Utility plans to increase renewable sources of power

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(Host) Vermont’s second largest electric utility says it wants to dramatically change where it gets its power over the next two decades.

Mary Powell is the incoming chief executive of Green Mountain Power.

(Powell) “This whole vision and this whole plan is really founded on the concept of ramping down Yankee and ramping up Vermont renewable sources for the future.”

(Host) More than a third of Green Mountain Power’s electricity now comes from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

But by 2032, Green Mountain wants Yankee to make up just 17% of the total.

Over that time, GMP would begin to rely more heavily on such renewable sources as wind, solar and biomass, such as wood.

But Powell says to accomplish that, the state needs to identify the best place for wind and solar generators- and then make it easier to build those projects.

(Powell) “A key element of this is that we need to build broader support, because Vermonters – our customers – will start to understand why they might want to embrace that wind project that they can see because they understand that it’s part of how we’re weaning ourselves off our dependence to Vermont Yankee.”

(Host) That approach would require Green Mountain to find a generator that could make electricity when it’s calm and wind turbines aren’t effective.

So Powell says Green Mountain wants to buy more power from Hydro-Quebec. But the plan also assumes that Vermont Yankee will be able to renew its license to operate through 2032.

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