(Host) Vermont’s two largest electric utilities say they’ve successfully reduced their greenhouse gas emissions over the past few years.
An industry oversight group says emissions from Green Mountain Power and Central Vermont Public Service have gone down four percent since the late 1990s.
As VPR’s Ross Sneyd reports, it may not be easy to be so green in the future.
(Sneyd) In the age of global warming, GMP and CVPS have been in an enviable position in the utility world.
The vast majority of electricity flowing through Vermont’s grid comes from nuclear generation or hydroelectric dams. Neither produces carbon emissions.
But contracts for that power begin to expire in four years. Central Vermont’s Steve Costello says the companies want to maintain a clean portfolio as they replace that power.
(Costello) “It does represent a challenge as we go forward, certainly. Vermonters clearly want a clean power portfolio and CV and GMP have both traditionally had very clean portfolios and we want to maintain that.”
(Sneyd) GMP and CVPS are negotiating new contracts with the nuclear and hydro plants.
Another option they’re considering is building a new plant in Vermont or working with a developer who would build one.
A report on the feasibility of a new plant is due in a week or so. No one will say for now what might power a new plant – wind or wood or natural gas.
Dottie Schnure of Green Mountain Power says emissions are an important part of that calculation – but not the only one.
(Schnure) “When we’re looking at future power supply there are a number of things that are very important, and they include emissions and the environmental profile because that’s important to the state, that’s important to our customers. They include cost. That’s also a very important component. They include the reliability of the resource. We need to look at all of those things and determine how to get the most value of all of them.”
(Sneyd) In the meantime, the utilities are looking to reduce their emissions even more. They’re trying to rely less on their fossil fuel plants – and they’re trying to make their line trucks even more efficient.
For VPR News, I’m Ross Sneyd.
AP Photo/Toby Talbot