Randolph Center, VT — The Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC) has announced the election of manufacturing executives John Goodrich and Scott McCreary to their Advisory Board. In addition, Board Member and manufacturer Mike Rainville has been elected Chairperson of the 12-member Board for 2007. John Goodrich is the Vice President and General Manager of EHV-Weidmann Industries, Inc. The St. Johnsbury facility produces electrical grade paperboard which can be used in transformers, motor windings, and insulation materials for the power generation industry. Scott McCreary is the Chief Operating Officer at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Waterbury. In June 2006, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters was named one of FORTUNE Small Business magazine’s 100 “Fastest-Growing Small Companies” in America. Newly elected Board Chairman Mike Rainville is President and Owner of Maple Landmark, Inc. in Middlebury. Maple Landmark is a leading US manufacturer of wooden toys, games and innovative wooden products. VMEC Board members serve without compensation for two-year terms. The Board meets quarterly to address VMEC products and services and issues that affect VMECs ability to fulfill its mission. ###About VMECVMEC’s primary Mission is “To Improve Manufacturing in Vermont and strengthen the global competitiveness of the state’s manufacturers.” This is done through professional consulting, one-on-one coaching and public/onsite workshops to help Vermont’s approximately 2,000 small and medium sized manufacturers increase their productivity, modernize their manufacturing and business processes, adopt advanced technologies, reduce costs, and improve their competitiveness. Increased competitiveness means greater stability in the state’s work force, improved efficiencies. Visit www.vmec.org(link is external) for more information.
National Summit Participants Praise New Ballot as a Solution to ContinuingProblems for Americans Away from Home Who Want to VoteWashington, D.C. – An estimated six million Americans who are members of themilitary or live overseas have a new way to ensure their vote for presidentcounts this November, according to experts speaking at a high-level summiton military and overseas voters. Attended by members of Congress,secretaries of state and other election officials, “Democracy at a Distance:A Summit to Make Voting Work for Military and Overseas Voters” was convenedby the Pew Center on the States, in collaboration with the JEHT Foundation.At the summit, Pew, the Overseas Vote Foundation, JEHT and Bear Code (aVermont company that builds custom online software) launched a new onlinetool that allows voters to complete the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot(FWAB) more easily and with fewer errors. This tool can be used byAmericans covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee VotingAct who have requested an absentee ballot from election officials but havenot yet received it.The need to help military and overseas voters is supported by a newbipartisan Tarrance/Lake poll commissioned by the Pew Center on the Statesand released at the summit. It found 96% of Americans believe it’simportant that these voters get the chance to participate and vote in U.S.elections. The poll results also show that 81% of Americans favor creatinga uniform national set of rules for military and overseas voters.The new FWAB tool, available at www.overseasvotefoundation.org(link is external), provides animmediate solution for registered voters whose ballots are late or lost intransit. The site offers easy access to the “Vote-Print-Mail” system.”Military and overseas voters do not share an equal opportunity to vote,”said Michael Caudell-Feagan, director of Make Voting Work, a project of thePew Center on the States. “According to research from the U.S. ElectionAssistance Commission, only one-third of the nearly one million ballotsmailed to these voters were cast or counted in the 2006 general election.FWAB is a powerful tool for these voters.””It is unacceptable in this day and age that administrative hurdles shouldimpede the counting of overseas military and civilian votes,” said NicoleGordon, vice president of the JEHT Foundation, which has supported theOverseas Vote Foundation in efforts to partner with states to facilitate theregistration process for overseas voters. “The launch of the FWAB tool is asignificant step in easing and modernizing this outdated process.”The FWAB tool works by matching users’ 9-digit zip code for their U.S.residence to their voting district. The system automatically presentscandidate lists for federal races in one’s district. Voters select theircandidates for office and then download, print, sign and send the FWAB intothe local election office.”Through our help desk, I’ve heard thousands of stories from voters who havebeen frustrated during presidential campaigns as they anxiously waited fortheir absentee ballots to arrive,” said Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, Presidentand CEO of Overseas Vote Foundation. “The new FWAB tool replaces that worrywith an immediate, user-friendly, online and secure process that overseasand military voters from all 50 states and the District of Columbia can use.”For more information about the challenges facing overseas voters, visitpewcenteronthestates.org and download “Military and Overseas Citizen VotingProject,” an overview developed by the Pew Center on the States.The new FWAB tool, as well as the entire Overseas Vote Foundation system,was developed by Bear Code over the course of the last year.
