Thursday, February 24, 2005

Vermont Senate Gives Preliminary Approval to Renewable Portfolio Standard

The Rutland Herald reports that the Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to legislation that would implement a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in the state.

In a 24-3 vote, the Senate expressed support for Senate Bill S.52, which would require Vermont utilities to provide certain levels of electricity from new and existing renewable energy sources. Under the bill, the exact percentage of required renewable energy will be tied to a utility's incremental energy growth over 10 years, up to, but not exceeding, 10 percent. The State's Public Service Board will oversee implementation of the RPS, and would have authority to allow utilities to "opt out" if renewable power is too expensive or the program threatens to dramatically increase electricity rates.

The Vermont House is expected to take up discussion of the RPS bill shortly. In an interview with Vermont Public Radio (VPR) earlier this week, Republican Governor Jim Douglas reiterated his strong opposition to an RPS. A showdown on the bill is expected before the end of the legislative session.

VPR has more on the Senate RPS bill.

No comments: