Wood-fired plan still lacking power contractBy Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | March 01,2013SPRINGFIELD — The North Springfield Sustainable Energy Project does not help meet the state’s energy needs or contribute to the state’s renewable energy goals, according to the director of energy policy and planning for the Department of Public Service.
“Without a power purchase agreement between the proposed facility and a Vermont utility, the proposed facility does not contribute to either the state’s renewable energy goals or its need for electric service,” Asa Hopkins wrote in follow-up, pre-filed testimony filed with the board last week.
Hopkins took issue with statements by Dan Ingold of Weston Solutions, which is one of two companies that want to build a 35-megawatt wood chip plant in the North Springfield Industrial Park.
Hopkins, who declined to comment Thursday, also testified the project would not contribute to overall renewable energy goals.
“None of the state’s SPEED goals, the goals of the Vermont 25 x 25 Initiative, or the needs of the state’s utilities for energy or capacity is met by the proposed facility in the absence of a PPA (power purchase agreement) with a Vermont retail utility,” he concluded.
SPEED stands for Sustainable Priced Energy Development Program, and the initiative also deals with state renewable energy programs.
Ingold said Wednesday that Hopkins’ testimony — filed in advance of upcoming technical hearings before the Public Service Board — was a “kick in the pants” for the project to get a contract with a utility completed.
Ingold said Weston and Winstanley Enterprises, the two companies that make up the project, had been negotiating for a long time without success so far.
“That’s what we’re working toward, have been in active talks for months and months and months,” said Ingold. “We want this to be a Vermont project.”
Ingold downplayed Hopkins’ testimony, calling it a “minor” issue that would be resolved.
Ingold said he and others were working to reach legal agreements with various state agencies to resolve concerns about the wood-fired plant.
He said the project recently reached a memorandum of understanding with the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets over the issue of invasive species, specifically insects.
The state is concerned that wood chips harboring several dangerous insects such as the emerald ash borer and the Asian long-horned beetle, could be brought into Springfield via the chips.
Under the agreement, all wood chips must be no bigger than 1 inch square.
But Robert Kischko, chairman of North Springfield Action Group, which opposes the wood-fired project, said the 1-inch limit wasn’t adequate to safeguard the state from the insects.
Ingold said he hoped the state would also reach agreements with the Agency of Natural Resources over concerns that deal primarily with forest resources.
firstname.lastname@example.orgMORE IN Southern Vermont
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1843, British Naval officer GEORGE LORD PAULET obtains provisional cession of Hawaiian Islands; 1866, miners claim Calaveras skull found found in goldmine is remains of 5 million-year-old Pliocene man.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown