Guv supports concept of GMP plan to end blackouts

by Guy Page 

Gov. Phil Scott said today he likes the concept of a Green Mountain Power plan to eliminate blackouts by 2030.

The plan, filed recently by the state’s largest utility with the Public Utilities Commission, would bury power lines underground, harden above ground lines, and build battery storage capacity in remote towns.

Utility authorities argue that climate-related extreme weather is consuming an increasingly large amount of ratepayer revenue. 

“That all makes sense,” Scott said at a press conference today. “Building resiliency includes the grid.”

The news about the aggressive, expensive plan to make extreme-weather blackouts a thing of the past broke on WCAX October 9 when Darren Perron interviewed GMP President Mari McClure. 

On its Facebook page, GMP included a link to the WCAX news story with this comment: “Our Zero Outages Initiative by 2030 will make sure customers stay powered up, no matter the weather or their location. We will do this by accelerating solutions that are already working like undergrounding lines, storm hardening overhead lines with insulated, stronger wire and energy storage. It’s about equity and safety – a way to address severe storms and climate change head on.”

Scott cautioned that the quoted price tag – cited by WCAX as $280 million for the first two years and $1.5 billion total – is a concern. This and other details need to be “flushed out” by the PUC, he said.

The GMP plan would do less to mitigate another potential source of blackouts: a shortage of electricity at peak demand due to the closing of New England nuclear and fossil fuel power plants in recent years.

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Categories: Energy

5 replies »

  1. Gov. Phil Scott said today he likes the concept of a ” Green Mountain Power” plan to eliminate blackouts by 2030, I believe Vermont has had blackouts for the past century
    or longer with this declaration, sounds to me ” GMP ” will be looking for additional funding for another boondoggle project, hell we don’t even have internet throughout the state, and they believe they are going to make this happen………sure !!

    Try maintaining what we have, but let’s wait until it breaks first……………Wake up people

  2. GMP should prevent blackouts by spending money to remove trees that pose a risk to power lines. It’s not climate change knocking down trees. It’s trees overhanging wires, old trees, dead trees and weed trees like poplars with shallow root systems that topple easily, none of which should be allowed to pose a hazard to lines according to GMP’s tree management plan.

    Of course burying new lines creates the opportunity for the larger conductors needed for total electrification of everything (“A heat pump in every house, an EV in every driveway”), in itself a horribly flawed concept, both economically and practically.

    When most of the lines in rural VT were installed much of the state was cleared for farming and few trees threatened power lines. 75 years later nature has restored the forests and rural roads are in the woods. GMP has ignored its tree management plan in favor of “electrify everything”. A major shift in priorities is sorely needed.

  3. More from the climate fraudsters and profiteers. GMP now sees an opportunity to have the ratepayers pay for their mismanagement and deferred maintenance by crying “Climate! Climate!” as the cause.

    Just think how beautiful our villages and highways will be after they bury their cabling underground and do away with those unsightly poles – even as they continue their headlong rush to rape every ridge and meadow with windmills and solar panels.

  4. An interesting way to spin, we don’t have enough infrastructure to meet our needs.