Category Archives: energy

Renewable Energy Vermont Celebrates the Signing of 2014 Net-Metering Bill into Law

For Immediate Release: 

Shumlin-at-net-metering-signing

Contact: Gabrielle Stebbins, Executive Director, Renewable Energy Vermont

802-595-5373, gabrielle@revermont.org

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New law re-opens the opportunity for self-generation to all Vermonters

East Montpelier, VT – Governor Peter Shumlin signed H. 702 into law Tuesday morning at the McKnight Farm in East Montpelier, with the enthusiastic support of renewable energy businesses and others supporting a clean, sustainable energy future.

Net-metering, the state program that allows Vermonters to produce their own electricity, through small hydro, wind and solar energy, will be re-opened for business after reaching an arbitrary cap that limited some utilities’ ability to continue to allow rate payers to connect their self-produced electricity to the grid.  H. 702 passed 136-8 through the Vermont House and unanimously in the Senate.

Renewable Energy Vermont is pleased to see the overwhelming tri-partisan support for net-metering in Vermont,” said Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) Chair, Tom Hughes of Sunward Systems.  “With the passage of this bill, renewable energy businesses can get back to work offering solar to all Vermonters and we can keep our #1 ranking in solar jobs per capita.”

“Net metering is a winning proposition for Vermont.  We’ve seen millions of dollars of energy savings as a result of solar energy.  Our transmission company has been able to defer large transmission projects as a result of more Vermonters generating clean energy, close to where it is needed in coordination with increased efficiency. This is smart energy, job, financial and climate policy,” stated Gabrielle Stebbins, Executive Director of REV.

 

Gabrielle Stebbins

Executive Director

Renewable Energy Vermont

gabrielle@revermont.org

(802) 229-0099

www.revermont.org

Blacking out America would be a cinch, because there’s not enough distributed solar

powerline-540x400

Grist reports:

Crippling America’s old-fashioned electrical grid for a long period of time would be disturbingly easy. Saboteurs need only wait for a heat wave, and then knock out a factory plus a small number of the 55,000 electric-transmission substations that are scattered throughout the country.

That’s according to the findings of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission analysis. “Destroy nine interconnection substations and a transformer manufacturer and the entire United States grid would be down for at least 18 months, probably longer,” wrote FERC officials in a memo for a former chair of the agency.

Read the rest of the story here - Blacking out America would be a cinch, because there’s not enough distributed solar | Grist.

Keystone XL Testimony

KEYSTONE XL AND THE NATIONAL INTEREST DETERMINATION

U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Presiding: Chairman Menendez

Date: Thursday, March 13, 2014 Time: 11:15 AM

Location: Senate Dirksen 419

Unfortunately, Tweeting the story isn’t always possible. It takes more than 140 characters to explain what’s happening. Here’s a chance for you to hear from the horses mouth, so to speak. I’ve included links to each of their written testimony.

It’s no surprise where each of them stood on the issue. What’s your position on the Keystone XL pipeline? For me, my issue is more related to carbon than any one carbon source. Although, as Dr. James Hansen explains in one of his answers, … if you develop Keystone, it’s “game over for the climate.”

TESTIFYING:

The Honorable Karen Alderman Harbert

President and CEO Institute for 21st Century EnergyU.S. Chamber of Commerce Washington, DC

Download Testimony

 

Dr. James Hansen

Director of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions Adjunct Professor

Columbia University Earth Institute
New York, NY

Download Testimony

 

Mr. Michael Brune

Executive Director

Sierra Club
San Francisco, CA

Download Testimony

 

General, USMC, (Ret.) James L. Jones

President
Jones Group International
Washington, DC

Download Testimony

Hey VT and NH, Tar Sands are at the back door

I just received some distressing news about the tar sands

Enbridge is determined to pump it, one way or the other

VERMONT-TAR-SANDS-large570

Late yesterday afternoon Canada’s National Energy Board approved all 3 of Enbridge’s requests for using Line 9 for transporting their tar sands oil across Canada to Montreal.

They requested that it should be allowed to reverse the flow of Line 9B, so that all of line 9 can now flow West to East from the Ontario/Michigan border to Montreal. In addition that requested approval to add heavy crude to the list of thieving they’re allowed to carry in the pipeline. Lastly, they requested the right to expand the capacity from 240,000 barrels per day to 300,000 barrels per day.

This joint press release by the following is below.

