Energy

For more than half a century, a massive, oil-fired plant has been churning out electricity from an island in the heart of Maine’s Casco Bay, where sailors use its towering smokestack for navigation.

The old generator is expensive to run and dirtier than new technologies, so these days it comes on only a few times a year. Nonetheless, since December, the wires on the island have been humming pretty much nonstop.

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 a new dry cask storage facility at Vermont Yankee passed a federal inspection.

Paul Costello, left, and Peter Walke, are co-chairs of the governor's Vermont Climate Action Commission, which met for the first time Tuesday. They say Vermont can use emissions-reduction initiatives to advance the state economy.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott’s newly minted Climate Action Commission held its first meeting Tuesday, and while past Vermont governors have also convened special panels to study the issue, commission members insist this latest one will deliver results.

A play by Massachusetts to inject more renewable power into its electricity mix could reshape the entire region's energy landscape. Dozens of developers are competing to offer Massachusetts the best price for long-term contracts to supply clean energy to hundreds of thousands of homes. 

But many of the projects also face another challenge: convincing residents of Northern New England it's in their interest to host the Bay State's extension cord.

As Kevin Sullivan slowly rumbles his pickup truck across his 60 acres of property near the Connecticut-Massachusetts border, he leans in and asks a question: What’s farmland?

Catamount Solar is installing an 8.7 kilowatt system in a homeowner's yard in East Montpelier. Kestrel Marcel of Catamount Solar is connecting the optimizers, which are a converter technology that helps maximize the energy harvested from the panels.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

After years of encouraging solar development, Vermont seems to be attracting the attention of national solar companies.

The New Hampshire Office of Consumer Advocate has raised questions about a proposed natural gas facility and pipeline that would go through the Upper Valley.

A new type of energy-efficient construction is drawing attention in the U.S. It’s called “passive housing” -- residences built to achieve ultra-low energy use. It’s so efficient that developers can eliminate central heating systems altogether.

Officials at Tesla are “working quickly” to respond after Vermont’s Public Service Board found that Tesla subsidiary SolarCity was installing solar generation projects in the state without proper approval, a company spokesman said Friday.

A legislative panel has deferred action on a proposal that could have significant impacts on the future of ridgeline wind energy in Vermont.

The Public Service Board says that any documents turned over to the state on the proposed sale of Vermont Yankee will become public records.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

After hearing testimony on the Public Service Board's proposed new sound standards for commercial wind turbines Thursday, the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules voted to put off making a decision on the controversial new standards.

Last week, Gov. Phil Scott announced the appointment of attorney Anthony Roisman as chairman of the Public Service Board. 

Anthony Roisman, a private attorney from Weathersfield with a background in environmental law, will serve as the next chairman of the Vermont Public Service Board.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

The Burlington Electric Department is offering to help their customers upgrade to electric vehicles, by contributing $1,200 to the cost of each new car.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Republican Gov. Phil Scott says the next chairman of the Public Service Board will share his opposition to mountaintop wind energy.

The company that wants to buy Vermont Yankee says it should be able to keep some of its documents private during the state regulatory process.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

The Public Service Board on Tuesday filed its final rule for wind turbine noise standards.

The Public Service Board is siding with the owners of the Georgia Mountain Community Wind project over continued testing of the sound levels near the wind turbines.

Toby Talbot / AP file

The Public Service Board held a series of meetings this week on its proposed sound standards for wind turbines.

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