Energy

The spent nuclear fuel at Vermont Yankee is being moved from the cooling pools, shown in this photo, into dry cask storage.
Toby Talbot / AP/file

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the potential buyer of the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has yet to show it will have the money available to clean up the site.

courtesy, Avangrid Renewables

A landowner who said his property was damaged by blasting at a nearby wind power facility has reached a settlement with developers.

The Vermont Gas pipeline to Addison County has been completed, but state regulators are looking into allegations of shoddy construction.
John Van Hoesen / VPR File

The Vermont Public Utility Commission wants an independent investigation into allegations of shoddy construction of the Addison natural gas pipeline.

Massachusetts energy officials have announced they're going with Plan B to bring Canadian hydroelectric power to the Bay State.

They've selected a back-up project that runs transmission lines through Maine, after New Hampshire state regulators refused to allow Plan A – the controversial Northern Pass project.

But the Maine project, known as New England Clean Energy Connect, also faces an uncertain future.

In Massachusetts, the announcement got kudos and criticism from those closely watching the state's selection of a massive clean energy project:

Exterior of the Vermont Gas building.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

In response to detailed allegations about safety shortcuts, Vermont Gas Systems has agreed to an independent review of its Addison pipeline project.

Cans of Heady Topper roll off the production line at The Alchemist brewery, in Waterbury. The brewery recently intentionally over-built a solar project and is sharing its extra power with the Waterbury Area Senior Center.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

"Microbrews and bluebird skies." It could almost be a Vermont tourism campaign — but in this instance, it describes an emerging trend in the region: solar-powered local beer production. And one central Vermont brewery's raising the bar even higher by throwing philanthropy into the mix.

New England has gotten federal approval for a first-in-the-nation type of power supply auction. It'll let new renewable energy projects take over for old fossil fuel plants on the grid.

Once a year, the nonprofit grid operator ISO-New England holds an auction for power generators who want to supply energy for the region, starting three years out. 

New Hampshire regulators on Monday put off a final decision on Eversource’s appeal for its Northern Pass permit.

The state Site Evaluation Committee, or SEC, voted to wait on next steps until the end of March, when they expect to put their earlier denial of the utility's proposed transmission line in writing.

That denial came in early February. Soon after, Eversource asked for the decision to be reconsidered.

On Monday, the SEC declined to take up any such request until after their written decision comes out.

Every morning, Mary Hollis follows a routine. Breakfast is oatmeal with granola, coffee, and maybe some yogurt or applesauce to help wash down her medication.

During the winter, the retiree says she “shivers” through the meal.

Town meeting 2018 in Calais
John Dillon / VPR

At town meetings around Vermont, 35 communities adopted a renewable energy resolution that originated with the climate action group 350 Vermont.

Dozens watched as crews began tearing down a dilapitated house in Rutland Monday. Green Mountain Power is teaming up with officials in Rutland and many local businesses to build a brand new energy efficient home that will be given away in a new contest.
Nina Keck / VPR

In Rutland, demolition crews began tearing down a dilapidated three-story dwelling which will soon be replaced with a brand-new 1,500-square foot, energy-efficient New England-style farmhouse.

And if all goes according to plan, it’ll be given away to a lucky winner in a nationwide contest.

A deal is being finalized that would resolve financial issues related to the cleanup of the closed Vermont Yankee  nuclear plant.
Jason R. Henske / AP

A settlement that would allow the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to be sold by the end of the year has been reached, although state regulators still have to approve the deal.

Officials in Massachusetts are still debating the future of a big renewable energy contract for their state.

That’s after their initial pick, Northern Pass, hit a major roadblock in New Hampshire – though the transmission proposal still has support from Gov. Chris Sununu.

The Commonwealth picked Eversource's Northern Pass plan last month for a long-term contract that must start in 2020. That choice was thrown into limbo a week later, when New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee denied the project its final permit.

Solar trackers installed in South Burlington in a field on a cloudy day are pictured in this July 27, 2011
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

A new economic analysis shows that Vermont lost 232 full-time jobs in the solar industry last year.

Jaiel Pulskamp gets a cup of coffee at the Post Office Cafe, in Worcester. In addition to working on her farm, she's a field organizer for 350 Vermont's Generate New Solutions Campaign to bring renewable energy discussions to town meetings across Vermont.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

On Town Meeting Day, about 40 towns around Vermont will consider a nonbinding resolution to reduce Vermonters' dependence on fossil fuels. It's part of an effort by the climate justice group 350 Vermont to send a message to state lawmakers.

Georgia Mountain Wind

The head of the Vermont Department of Public Service says it would require significant resources for the state to take a more proactive role in tracking down businesses and individuals that violate their state permits when operating renewable energy projects.

And for now, it's just "not feasible."

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee has voted unanimously to deny a permit to Eversource's controversial Northern Pass project.

Massachusetts opted last week for one large power line to cover a big chunk of its energy needs for the next 20-plus years.

The Northern Pass proposal beat out other big transmission projects and dozens of smaller options for the right to supply all renewable power the Commonwealth wants.

As NHPR's Annie Ropeik reports, this has analysts and developers wondering what role smaller projects will play in the future of the grid.

Eversource’s Northern Pass transmission line is the sole project picked for long-term energy contract negotiations with Massachusetts.

Officials made the announcement Thursday afternoon, less than a week before New Hampshire begins its final permitting deliberations on the controversial project.

Northern Pass would carry 1,090 megawatts of power from Hydro Quebec dams to the New England grid, over a partly-buried 192-mile power line. It would run under New Hampshire’s White Mountains and mainly follow existing transmission lines, ending in Deerfield.

Green Mountain Power has received a state permit to build a commercial Tesla battery storage system in Panton.

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