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News stories tagged with "power"

Vermont Yankee plant (Source:  Wikipedia)
Vermont Yankee plant (Source: Wikipedia)

Nuclear crisis comes as Vermont debates its nuclear future

The crisis in Japan is unfolding just as Vermont's legislature is debating the future of Entergy's Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

That 39-year-old plant has faced troubles of its own, including the discovery last year that it was leaking a substance called tritium into the groundwater.

Just last week, the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave Vermont Yankee approval to operate for another two decades.

But the disaster in Japan is sparking new opposition among state lawmakers.

Brian Mann spoke with Shay Totten, a reporter and columnist for the weekly magazine "Seven Days" based in Burlington.  Go to full article

Sen. Griffo on education cuts, redistricting

New York's Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would make the Power For Jobs program permanent. The newly named "Recharge NY" program would double in size by using electricity that had been allocated to small residential energy bill discounts. It would still offer low-cost power to hundreds of companies across the state in return for job commitments. The new version of the program would also set aside $8 million to offer power discounts for farmers. The now goes before the state Assembly.

Republican Joe Griffo says the bill is one success in what he calls a "very hectic" session. Griffo says lawmakers are scrambling to finish budget bills while trying to avoid the "three-men-in-a-room" process that's given Albany such a bad name. "To debate these issues in public between both houses and hopefully arrive on a consensus so we can have an on-time budget," Griffo says. "I think everybody is trying to work together and do the best we can despite our philosophic differences."

Those differences include how much to cut education spending and how to make redistricting less partisan.

Griffo represents the 47th Senate district, which stretches from Utica in the south, though Lewis County and the eastern half of St. Lawrence County to Massena. He told David Sommerstein making the popular Power For Jobs program permanent is an important step forward.  Go to full article
The Rupert River before it was diverted by Hydro Quebec
The Rupert River before it was diverted by Hydro Quebec

Story 2.0: Power for the US, a changed river for the Cree

As we've been hearing in John Dillon's report, there is a debate raging over the future of Hydro Quebec's power projects and their impact on the environment.

Brian Mann has traveled repeatedly to Cree Crounty in northern Quebec, talking with local leaders about the way industrial power projects are changing their villages and the landscape.

This morning as part of our series Story 2.0, we'll revisit his report from 2007.  Go to full article
This technology results in savings of about 70% of carbon dioxide emissions.

Powering the power grid

Managing the power grid is a balancing act. As we flip on our coffee makers and turn on hairdryers, the grid is reacting, breathing harder, so to speak, to keep up with our demand. A facility in upstate New York is using battery power to make balancing the grid more efficient. Emma Jacobs has more for the Innovation Trail.  Go to full article
Maple Ridge wind farm on the Tug Hill Plateau
Maple Ridge wind farm on the Tug Hill Plateau

Wind power facing economic headwinds

A recent report from the agency that monitors New York's electric grid says the state can quintuple the amount of wind power pulsing through the system by 2018. But wind developers say the chances of hitting that mark are slim.

Wind farms are having trouble making profits for their owners. As the Innovation Trail's Zack Seward reports, more incentives may be needed if the state wants to meet its renewable energy goals.  Go to full article

AMP makes final push for municipal power

Municipal power advocates are in Albany making a final push for a new North Country authority. The bill would be the first real step toward two dozen towns in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties starting a not-for-profit electric company. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Robert Best, AMP chairman
Robert Best, AMP chairman

Municipal power advocates try to seal the deal in Albany

A bill that would allow two dozen towns in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties to form a municipal power company is getting closer to passage. And local leaders are taking a bus to Albany today to try to push it over the finish line. The bill to create the North Country Power Authority is the product of a decade of work by the Alliance for Municipal Power. The bill has already passed the Senate. After clearing a key committee in the Assembly yesterday, it's now one committee away from a floor vote. Supporters believe it will pass. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

"Smart Grid" designed to prevent major blackouts

Remember that huge blackout in the summer of 2003? 45 million people in the Midwest and Northeast US, as well as 10 million in Canada, lost power. Government and utilities are spending billions of dollars on what's called a "Smart Grid," in part, so we don't have more large scale blackouts. But there's a lot more to the emerging system. Julie Grant has more.  Go to full article

National Grid responds to push for municipal power

More now on a developing story about 24 towns in the North Country hoping to band together and create a publicly owned electric company. State law allows a town or city to become its own power provider after parting with privately held utilities, like National Grid. Massena has done this.

But several towns can't join forces to form a communal electric company. This could soon change. The state Senate recently approved a bill clearing the way. The measure awaits passage by the Assembly and the Governor.

Legislative approval, if it comes, is only one hurdle for these towns. They also need to separate themselves from National Grid. Meaning the new, publicly owned power company would have to produce electricity and provide it via a network of their own transmission lines. Todd Moe has more.  Go to full article

Municipal power alliance clears legislative hurdle

Two-dozen towns in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties may soon be able to join forces and create a municipal electric company. This non-profit company could cut power bills by buying and distributing its own electricity, cutting out the utility middleman.

Right now, each town has the right to form its own electric company, similar to those in Massena, Lake Placid and Tupper Lake. But, it doesn't make sense for small, rural towns to go it alone. That's according to Bob Best. He's president of the Alliance for Municipal Power, or AMP. The group has worked for more than a decade to establish a municipal power company in rural St. Lawrence County.

He said that while each town could form its own electric company, state law doesn't allow towns to come together in a single municipal company. AMP has been asking state lawmakers to change that. The state Senate passed a bill clearing the way this week. It goes next to the Assembly, and if approved, on to the governor.

Municipal power companies have also faced stiff opposition from utilities, long legal battles to win control of the local transmission system, and penalties when they left the grid.
Best told Martha Foley this takeover, from National Grid, could be a friendly one, once the legislature and governor sign off.  Go to full article

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