Energy

Saturday, Oct. 1 will be all about energy in Cavendish. The southern Vermont community is holding a free Town Energy Fair that day at the Cavendish Town Elementary School, on Main Street.

John Van Hoesen / VPR File

This week, Vermont Gas Systems got the final land rights needed in order to finish its pipeline to Addison County, though opponents of the project plan to appeal the decision.

EDR

A group opposing a wind project in Windham will delay an informal referendum on a commercial wind project until after the official vote is held on Election Day.

Adela Suliman / AP

The implications of the British vote to leave the European Union are far-reaching in the global economy, but Green Mountain Power customers might be surprised to hear that the vote is affecting them too: It will mean cheaper rates for them next year.

Regulators ruled in favor of Vermont Gas Tuesday in the final eminent domain case related to the company's pipeline to Addison County.

vitanovski / iStock.com

For an upcoming episode of Brave Little State, we’re trying to answer a question about utility bills in Vermont. (When we say “utility,” we’re talking about electricity and natural gas.)

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Energy leaders from across the state met in Vernon this week to help the town plan for life after Vermont Yankee.

Melody Bodette / VPR

Swanton Wind has officially filed an application with regulators to build a 7-turbine wind energy project on a ridge line in Swanton. It’s been over a year since the company notified nearby towns that they planned to ask the Public Service Board for a Certificate of Public Good to build the project.

It's unlikely residents of the town of Grafton will vote on a proposed commercial wind project in November. And a spokesman for the wind developer says the company's not sure a vote held outside of Election Day will carry the same weight.

Nina Keck / VPR File

Green Mountain Power is the only electric company in the state using "Alternative Regulation" for its customer rates, and a VPR investigation found that regulators have allowed the company to collect millions of dollars from customers to cover costs that didn't meet the regulators' own standards.

Regulators have decided to take a close look at three of Green Mountain Power's newest programs to see how much value they bring to customers.

EDR

Second home owners in Windham say they will hold their own referendum on a proposed commercial wind project, even though the project developer has refused to consider their votes.

An epochal transformation in the way energy is made, delivered and used in the U.S. is under way, and in Maine an experiment in what’s called a “non-wires alternative” could disrupt electric utilities’ traditional business models by averting the need to build expensive new transmission infrastructure.

The PUC is hiring an independent expert to assess the burial depths of the Vermont Gas pipeline in Addison County. The expert is examining areas where Vermont Gas didn't bury the pipeline to the depth required by their certificate of public good.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Recordkeeping at Vermont Gas Systems is so sloppy that Vermont’s consumer advocate made exceptions to consumer protection rules in order to prevent “significant financial hardship” for Vermont Gas, according to expert testimony filed with regulators.

Greg Zupkus stood in the shadow of one his company’s wind turbines. A low hiss came from the turbine’s cooling fan, and in the distance, sporadic gun shots popped off from the adjoining hunting club. But the turbines, surrounded by fields and forest, and turning in the light summer breeze were, for the most part, quiet.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Even as wind and solar energy have grown to nearly 10 percent of New England's energy mix, they're still not a reliable power source. Wind and sunshine can't simply be turned on and off with a switch. A new software company is hoping to use a simple appliance in your basement — your water heater — to store that sporadic renewable energy and transform the way the electricity grid works. 

Legislation approved earlier this year tries to give towns more say over where wind and solar projects are built. But municipalities are going to have to earn their influence, and the state is now working on rules that will govern towns’ roles in the renewable-energy siting process.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Times are bright for solar energy in New England. From small projects to massive, multi-acre arrays, solar projects are both changing the landscape and transforming the way we buy, sell and transmit electricity. 

Yet the solar boom poses unique challenges for the regional grid, as well as for one small, member-owned utility in northern Vermont.

John Van Hoesen / VPR File

Vermont Gas Systems has publicly maintained that the company plans to bring its pipeline to Addison County online by the end of this year, but a June presentation to the company’s board said otherwise: The presentation shows that by one internal estimate, the pipeline won’t be in service until April of 2017.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Proponents of wind energy say they're worried that a state-funded research project will be used to misguide Vermonters about the health effects of turbine noise.

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