont reap the credit for renewable energy produced here. But some academics and industry representatives say the state’s plan could actually discourage energy development.

Renewable energy siting bill passes despite end of session wrangling

Lawmakers passed a bill Friday that supporters say will give Vermont’s towns and regions more control over where renewable-energy projects get sited. Legislators adopted the bill following last-minute sleights including what some of them described as a veto threat from the governor. Language causing legislators the greatest angst concerned sound limits for wind turbines, and […]

Shumlin threat of veto stalls renewable energy siting bill

Shumlin threatened to veto the bill over a provision that would have made new noise standards retroactive to April 15, 2016.

DPS recommends Chelsea Solar’s motions for Bennington array be denied

Editor’s note: This article is by Keith Whitcomb Jr., of the Bennington Banner, in which it was first published May 5, 2016. BENNINGTON — The Department of Public Service has recommended that motions filed by a solar developer, whose project was rejected by the Public Service Board in February, be denied. The 2-megawatt solar array […]

Klein: Retroactive noise standard provision may be unconstitutional

Lawyers for the Legislature have already said the retroactive date isn’t a problem, but Klein said he’s heard from lawyers who worry it might expose the state to litigation.

Entergy won’t face fine for federal violation

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the Vermont Yankee owner prematurely withdrew $282,000 from the Vernon plant’s decommissioning trust fund. But officials say Entergy won’t be fined due to confusion about federal rules.