Green Mountain Power, owner of the only operating wind generation farm in Vermont, filed today with state regulators for permission to build a second wind generating plant, up to 63 megawatts, in Lowell, Vermont. The $150 million investment in the Northeast Kingdom will provide jobs and significant economic benefits, in addition to increasing the state’s renewable energy generation.This is the most significant renewable energy project proposed in Vermont since the 50 MW McNeil wood generating plant was built in the 1980s. Green Mountain Power, Vermont Electric Cooperative and VELCO are working together on the project to provide customers of the two distribution utilities stably priced, renewable energy.”This is an important step in our mission to provide our customers with cost-effective, low carbon power,” said Mary Powell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Green Mountain Power. “We have found that investing in and building utility scale renewable energy projects is a solid way to provide our customers with low cost and low carbon electricity.””Vermont Electric Cooperative customers have indicated they want local, renewable resources, and by working together with Green Mountain Power, we are able to provide those resources at cost with little financial risk to the members of VEC,” said David Hallquist, Chief Executive Officer of Vermont Electric Cooperative.Utility ownership of renewable resources provides long-term customer value, as the utilities can continue to generate power past the point at which a contract with a developer would have expired. For example, Green Mountain Power’s hydroelectric generating plants, which were largely built by GMP in the early 1900s, are the company’s lowest cost source of power today.The project as proposed will include up to 21 turbines on 3.2 miles of ridgeline on Lowell Mountain, and will generate enough electricity for 20,000 homes, or six to eight percent of Green Mountain Power’s generation needs and four percent of VEC’s generation needs. It also includes upgrades to the existing transmission infrastructure and substations in the region.The project has been well received by the Lowell community, where 75 percent of voters agreed in March to support the project. And in Albany at a special town meeting on May 18th residents voted not to oppose the project.”Community support is integral to this project,” said Ms. Powell. “In fact, when the town of Lowell indicated it would hold a vote, we said that we would only proceed if the town as a whole supported the project.”In further recognition of the importance of community support, the utilities have proposed an innovative “Good Neighbor Fund” to ensure direct economic benefits to nearby towns, namely Albany, Westfield, Eden, Irasburg and Craftsbury. The Good Neighbor Fund does not apply to Lowell, where the project is sited, which will receive significant property tax benefits.”While there are significant energy benefits from this project for GMP and VEC customers, as well as economic benefits to the region as a whole, we believe it is important to extend direct economic benefits to neighboring towns,” said Ms. Powell. “In addition, we view public acceptance as critical to the development of wind in Vermont, and we’ve heard from residents of neighboring towns that benefits should extend beyond the boundaries of the host town. By creating the Good Neighbor Fund, we’ve raised the bar for developing wind in Vermont.”The Good Neighbor Fund is consistent with the stated desire of the Northeast Vermont Development Association, as its energy plan asks the Public Service Board to consider economic benefits of projects beyond just the host town.The Good Neighbor Fund will pay towns according to the portion of land within a five-mile radius of the project. The amount will be based on a 1 mil charge on the amount of electricity produced by the wind farm with a minimum annual payment of $10,000. The payment will be for 10 years.Ms. Powell added, “This is a different way of developing wind power. All along, GMP and VEC have worked closely with community members, and now we’ve proposed a way to extend benefits beyond the host town. We’ve recognized that people living near the project, not just in Lowell, should benefit from the siting of this project in their region. Importantly, we were able to adjust costs in other areas so this will not increase the overall cost of the project.”The Kingdom Community Wind project would be Green Mountain Power’s second wind plant. It built a six-megawatt wind plant in Searsburg, Vermont, in 1997, which continues to generate renewable energy for Green Mountain Power customers. Green Mountain Power was recognized nationally for its leadership in researching and developing wind generation in cold climates.The process to receive a permit, or Certificate of Public Good, includes extensive testimony before the Vermont Public Service Board, public meetings, site visits and can take many months to complete.The filing with the Vermont Public Service Board will soon be available at: www.kingdomcommunitywind.com(link is external).About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com(link is external)) transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont’s population. It serves more than 95,000 customers.About Vermont Electric Cooperative Vermont Electric Cooperative, Inc., a member-owned Cooperative founded in 1938, is Vermont’s third largest electric utility, serving approximately 34,000 members in rural Vermont. Source: GMP. COLCHESTER, VT–(Marketwire – May 21, 2010) –
Boralex Inc. and Gaz MÃ©tro Ã ole Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gaz Metro Limited Partnership, announce the acquisition of the rights on a wind power project having an installed capacity of 69 megawatts. Kruger Ã nergie Bas-St-Laurent SEC, with the consent of Hydro-QuÃ©bec, has transferred to the Consortium the electricity supply agreement concluded with Hydro-QuÃ©bec in 2008 following the call for tenders for 2,000 MW of wind energy generated launched by Hydro-QuÃ©bec in 2005. Gaz Metro is the parent company of Green Mountain Power, the state’s second largest electric utility, and Vermont Gas, the largest natural gas company in the state.By buying the contract, the Consortium intends to build a third wind farm on Seigneurie de BeauprÃ© private lands, belonging to the SÃ©minaire de QuÃ©bec, in the La CÃ´te-de-BeauprÃ© RCM. Once this third project is commissioned, the Seigneurie de BeauprÃ© wind site will become one of the largest in Quebec with an installed capacity of 340 megawatts. (By comparison, the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant operates at 605 MW of constant capacity and the state of Vermont consumes 600-1,000 megawatts of constant capacity.)The project remains subject to prior authorization requirements, such as the authorization of the ministÃ¨re du DÃ©veloppement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs, and the conclusion of the main definitive agreements, including the agreement with the turbines supplier, the contractor responsible for civil and electrical engineering works and the financing for this project.Subject to the foregoing and following the reconfiguration of the project by the Consortium, the commissioning should be around December, 2014.Seigneurie de BeauprÃ© Wind SiteFollowing the obtaining of a decree issued by the QuÃ©bec government, the Consortium carries out further stages of construction according to schedule for the first two Seigneurie de BeauprÃ© wind farms totaling an installed capacity of 272 MW. The site is far from any residential or urban areas thereby making visual and noise impacts of the two wind farms almost nonexistent for the surrounding communities. The commissioning of these projects is scheduled for December 2013. For further information, please visit the website of the Seigneurie de BeauprÃ© wind site: www.seigneuriedebeaupre.com(link is external).About BoralexBoralex is a major independent power producer whose core business is the development and operation of power stations that generate renewable energy. Employing over 300 people, the Corporation operates 41 power stations with a total installed capacity of 650 megawatts (“MW”) in Canada, in the North-eastern United States and in France. In addition, the Corporation has, alone or with its European and Canadian partners, power projects under development that will add almost 300 MW of power, of which almost 50 MW will come online by the end of fiscal 2010. Boralex is distinguished by its diversified expertise and in-depth experience in three power generation segments – wind, hydroelectric and thermal. Boralex shares and convertible debentures are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BLX. More information is available at www.boralex.com(link is external) or www.sedar.com(link is external).Gaz MÃ©tro OverviewWith over 3.6 billion in assets, Gaz MÃ©tro is QuÃ©bec’s leading natural gas distributor. Operating in this regulated industry for over 50 years, Gaz MÃ©tro has become the trusted energy provider to some 182,000 customers in QuÃ©bec and 138,000 customers in Vermont while developing the skills and expertise needed to diversify beyond natural gas. Gaz MÃ©tro’s prudent growth strategy has been marked by the successful entry into electricity distribution in Vermont and development of wind power projects in QuÃ©bec. Offering historically strong and stable distributions and showing a competitive spirit, Gaz MÃ©tro is committed to its customers, Partners, employees and the community. www.gazmetro.com(link is external)SOURCE BORALEX 11.19.2010 MONTREAL/PRNewswire/ –
Vermont Electric Cooperative, Inc,Vermont Electric Cooperative is required to take an emergency outage on Friday, December 17th between the early morning hours of 2 a.m. ‘ 5 a.m. The outage is necessary to repair damaged equipment on Central Vermont Public Service’s transmission line which feeds two of VEC’s substations. The damaged equipment is a result of the December 1st wind storm. Co-op members in the towns of Bolton, Cambridge, Essex, Jericho, Richmond, Underhill and Westford will be affected by this outage. As always, unforeseen circumstances could occur that may extend the duration of the outage beyond the 3 hour window. Anyone with questions or concerns can call VEC’s outage number at 1-800-832-2667 or check our website for updates at www.vermontelectric.coop/outage(link is external). Source: VEC. 12.16.2010
Northstar Vermont Yankee,The Federal District Court for the District of Vermont issued a decision Monday evening in favor of the State of Vermont and denied Entergy’s request for a preliminary injunction that would have prevented the State from enforcing its laws during the pendency of the litigation. In a prepared statement, Attorney General William Sorrell called the decision ‘a very good first step in an important case.’ “The motion is denied,” wrote J Garvan Murtha, United States District Judge, “because Entergy has failed to show that any irreparable harm it may incur between now and a decision on the merits would be, or is likely to be, ameliorated by a preliminary injunction in the short time before this Court decides Entergy’s claims. Because the Court finds a preliminary injunction is not warranted between now and a decision on the merits in the fall, it need not, and expressly declines to, issue a holding regarding Entergy’s likelihood of success on the merits. The Court notes, however, that Entergy has raised serious questions regarding its Atomic Energy Act preemption claim, warranting further briefing and a prompt full-dress trial on the merits.”The issue for Vermont Yankee is whether they will, or even can at this point, order fuel to keep the plant going beyond the end of this year, when it is scheduled for refueling. The nuclear plant’s 40-year license expires in March 2012. The plant has received all federal approval for a 20-year relicensing, but still needs state approval, both by the state Legislature and by the Vermont Public Service Board. Entergy maintains that the state has over-stepped its bounds by requiring the legislative approval, which is the preemption claim.Laurence M Smith, Manager of Communications for Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, said in a statement, ‘We appreciate Judge Murtha’s timely and thoughtful decision on an issue that is critically important to our 650 employees and for all those who live in New England, although we are disappointed in the outcome. Our request for a preliminary injunction was about keeping the plant’s workers employed, the plant running safely and the electric grid reliable until this case is resolved. In the upcoming days, we will be evaluating Judge Murtha’s opinion and assessing the company’s near-term options.’On April 18, 2011, Entergy filed a complaint in federal district court against Governor Peter Shumlin, Attorney General William Sorrell, and members of the Vermont Public Service Board, seeking a ruling that federal law preempts Vermont laws and regulations regarding the operation of Vermont Yankee beyond March 21, 2012. Within days of suing the State, Entergy filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin Vermont from enforcing its laws during the pendency of the case. Both sides then filed extensive briefs, available here, and a hearing on the motion was held on June 23-24, 2011 in federal district court in Brattleboro.In its preliminary injunction decision, the Court agreed with the State and rejected Entergy’s argument that it would suffer irreparable harm during the pendency of the litigation. As the Court wrote, ‘where the preliminary injunctive relief ‘ which would be of very limited duration in this case ‘ does not operate to enjoin any acts before trial, and cannot redress or ameliorate any harm, it serves only as a preview of the Court’s views of the merits and is unwarranted.’Governor Peter Shumlin said in a statement: ‘In my judgment, Vermont has acted and will continue to act responsibly regarding our energy future, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that our laws are enforced and respected. Entergy’s lawsuit is an attack on state authority, attempting to deny us a voice regarding whether Vermont Yankee will run past March 2012’even though Entergy has known since 2002 that it could not operate the plant past that date without state approval. I believe strongly in the state’s authority, and I believe that Entergy has not been an honest, fair and responsible player for Vermont.’Attorney General William Sorrell noted that he looks forward to the upcoming trial on the merits: ‘We will continue to defend the constitutionality of Vermont’s laws regulating Vermont Yankee and will be working hard to prepare for the critical merits stage of this litigation.’ The case is currently scheduled for a trial on the merits beginning on September 12, 2011.Vermont Attorney General. July 18, 2011
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced today that he has tapped Chief Deputy Dean Shatney to replace retiring Caledonia County Sheriff Michael Bergeron when Bergeron steps down at the end of the year. ‘Dean’s extensive experience with the Sheriff’s Department, as well as his lifelong commitment to his local community and civic involvement, make him a great choice to replace Sheriff Bergeron,’ said Gov. Shumlin. Shatney was one of two candidates for the post forwarded to the Governor by the Caledonia County Republican Committee. The other was William O’Hare, Deputy Sheriff with the Special Investigations Unit in Essex County. Gov. Shumlin said both candidates had strong credentials for the Sheriff’s position. Shatney has worked for the Caledonia County Sheriff’s Department for 14 years, starting as Deputy Sheriff and moving to Chief Deputy in 2010. He currently holds the rank of Captain. He has also served as High Bailiff since 2008, and previously owned Millennium Chairs, a hardwood chair manufacturing firm. Source: Governor’s office. 11.30.2011