Vermont PSB approves CVPS’ $350,000 renewable spending plans

first_imgThe Vermont Public Service Board has approved spending on a series of renewable energy projects and studies proposed by Central Vermont Public Service. The CVPS proposals, filed with the PSB in July, include seven renewable projects and studies at a total cost of about $350,000.  The board approved them in a decision received late Friday. The three studies are intended to help CVPS expand its popular Cow Power program, learn about the potential for algae as an energy source, and possibly expand production at an existing Rutland County hydroelectric facility.Studies focus on manure, algae and waterA $10,000 Essex Partnership study will evaluate a new Cow Power model of collecting methane gas from a group of smaller farms and using it to generate electricity at a central facility.A second study is under way by Algepower Inc., which has developed Algeponics™, a patented photobioreactor, an enclosed farm system for growing algae, which could be used as a fuel or food source.  The first prototype has been linked to a CVPS Cow Power™ digester on the Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport. CVPS’s $50,000 grant to Algepower, now approved by the PSB, will help fund development and operation of the pilot prototype.The third study, at a cost of $25,000, will examine the potential to increase generation at CVPS’s Carver Falls hydroelectric station in Poultney.  The plant has peak generation of 1.9 megawatts, and has produced an average of 7,340,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually over the past decade.“CVPS was the first utility in the world to put wind-generated power on the grid and the first to develop a customer-driven, manure-based energy product,” said CVPS spokesman Steve Costello.  “These studies will help us remain on the cutting edge of new generation potential, and support ideas with tremendous potential to benefit Vermont.”Funding approved for four projectsIn addition to the three grants, the PSB approved CVPS requests to allocate funds to several existing renewable projects.  They include:Arnold Falls Hydroelectric Facility Crest Control Installation in St. Johnsbury ($140,000)Southern Loop Combined Heat and Power Development Fund contribution ($50,000)Solar plug-in hybrid vehicle charging station in Rutland Town ($40,000)Wind metering tower for renewable education site in Rutland Town ($16,000).“We have among the cleanest energy supplies in the nation,” Costello said.  “These projects and grants will help us maintain that clean portfolio in the years ahead.”last_img

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