Vermont Federal Credit Union Welcomes a New EmployeeBURLINGTON, VT-Joseph M. Finnigan, president and CEO of Vermont Federal Credit Union (VTFCU), is pleased to announce that Holly O. Sheltra has joined the VTFCU staff as Manager of their Burlington branch location.Holly brings to the Credit Union more than 10 years of management, sales and lending experience. Prior to coming to the Credit Union, Holly was a Sr. Loan Officer/Jr. Underwriter for Homebound Mortgage, Inc. She was also a Consumer Loan Officer/Branch Supervisor for New England Federal Credit Union. VTFCU is a $135 million plus financial institution, currently serving over 21,000 members. We provide membership to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Chittenden, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Franklin, Washington, or Addison Counties in Vermont. ###
Justin T. Martin, a Commercial Sales Specialist and licensed Real Estate Salesperson, has recently joined the Pomerleau Real Estate Commercial Team. Justin is a board member of the Chittenden Commercial Real Estate Association (CCREA), member of the Essex Rotary Club, Board Member of the VT Sports and Events Council, and a University of Vermont graduate. His strong business background and community involvement make him a great fit with the Pomerleau Commercial Team!Pomerleau Real Estate was founded in 1951 with a commitment to provide unparalleled service to our clients. The firm has established an outstanding reputation throughout New England and is one of the largest commercial brokerage and development firms in the State of Vermont, owning and managing over 2 million square feet of commercial property. The firm maintains leadership positions in the fields of Development, Commercial Brokerage, Property Management, and Business Services.Though each client’s needs differ considerably, the Pomerleau commitment to excellence in service remains constant. We apply our insight, experience, intelligence and resources to help our clients make informed real estate decisions. We are proud to be leaders in our industry and in the community in which we live.
-30- Vermont Housing Finance Agency announced today the selection of Paul Stewart, President of Stewart Property Management, Bedford, NH, as the new owner of Rockingham Canal House in Bellows Falls. The historic building, a former hotel built in the 1870s, will also be an example of how important housing preservation is to the larger strategy of providing affordable housing.”Paul Stewart has almost 40 years of experience in affordable housing, and he’s been managing the Canal Street building since last fall, so we’re confident he has the background and skills necessary to make this property a showpiece,” said VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter.Stewart, who served with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1971 to 1985, including serving as Director of Housing Development, founded his company in 1988. Stewart Property Management provides affordable housing in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts, managing 109 properties. The company also provides development consulting services.Stewart, who also serves on the Board of Directors for the Northern New Hampshire Housing Investment Fund and is a member of the Loan Committee for the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, said he plans to make a significant investment in Rockingham Canal House.”This is an opportunity to revitalize a building that is in need of rehabilitation and bring it back to first-class condition,” Stewart said. “It’s an important part of the Village of Bellows Falls, and it provides affordable housing for the 44 people who live there.””Housing is a precious resource,” Stewart said. “We need to use the tools we have to make sure the affordable housing we have stays affordable, and that we maintain it in safe, decent condition.”VHFA was created by the Vermont Legislature in 1974 to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since then, VHFA has helped approximately 26,500 Vermont households with affordable mortgages and financed the development of 7,700 affordable rental units.Source: VHFA, June 23, 2009
Citizens Bank and City Market partnered with the Burlington Free Press for the fourth consecutive year in a food drive at participating schools known as Kids CAN Help. The food drive was designed to help raise awareness among school children that hunger is a year-round struggle for many families in our communities, especially with rising food and fuel prices.The campaign running Oct. 12-16, encourages children at 26 participating schools to compete to collect the most food. The school that collects the most non-perishable items will be thanked in a special ceremony at the school. Last year, students at the Robinson School in Starksboro were the winner, collecting 1,014 lbs. of food, which averaged over 7 lbs. of food per student! The total amount of food collected from all the schools, Citizens Bank branches, City Market and the Burlington Free Press was 8,894 lbs.“Citizens Bank is proud of the Kids Can Help program and the awareness it brings to local school children and their parents,” said Cathy Schmidt, president, Citizens Bank, Vermont. “We thank our customers and the public in advance for supporting this worthwhile cause that benefits so many in need.” “We think Kids CAN Help is a pretty special program that can bring hope to those in need, said Brad Robertson, president and publisher, Burlington Free Press. