by Guy Page
The backup power storage battery installed in the basement of the Vermont State House has been ruled a fire hazard by fire officials, Gov. Phil Scott conceded at a press conference today.
Installed for the opening of the January, 2021 legislature, the backup system received an allocation of $450,000, which was originally to replace the old diesel system, VTbiz.com reported 1/5/2021. However, in committee lawmakers raised the idea of using a battery backup. A new diesel system would have required relocating the diesel engine outside and even blasting ledge outside the State House cafeteria.
At today’s press conference (see video) Gov. Scott was asked by Seven Days reporter Kevin McCallum about the backup battery being declared a fire hazard, Gov. Scott said he and others “never contemplated it would be a fire hazard.”
The lesson learned is that bumps happen along the way to electrification, and to always check with the fire department first before installing new equipment, he said.
By the way, that’s 19th century Gov. Urban Woodbury of Burlington looking on in the background.