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Energy Siting Report Released

Vermont Department of Public Service

The Vermont Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission issued its final report to the governor and legislature earlier this week. Reaction to the report’s recommendations runs the gamut from enthusiastic to lukewarm.

The Vermont Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission was tasked with determining how and where energy projects should be placed in the state. Its recommendations include a tiered policy structure that increases emphasis on energy planning at regional and municipal levels and increases public participation.

The Vermont Natural Resources Council was among the groups that had called for creation of the commission and the study.  Executive Director Brian Shupe.

Shupe finds that the report has several helpful recommendations, including the tiered approach to siting review.

Vermonters for a Clean Environment Executive Director Annette Smith calls the report a well-intentioned effort that doesn’t solve problems.

Renewable Energy Vermont Executive Director Gabrielle Stebbens is concerned about some of the report’s recommendations.

Stebbens also worries that the suggested tiered permitting would be detrimental to renewable energy projects over 500 kW.

Vermont Public Interest Research Group Executive Director Paul Burns doesn’t think the commission nor the report were needed, but didn’t oppose the report.

The commission was created by the governor to craft the report in October 2012. It was due to the governor and legislature on April 30th.  Recommendations made in the report can be accomplished through legislation or Public Service Board rulemaking.