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Citizens Bank and City Market, for what we hope will be another record breaking year in donations. “HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP…Starting Oct. 12-16, please drop off non-perishable food items at your local Citizens Bank branch location or at The Burlington Free Press, or at the participating schools listed below.Weybridge Elementary School, Robinson Elementary School, Ferrisburgh Central School, Burlington High School Interact Club, Lawrence Barnes Elementary School Sustainability Academy, Rock Point School, St. Joseph School, Mt. Abraham Union High School, Albert D. Lawton School, Thomas Fleming School, Jericho Elementary School, Allen Brook School, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg Community School, Williston Central School, Malletts Bay School, Richford Elementary School, Sheldon Elementary School, Cambridge Elementary School, Morristown Elementary School, People’s Academy Middle Level, People’s Academy Upper Level, Milton Elementary School, Milton Jr / Sr High School, Twinfield Union School and Winooski Middle School.About Citizens BankCitizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 23 branches and 23 ATMs in Vermont.RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $153 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. It is one of the 10 largest commercial banking companies in the United States ranked by assets as of March 30, 2009. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). CFG’s Web site is citizensbank.com. About City Market, Onion River Co-opThe Onion River Co-op is a consumer cooperative, with 2,800+ members, selling wholesome food and other products while building a vibrant, empowered community and a healthier world, all in a sustainable manner. Located in downtown Burlington, City Market provides a large selection of local, natural and conventional foods, and thousands of Vermont-made products. Visit City Market, Onion River Co-op online at www.CityMarket.coop(link is external) or call 802-861-9700.About The Burlington Free PressAt The Burlington Free Press our mission is to provide Vermonters must-have news and information on demand across many print and digital channels, ever mindful of our journalistic responsibilities. Since 1827, Burlington Free Press has grown to be Vermont’s most trusted and most read newspaper. Over the years, the population growth of Chittenden County has led to expansion of coverage of local news and information with burlingtonfreepress.com the No. 1 news and information Web site in Vermont reaching 300,000 unique visitors. www.burlingtonfreepress.com(link is external).
Northstar Vermont Yankee,Entergy Corporation released the following statement regarding the earthquake and its aftermath in Japan. Entergy, based in New Orleans, owns the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon. A nuclear power plant in northern Japan has suffered serious damage to three of its reactors. The Vermont Yankee plant has one 605 megawatt reactor. It supplies about one-third of the state’s electricity. Its license expires in 2012. Entergy is in the process of relicensing the plant for 20 more years. Statement:New Orleans, La. ‘ Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) and its employees express their deepest sympathies to the people of Japan during this difficult time. Entergy’s nuclear employees are closely monitoring the situation in coordination with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and industry peers. Working through NEI, we have offered our support and assistance to the Japanese nuclear industry. Entergy’s nuclear plants were designed and built to withstand the effects of natural disasters, including earthquakes and catastrophic flooding. The NRC requires that safety-significant structures, systems and components be designed to take into account the most severe natural phenomena historically reported for each site and surrounding area. In determining the appropriate standards, the NRC includes an added safety margin to ensure that the standards take into account the risk that a future event, such as an earthquake or flooding, could be more severe than any recorded historical event. Systems are designed with multiple contingent backup systems to provide greater safety margins. In addition to stringent design and construction standards, Entergy and other nuclear operators conduct ongoing programs to ensure plant safety. These programs, which are closely monitored and evaluated by the NRC, include: â ¢ Ongoing risk analysis and design enhancements to address natural and man-made risks.â ¢ Extensive operator training in preparation for extreme conditions, along with drills and evaluations by the NRC.â ¢ The development and implementation of emergency response plans aimed at protecting public health and safety (such as those put in place following Hurricane Katrina); these plans are regularly exercised in cooperation with local, state and federal agencies. There will be lessons learned from this tragic event. Incorporating those lessons into operating experience is a hallmark of the global nuclear industry. It is worth noting that the natural environment surrounding the nuclear plants in Japan is very different from the environment surrounding Entergy’s nuclear plants. According to information provided to us by NEI, and generally common knowledge in the scientific community, Japan is more susceptible to frequent and intense earthquakes than other developed countries. While it is still early, it appears that the nuclear units’ safety systems functioned properly after the initial effects of the earthquake in Japan. Reports suggest it was the overwhelming tsunami that severely damaged the plant’s cooling capabilities and recovery efforts. Risk management is an ongoing practice at Entergy, including mitigating environmental, security, safety and mechanical risks, to name a few. The company understands and appreciates that these forces, natural and man-made, require constant vigilance and preparation for the unexpected. Accordingly, the company will continue to monitor closely the situation in Japan, and lessons will be learned and translated to even greater safety and effectiveness to meet the challenges of the most adverse and unexpected events, creating stronger public confidence in U.S. nuclear programs.More information on the nuclear industry and events in Japan can be found at www.nei.org(link is external).Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.Additional investor information can be accessed online at www.entergy.com(link is external). March 14, 2011
