Woody Biomass Power Generation Pitched For Vermont Yankee Site

As the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant moves closer to shutting down at year’s end, a new proposal could bring a different kind of power generation to the site. The Select Board in Vernon recently heard from a company about the possibility of building a biomass energy plant at the Vermont Yankee site. The proposal, […]

As the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant moves closer to shutting down at year’s end, a new proposal could bring a different kind of power generation to the site. The Select Board in Vernon recently heard from a company about the possibility of building a biomass energy plant at the Vermont Yankee site.

The proposal, by American Generation Partners LLC, is for a $350 million biomass plant that would burn wood-based materials as fuel to generate power at the site, Vernon Select Board Chairwoman Patty O’Donnell said. “This is the very beginning stages, and there’s a lot of work to go before we’d end up with something like this,” she said.

“We’ve got to start exploring alternatives,” she said. “We have, I think, a disastrous energy portfolio. We’re relying more and more on Canada. We need to start looking at how we replace jobs and tax revenue from Vermont Yankee. This is just one proposal.”

O’Donnell said the plan also includes the possibility of generating energy through natural gas, which would be piped in from Greenfield, Mass. “We have to do a lot of research on this, but ultimately these are decisions that will be made by the (Vermont) Public Service Board,” she said.

The board, which regulates all utilities in Vermont, would also have to issue a certificate of public good before the plan could move forward. As town officials prepare to look more deeply at the proposal, a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission official said any redevelopment of the site would be limited to the parts not containing the nuclear reactor or related facilities.

From The Barre Montpelier Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20140606/THISJUSTIN/706069929

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