Final Vermont Energy Plan: 90 percent renewables by 2050

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin, Public Service Commissioner Elizabeth Miller and other administration officials today released the final Comprehensive Energy Plan, which recommends that Vermont strive to obtain 90 percent of our total energy from renewable sources by 2050, largely eliminating Vermont’s reliance on fossil fuels by mid-century. The plan presumes that the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant will not be part of the mix of Vermont energy sources after the station’s license expires in March 2012, whether or not plant owner Entergy succeeds in its lawsuit against the state over a license renewal. Part of the 2025 mix does include the contract between Green Mountain Power and the Seabrook, NH, nuclear plant (referenced in “Market Purchases”). The Seabrook deal runs through 2035. The initial portion of the contract calls for 60 MW, before leveling off at 40 MW (see exhibit 5-2 below). Hydro-Quebec also remains a significant player throughout this scenario. Vermont signed a 225 MW deal with H-Q last year. The Energy Plan envisions a growth in local jobs (see Exhibit 16 below), while slightly increasing total electric consumption from about 6,000 gigawatt hours to over 7,000 GWh a year in 2025. However, the Demand Side Management (DSM) load would bring that back down to just above current levels, or a savings of about 1,000 GWh a year starting in 2020.‘Vermont needs to move forward to protect our environment, gain greater energy independence, and drive innovation and jobs in the energy sectors. This Plan puts us on that path,’ Governor Shumlin said. ‘I am proud of the incredible work put in by the many agencies involved and the thousands of citizens who took the time to participate in shaping the ideas and actions that are included.’ The Plan calls for enhanced efficiency, and greater use of clean, renewable sources for electricity, heating and transportation to meet this goal.  The Plan also recognizes that Vermont must pursue its goals responsibly, ensuring overall energy costs for our businesses and residents remain regionally competitive. To access reports, click on:  Volume 1, Volume 2, Appendixes‘We worked hard both at the Department of Public Service and in other state agencies and departments to create a robust public engagement process and to draft a Comprehensive Energy Plan that responds to Vermonters’ desire to increase usage of renewable energy for the benefit of our environment, our economy, and our long-term energy security,’ said Elizabeth Miller, Commissioner of Public Service. The Plan explains that, across all fuel sectors, Vermont currently utilizes about a quarter renewable energy for its needs.  Moving from nearly a quarter renewable energy now to nearly fossil-fuel free by 2050 will: ·         Foster job growth, economic security and independence by creating jobs in efficiency and local renewable energy projects; by keeping our dollars closer to home; and by cutting our dependence on dirty price-volatile fossil fuels.·         Safeguard our environmental legacy by reducing our contribution to global climate change and leading by example in the fight to keep our planet safe and habitable for generations to come.·         Keep Vermonters’ dollar instate, drive in-state innovation and job creation by showing that investments in efficiency and renewable energy, which help our environment and energy independence, also help our economy.·         Increase community involvement and investment by engaging Vermonters in our energy choices. This marks the first Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan since the late 1990s. The Plan covers electricity, heating and process fuels, and energy in transportation and land use decisions. The Department of Public Service, charged by statute to create a statewide Plan, led a multi-agency initiative that involved robust public outreach and garnered over 9,000 comments from Vermonters on a variety of energy issues facing the state.  Vermont currently obtains almost a quarter of its energy from renewable sources, due in large part to the electric portfolio, which is comprised of nearly 50 percent renewable sources.  Great progress has been made in electric efficiency, keeping Vermont’s electric demand down.  However, comparatively little progress has been made on obtaining transportation and heating from renewable sources. The Plan calls for greater progress in these sectors to benefit Vermont’s environment, comfort, and affordability.   Source: DPS. 12.15.2011The Department of Public Service is an agency within the executive branch of Vermont state government. Its charge is to represent the public interest in matters regarding energy, telecommunications, water and wastewater.  The Department is also charged by statute with statewide energy and telecommunications planning.last_img read more

Former Coronavirus Dashboard Designer Says Emails Prove State Asked to Change Data

first_img“They’re lying because asking me to delete data and hide information and not make it publicly accessible was a bad decision,” says Jones. “It was the wrong decision that I stated very clearly.”She claims that she argued with state officials over COVID-19 data in rural counties, saying she brought information to management that demonstrated several rural counties in the state did not meet the reopening criteria. Jones claims that supervisors then changed the criteria for reopening rural counties.Gov. Ron DeSantis says Jones was terminated for insubordination, as well as for putting data online against the judgement of state doctors.“If refusing to mislead the public during a health crisis is insubordination, then I will wear that badge with honor,” Jones says.Jones is currently facing open criminal charges of sexual cyber harassment and cyberstalking in an unrelated situation.DeSantis: COVID-19 Dashboard Designer Faces Cyber Sex Harassment Charges The woman who was fired recently from her role with Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard is now telling her side of the story.In an interview last Friday with CNN, Dr. Rebekah Jones says she has emails proving that Florida Department of Health (DOH) officials asked her to change data on the state’s website.Last week, Jones told media outlets that her removal from the position was “not voluntary,” and that she was fired because officials ordered her to censor data on the dashboard, but she refused to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.”Jones told CNN that she has internal emails that demonstrate her supervisors asked her to remove certain pieces of data from the state’s dashboard, including asking her to take down the site completely.She alleges that she was then asked to restore the website with the original data about a day later, and only when reporters questioned why the data was deleted.State officials have said the data was removed to be reorganized.Under the direction of President @realDonaldTrump, I have directed all Florida and United States flags to be flown at half-staff until Sunday May 24 in honor of the victims of the novel coronavirus pandemic. See the President’s Proclamation here – https://t.co/WhXp44UYW1— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 22, 2020last_img read more

Mason City council tonight considers development agreement for downtown hotel project

first_imgMASON CITY — Mason City’s city administrator says progress on the hotel and convention center portion of the River City Renaissance project can ramp up immediately if the City Council tonight approves a development agreement for the project. City officials have finalized a development agreement with Gatehouse Mason City LLC for the construction of a hotel that would fulfill the private investment portion of the $39 million project being supported through the Iowa Reinvestment Act.City Administrator Aaron Burnett says approval of the agreement will kick off that project full-steam.  “Once we approve that agreement, Gatehouse can move forward with their design and their financing. We can continue to work on the site to make sure that it’s prepared for them to be able to start construction as soon as possible. All of these things are big developments and they are things that get us closer to finalizing the Reinvestment District and being able to capture those state dollars to make sure that we’re financing this through all the different means that we’ve set out over the years.”Burnett says a lot of hard work from both parties went into figuring out the final details of the development agreement.  “This is a very complex project. When you look at all the different components, whether it’s the reinvestment district from the state, the ability to capture those revenues is extremely important, and it’s also important for the developer to make sure that that they have that confidence that the city’s going to come through and follow the plan is as laid out. Every single phrase, every single item in that development agreement was scrutinized by both parties, by their lawyers, in making sure that we’ve set a good plan to move forward. Now that that’s in place, now that we have that agreement work from, I think that things will move very quickly, because we’ve had these very thoughtful discussions ahead of time.”After the initial approval of the development agreement, state law mandated that the city had to wait 30 days for any competitive proposals to be submitted and considered for the project. A public hearing will be held prior to the council considering approval of the development agreement. The council meets tonight at 7 o’clock in the Mason City Room of the Public Library.last_img read more