Jim Murphy, National Wildlife Federationjmurphy@nwf.org, 802-595-5268

Johanna Miller, Vermont Natural Resources Counciljmiller@vnrc.org, 802-223-2328 ext. 112

Jade Walker, 350 Vermontjade@350vt.org, 215-939-2386

Ben Walsh, VPIRGben@vpirg.org, 802-734-7680

Sandra Levine, Conservation Law Foundationslevine@clf.org, 802-249-2607

Greg MacDonald, Sierra Club Vermontgreg.macdonald@sierraclub.org, 802-751-5460

Danielle Droitsch, NRDCddroitsch@nrdc.org: 802-513-6243

Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline reversal approved, bringing tar sands to New England’s doorstep

March 6, 2014 

Canada’s National Energy Board today announced its approval of pipeline giant Enbridge’s plan to reverse its Canadian Line 9 pipeline to bring tar sands east to Montreal. In doing so, the Canadian government has opened the way for toxic tar sands to come to Vermont.

This comes only two days after 13 towns on and near the pipeline’s route in Vermont, as well as from other corners of the state, passed resolutions at Town Meeting stating opposition to tar sands transport here.

The Exxon-owned Portland Pipe Line Corporation that controls the 63-year-old Portland-Montreal Pipeline, which currently transports lighter crude from Portland, Maine, northward through Vermont to Montreal, has expressed interest in receiving tar sands from Enbridge to transport this heavy crude from Montreal to Portland along its aging pipeline.

“Vermonters have already loudly signaled opposition to transporting tar sands across our rivers and farms, alongside lakes, and through communities of the Northeast Kingdom,” said Jim Murphy, National Wildlife Federation Senior Counsel. “A spill would have a devastating impact on our water supplies, wildlife habitat and tourism industry. And any transport of tar sands through Vermont would encourage growth of an industry that contradicts all of our state’s leadership and hard work on moving toward cleaner sources of energy.”

Citizens in Quebec and Ontario strongly opposed sending tar sands through their communities and watersheds, too – but they were steamrolled by tar sands corporate interests and complicit Canadian officials.

“It is time to send a clear message that tar sands growth stops here,” said Johanna Miller, Energy Program Director at Vermont Natural Resources Council. “In the wake of this Canadian decision, it is crucial that the State Department make it clear that a Presidential Permit, accompanied by a full environmental impact study, be required before oil companies take one more step toward using Vermont as a highway for the dirtiest oil on the planet.”

Strafford-Protest

Miller added that the more routes are blocked, the longer it will take to develop one of the world’s dirtiest sources of fuel, and likely the more expensive and difficult it will be to do so. “It’s not a certainty that this resource will be developed, and for the sake of our climate and future, it must not be,” she said. “Vermont can play a meaningful role in this.”

In order to bring tar sands through Vermont and Northern New England, it is likely Portland Pipe Line Corporation would require approval from the U.S. State Department. Pursuant to a September 2013 ruling from the Act 250 District Commissioner in St. Johnsbury, the company would also need an Act 250 permit.

”Our leaders – Gov. Peter Shumlin, Sens. Peter Leahy and Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Peter Welch – have been strong allies in the fight against toxic tar sands oil,” said Ben Walsh, Clean Energy Advocate at VPIRG.  “We call on them once again to stand up for Vermonters, and make sure the federal government gives any tar sands project the scrutiny we deserve.”

The 13 towns – three of them crossed by the pipeline – that passed resolutions aimed at keeping Vermont tar sands free on Tuesday joined 29 towns that did so last year. “Communities in the Northeast Kingdom and others statewide are making a powerful statement about the depth of Vermonters’ opposition to this dirty fuel,” said Jade Walker of organizing group 350 Vermont. “Transporting tar sands through the Portland-Montreal pipeline would be all risks and no benefits for Vermont.”

“The continued devastation of climate change demands that we keep tar sands oil in the ground and out of Vermont,” said Sandra Levine with the Conservation Law Foundation. “This decision brings tar sands oil one step closer to Vermont, but Vermonters are committed to using every tool available, including Act 250, to stop tar sands in its tracks.”

Vermonters reaffirm support for renewable energy, opposition to fossil fuel expansion

lowell mountain turbines

PRESS RELEASE

Gabrielle Stebbins, Ex. Dir., Renewable Energy Vermont

March 5, 2014 – At town meetings across the state, Vermonters voted overwhelmingly in support of renewable energy and against the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in the Green Mountain State.

“Vermonters showed their desire for a renewable energy future on Town Meeting Day,” said Renewable Energy Vermont chair Tom Hughes.  “They delivered a statement about what the state values and what direction we should go: We should be producing more local renewable power and using less imported fossil fuels.  It’s the hope of Vermont’s renewable energy industry that legislators and policy makers in Montpelier hear and act upon that unequivocal message.”

Vermont has the most solar jobs per capita in the nation, and the renewable energy sector of the Vermont economy continues to grow.

About Renewable Energy Vermont (REV)

REV is Vermont’s only non-profit, non-partisan renewable energy trade association working to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and expand the availability of renewable sources of energy throughout the state and region.

