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FairPoint strikers rally at Vermont State House

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 5:06pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine FairPoint strikers are mounted two actions on Thursday, including on the steps of the State House in Montpelier. The strike is more than a month old and a group of bitter union workers endured bitter cold to state their case. A recent mediation session in Boston was short and fruitless. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin joined IBEW President Edwin D Hill in headlining the rally in Montpelier. Meanwhile, a delegation of workers and allies were in Boston protesting against the telecom company’s biggest shareholder.

Franklin County dairy farm pays $40,000 for agriculture water quality violations

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 4:26pm -- tim

Leach Farms, Inc, a dairy farm in Enosburg Falls has admitted to violations of Vermont’s water pollution law and agricultural practice regulations and will pay forty thousand dollars ($40,000.00) in civil penalties for the water quality violations. This matter was investigated by the Compliance and Enforcement Division at the Department of Environmental Conservation. The matter was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office working cooperatively with the Agency of Natural Resources and Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

New company to bring energy savings within reach for underserved markets

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 4:17pm -- tim

The Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) today announced the launch of Commons Energy L3C, a new subsidiary to help underserved markets such as hospitals, schools and other public entities to reduce their energy and water costs. Commons Energy is being launched with an initial capitalization of $6.5 million, including a $5 million “impact investment” from the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation focused on multi-family housing.

2014/2015 ISO Winter Outlook: Sufficient power supplies expected, gas pipeline constraints could raise prices

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 4:04pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Natural gas demand is likely to remain high, along with prices, just as the region has lost capacity with the shutdown of nuclear, oil and coal fired power plants. However, even if there is a period of extended cold weather, while prices could be high for electricity and home heating, there is unlikely to be an energy shortage.

Burlington College approves MOU for sale of land to developer Eric Farrell

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 2:38pm -- tim

The Board of Trustees at Burlington College approved on November 14 a memorandum of understanding with Eric Farrell for the sale of 25 acres of land on the main campus and two properties located about a mile from the campus. The vote was unanimous of those board members in attendance. This sale of land is, in essence, a complicated four-party transaction that has two types of distinct and different purchase structures: a sale to a developer or a sale to a conservation group. 

Entergy Vermont Yankee issues WARN notices, to layoff 165 workers

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 9:16am -- tim

Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee on Wednesday filed notices with the Vermont Department of Labor and  the Town of Vernon that 165 employees will experience an employment loss starting on January 19, 2015. Entergy announced in August 2013 that Vermont Yankee would  permanently cease operations by the end of 2014. Even though Entergy announced  the plant closure last year, Entergy is issuing notices to employees and local officials now to ensure compliance with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

State offers incentives to develop solar energy programs in Windham County

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 8:40am -- tim

The Vermont Public Service Department (PSD) and its Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) seek proposals from qualified financial institutions with a physical presence in Windham County that offer loans to residential customers interested in development of the Windham County Solar Finance Program (SF). The SF Program seeks to accelerate the deployment of solar energy technologies including solar PV and solar hot water in Windham County.

Clean Energy Development Fund releases RFP for $1.6 million modern wood heating program for Windham County

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 5:14am -- tim

The Public Service Department’s Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) released Wednesday a request for proposals (RFP) to design and administer a modern wood heating program in, and for the benefit of, Windham County, Vermont.  The CEDF has allocated $1.6 million of the funds reserved for Windham County for the creation of a modern wood heating program focused on installing efficient wood pellet/chip heating systems in schools and municipal buildings in Windham County.

Sheffield Wind developer sold to SunEdison

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 5:06am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine SunEdison and TerraForm Power have signed a definitive agreement to acquire First Wind for $2.4 billion, the developer of the Sheffield Wind project in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. With the purchase, SunEdison acquires the leading independent wind development and asset management company and becomes the leading global renewable energy development company. As a result, SunEdison raises its 2015 project installation guidance from 1.6-1.8 GW to 2.1-2.3 GW.

Report outlines priority actions to improve Vermont’s water quality

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 4:16am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Shumlin Administration is proposing to raise approximately $1.5 million in new taxes and fees to help pay for a plan to cleanup the state's waterways and ultimately Lake Champlain. A 1 percent excise tax on fertilizers ($450,000) and fees on impermeable surfaces ($1 million) would be used in conjunction with updating farming and stormwater runoff rules. The state hopes to leverage another $45 million in public and private funding for the effort. Vermont’s Clean Water Initiative was released Monday by the Agency of Natural Resources.

EPA: State must reduce phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain by 36 percent

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 4:03am -- tim

by John Herrick Vermont’s plan to improve Lake Champlain’s water quality does not go far enough to comply with federal regulations, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA released phosphorus pollution reduction targets for Lake Champlain at a meeting in Middlebury on Monday.