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Vermont solar and wind reduce summer peak costs and burning of dirtiest fossil fuels

Renewable Energy Creating Summer Savings & Preventing Air Pollution

MONTPELIER, VT— As the region faces high summer temperatures straining power supplies, Vermont utilities are experiencing spikes in electric costs and today issued peak alerts asking customers to reduce energy use.  Price stable Vermont wind and solar meanwhile are reducing both peak costs and burning of the direst fossil fuels.

As of 3:00 p.m., according to ISO New England, peak energy costs today spiked to over $2.69 per kWh with a heavy reliance on the dirtiest polluting fossil fuels.  Today’s price is more than 18 times the rate the majority of Vermont residents pay for electricity!  To put these numbers in perspective, the majority of Vermont residents pay approximately $0.14 to $0.15 per kWh for electricity.  New England’s power mix, which Vermont utilities rely on for peak power supplies, Thursday afternoon was composed of primarily natural gas (60%), nuclear power (14%), as well as coal and oil (14%, more than 834 MW of coal!).

With sunny skies and south winds, price stable Vermont renewables are reducing electric costs to all customers and the consumption of the dirtiest fossil fuels.  Permitted wind generation in Vermont consists of over 156 MW.  Additionally, there is more than 262 MW of permitted solar in our state, with our successful net metering program (mostly residential, community, and commercial solar) contributing more than 153 MW to that total.  Our local clean energy is electricity that Vermont utilities do not need buy from out of state sources.  Those out of state sources.

“Vermont renewable energy not only provides a strong economic engine to our local economy, but on days like today, our in-state wind and solar is reducing peak costs and transmission for all customers,” said Olivia Campbell Andersen, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont. “Every kW of clean wind and solar installed reduces burning dirty, out of state fossil fuels during energy peaks that we are experiencing today and tomorrow.”

Vermont currently has the second lowest electric rates in New England and while other states have seen double digit increases in rates, Vermont rates have remained stable.  In addition to lowering peak power costs, locally produce renewables reduce line losses through distribution and transmission costs for all consumers.

“As a VEC member with a group net metered project on my farm I share with my neighbors, it is nice to know that we are doing our part to lower costs and make our energy grid cleaner, especially during these rough peak times,” Jeff Forward, Richmond resident and Board Chairman of Renewable Energy Vermont.

“Vermonters and many of our utilities have done a great job deploying renewables in our community which keeps our hard earned dollars local and ensures we are doing our part to see a cleaner, more reliable energy supply,” added Campbell.

A dashboard provided by ISO New England displays real time costs and energy supply is online at: http://www.iso-ne.com/isoexpress/web/charts

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