Department of Public Service

Cost of Vermont Gas pipeline project jumps to $154 million

Don Rendall, incoming president and CEO for Vermont Gas, announced the latest cost increase to build a natural gas through Addison County at the company’s South Burlington headquarters on Friday. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

The company planning a 41-mile natural gas pipeline expansion in Addison County announced Friday that the project will cost $154 million. It is the second time this year that Vermont Gas has dramatically raised the estimate.

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.

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.

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.

Regulators to investigate FairPoint service delays

FairPoint telephone service at the Central Vermont Substance Abuse Services office in Berlin was out for several days this week. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

State officials say complaints about FairPoint service have sharply increased since a strike began Oct. 17. The state investigation could result in fines and/or mandated changes in service.

Don Kreis: GMP’s B Corp status

IOUs like GMP should be virtuous corporate citizens – every last one of them eligible for B Corp status – because the law requires such virtue of them.

DPS calls for investigation of FairPoint in wake of 911 outage

A Fairpoint Communications truck makes its way down State Street in Montpelier. VTD/Josh Larkin

Commissioner Chris Recchia said the 911 outage endangered public safety and is another example of FairPoint’s inadequate response to ongoing service problems.

State steps up FairPoint oversight as strike continues

Dennis Barr (left), Lisa LeFebvre-Barr and Matt Orr picket outside FairPoint Communications' central office in Montpelier, joined by LeFebvre-Barr's mutt Spike. The three are going without pay to protest the company's imposed compensation package. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger.org

Slow service response times are an increasing concern as a strike at FairPoint’s Northern New England operations enters its fourth week. State regulators have told FairPoint that if the situation doesn’t improve, an official investigation may be launched.

Net metering booms in Vermont

A solar panel and battery storage system at Northern Reliability’s test center in Waitsfield. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Vermont’s net-metering program has grown sixfold over the past five years, and is expected to continue to accelerate before the uncertain changes to the federal solar tax credit in 2016.

PSB won’t reopen Vermont Gas pipeline case

Sections of pipe are encased in cement at Vermont Gas' staging area in Williston. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Despite a $35 million increase in estimated cost, the Public Service Board ruled Friday that Phase One of a proposed natural gas pipeline in Addison County can keep its certificate of public good.

State reaffirms support for Vermont Gas pipeline

Vermont Gas building

State officials say the pipeline does not need to be re-evaluated, in spite of a significant increase in estimated cost. Opponents of the pipeline have called for a reopening of the case by the Public Service Board.

Pipeline cost increase prompts policy concerns

Vermont Gas building

Following a 40 percent increase in the estimated cost of a natural gas pipeline, some lawmakers are questioning the project approval process, and whether customers should foot the bill for cost overruns.

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