 

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Media Contact:

Gabrielle Stebbins

Executive Director

Renewable Energy Vermont

gabrielle@revermont.org

802-229-0099

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Jennifer Overton

Operations Coordinator
 
Renewable Energy Vermont
PO Box 1036
Montpelier, VT 05601
802-229-0099

Massive wind spill in Vermont

Massive-Wind-Spill-540x

Nearly every day there is a massive wind spill harvested by wind farms somewhere in this country

Georgia Mountain Community Wind Open House showed hundreds of Vermonters that wind development can be done right

Georgia Mountain Community Wind’s Managing Partner, David Blittersdorf said, “It is incredibly exciting to have this project complete and powering the community. So much about this project features the best of local community wind, from where the energy will be used and where the workers came from, to the project’s local financing. Since growing up with a view of Grandpa’s Knob where Vermont’s first utility wind turbine stood in the 1940s, I’ve wanted to see Vermonters return to our roots of greater self-reliance and stewardship for our future.”

What is the true cost of fossil fuel?

EPA says more than 70 oil spills are reported on an average day

How many spills are reported to the public on an average day?

Pennsylvania’s Westmoreland County public safety officials say this spill in Vandergrift wasn’t that bad with only 3,500 to 4,500 gallons spilled.

At the end of their evening broadcast, PBS NewsHour reads off any names of men or women killed in action while “defending this country” in Afghanistan and around the World. Viewers are reminded of the true cost of the war.

Perhaps we should show each day’s oil spill somewhere in the US. Either a train derailment like this one or another pipeline that ruptures like in Mayflower Arkansas. Understanding the true cost of fossil fuel may have people start to see the true value of running the planet off from renewable energy instead.

The sun provides 85 terra watts of energy to the planet every day. We use 15 terra watts. Don’t you think shifting our focus to free, renewable energy makes a lot more sense?

Vermont Ranks #1 in Solar Jobs

How does Vermont out-perform sunnier states? The same way “sunny” Germany does.

Sustainable jobs are in renewables

solar-spill-in-vermont

Gabrielle Stebbins, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont reacts to today’s announcement.

“Today’s number one ranking in solar jobs per capita is a huge achievement for Vermont.  It demonstrates the strength, vitality and importance of this growing sector of Vermont’s economy.  This success would not be possible without the Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) member companies creating new jobs; Vermont’s policy makers commitment to strong renewable energy regulations; and the thousands of Vermonters who are “going solar.”

“Vermont is leading the way and making progress towards our goal of 90% renewable energy by 2050,” said REV chair Thomas Hughes.  “Today’s recognition is an important cause for celebration as we transition towards a cleaner, safer, more secure and independent energy future.”

Vermont businesses have come together to suggest that there should be a 20% renewables by 2020. Watch their press release to understand why. (Can you say, “more jobs?”)

 

Neil Young Press Conference Exposing the Oil Sands

Neil Young speaks in Calgary for the “Honour the Treaties” campaign

Young brings awareness that the First Nations Treaties must be honored.

 

Kingdom community wind successfully meets state sound levels

lowell mountain turbines

30 January 2014

COLCHESTER, VT…Green Mountain Power today announced that a new sound monitoring report just released finds Kingdom Community Wind continues to meet strict standards set by state regulators.  Green Mountain Power filed the results with the Vermont Public Service Board Thursday. The report is part of an ongoing comprehensive monitoring program.

“We are glad to share this important information with our customers,” said Dorothy Schnure, GMP’s corporate spokesperson. “Kingdom Community Wind continues to operate efficiently and as a result we are able to generate cost-effective and local energy.”

The testing was conducted at four different locations near the wind project. The report analyzed 1,343 hours of continuous monitoring between November 13, 2013 and December 19, 2013.  The sound levels set at Kingdom Community Wind are among the strictest in the country, set at 45 decibels, which experts say is comparable to the inside of a library.

“I’m happy to hear that the study didn’t find any sound levels over the limits,” said Gaye Myers, who lives not far from the turbines in Lowell. “I go out to feed my horses every day, and I’ve never heard the turbines.  I hear way more noise from Route 100.”

“Kingdom Community Wind is providing reliable power at a stable price to customers,” said Schnure.  “And at a time when market prices are increasing across the region, it’s important to have this low cost source of power providing a benefit for Vermonters.”

About Green Mountain Power

Green Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com), the Solar Electric Power Association’s 2013 Utility of the Year, generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the state of Vermont. The company, which serves more than 250,000 customers, has set its vision to be the best small company in America.

Contact: Dorothy Schnure, Green Mountain Power,

Work: (802) 655-8418

Cell: (802) 324-4418

Dorothy.Schnure@greenmountainpower.com

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