Energy

GreenSpark founders Ella Malamud and Alex Chernomazov stand at the future site of GreenSpark's renewable energy exhibits. In the background are three modified shipping containers housing the park's transportation exhibits.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Between outdoor tourism, world-class agricultural businesses and a booming alternative energy market, Vermont has come to be known as a hub for sustainable living. Now Vermont is home to the country’s first interactive sustainability park.

The issue of whether to levy a tax on carbon pollution hasn't gained much traction yet in Montpelier. Vermont Businesses for Social Responsiblity is trying to broaden support for the concept.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

The idea of a tax on gasoline and heating oil is politically fraught, to say the least, but one Vermont business group says it’s time for elected officials to embrace the carbon tax.

John Cotter, Margaret Cheney and Tom Knauer, from left, of the Public Utility Commission. On Thursday, a legislative panel approved the commission's proposal for stricter sound limits for wind turbines.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

In approving stricter sound limits for ridgeline wind turbines Thursday afternoon, the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules has managed to upset both sides on the wind energy debate.

Green Mountain Power wants to build Vermont's second commercial renewable energy storage battery near its solar array in Panton.

New England electricity consumers paid billions of dollars more than necessary over a three-year period. That’s the conclusion of an academic analysis sponsored by a national environmental group that suggests that natural gas suppliers withheld fuel capacity needed for electric generation at key moments on the coldest days — to the benefit of the companies' affiliates.

But some industry players and observers are skeptical at best, while one utility named in the report is calling it an outright fabrication.

We look at the economic and environmental viability of electric vehicles in a rural state like Vermont.
Boarding1Now / iStock

There are some positive virtues of electric vehicles, like reducing carbon emissions created by conventional gas-powered engines. But where does the money meet the road?

John Cotter, Margaret Cheney and Tom Knauer, from left, of the Public Utility Commission. On Thursday, a legislative panel approved the commission's proposal for stricter sound limits for wind turbines.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

The future of ridgeline wind energy in Vermont hinges in part on proposed sound standards for large turbines, but a special legislative committee is struggling to decide whether or not to accept the new rules.

Sen. Bernie Sanders visited a solar testing center in Williston on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

As the Trump administration works to undo regulations in place intended to slow global climate change, Sen. Bernie Sanders is calling for further investment in U.S. renewable energy efforts.  

  In the small town of Warren, Vermont a so-called net zero house is being built that will not use any fossil fuel. The house has solar panels on the roof to generate electricity and pipes in the ground to capture geothermal energy for heating. It won’t be using power from the grid that was generated with fossil fuel. There are other houses like this but what makes this home unusual is that the nationally acclaimed architect building it is using an unconventional material.  

Electric vehicles and a charging station in Burlington, where utilities and car dealerships announced new incentives for electric cars on Tuesday.
Henry Epp / VPR

A group of electric utilities, car dealerships and government officials in Vermont are pushing incentives aimed at making electric vehicles more affordable.

A federal decision made Friday could drastically drive up the cost of solar panels and threaten energy jobs in Vermont. 

The Public Utility Commission will investigate the business practices of a national solar energy company that opened its Vermont office in 2015.

Many questions remain about the proposed sale of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. We're looking at all the latest developments on this "Vermont Edition."
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

Many questions still remain about the future of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, as the plant's potential sale undergoes various forms of review. 

The owner of Vermont Yankee says its wants to begin work soon to speed up the decommissioning of the shuttered nuclear reactor.

The Conservation Law Foundation says the proposed sale of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant lacks key safeguards that would protect Vermonters.

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?

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