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin today joined hundreds of Rutland County residents in Killington to celebrate the opening of Route 4, a critical east-west roadway that until today was closed to through traffic due to damage from Tropical Storm Irene.Route 4 between Rutland and Killington on August 29, 2011. Photo courtesy Steve Costello, CVPS.Governor Shumlin was joined by Vermont Agency of Transportation Secretary Brian Searles and Department of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith to celebrate the pride everyone has that road crews repaired Route 4’s severe damage in just 19 days, and to spread the message that Vermont has recovered significantly, and just in time for foliage season.In less than three weeks since the storm struck on August 28, the Vermont Agency of Transportation has opened four major east-west travel corridors. In addition to Route 4 between Rutland and Woodstock, Route 103 between Rockingham and Rutland, Route 11 between Chester and Manchester, and Route 9 between Bennington and Brattleboro are now open in their entirety.”Opening the state’s critical east-west travel corridors allows most Vermonters the mobility they need for everyday tasks like visiting their doctor, commuting to work and attending school,” Governor Shumlin said. “The increased mobility also provides a lifeline for Vermont businesses, and the timing could not be better. With the start of foliage season upon us, Vermont’s guests and visitors can now navigate most state regions with only a few exceptions.”Route 4 between Rutland and Bridgewater was damaged in several locations, including five places between Mendon and Killington where flooding from Mendon Brook created major roadway craters. In two locations, all three lanes of Route 4 were missing. In other locations, two lanes were missing with sheer slope drops as high as 70 to 80 feet.Portions of the roadway were also completely washed away in Killington around River Road where today’s celebration was held, and there was damage in several other locations along “Killington Flats” and the rest of Route 4 stretching east to Woodstock.While roads like Route 4 that were once closed following Irene are now open, many still contain construction crews and have gravel sections, so motorists are encouraged to focus on safety and drive with caution.”Travelers have to understand that open does not mean back to normal in some areas,” Secretary Searles said. “Some of our most badly damaged areas are still recovering, and the roads in these areas remain closed to all but local residents. Even roads that are open, like Route 4 and Route 9, still have construction crews making repairs, as well as segments of gravel where there used to be pavement.”Driving a little slower actually lends itself well to the spirit of foliage season, where leisurely drives and taking in Vermont’s breathtaking beauty is the prime directive.”Driving may be a little slower in some areas, but in most cases you can now get there from here,” Commissioner Smith said. “And when you arrive, Vermont’s well-known hospitality will be waiting to greet you.”For up-to-date information on storm-related openings and closings, the public can call the Irene recovery call center at 1-800-VERMONT or go to the Agency’s homepage at www.aot.state.vt.us(link is external) where they can sign up for alerts pushed to their mobile phone. You can also follow VTrans’ recovery efforts on both Facebook and Twitter.Restoring the critical east-west travel corridor between the resort community of Killington and all points to the east and west will come just in time for the kick-off of the fall foliage touring season. The opening could not come soon enough for the many inns, restaurants and other businesses in the resort town that have been essentially cut off from their main commerce route since flooding from Tropical Storm Irene destroyed the roads leading into and out of town. Although recovery efforts caused some events to be postponed until next year, an abbreviated Hay Festival encompassing two major events will go on as planned. Killington Brewfest Weekend will take place September 30 through October 1, and the DockDogs National Championships will go on as scheduled October 7 to 9. The resort community is also planning a townwide ‘Welcome Back’ celebration on October 1. ‘Killington is open for business, and we’re eager to welcome back visitors, neighbors and friends during this exceptionally beautiful time of year,’ says Seth Webb, Director of Economic Development and Tourism for the Town. ‘Coming up to Killington, supporting our shops, inns and restaurants this fall and winter is the best thing people can do to help us get back on track.’ The Killington Brewfest kicks off on Friday September 30 with a Vermont Brewmasters Dinner from 7 to 9pm followed by a Brewfest Kickoff Party, all at the Wobbly Barn. On Saturday, October 1 the Brewfest takes place from 1 to 6 pm at the Snowshed Lodge at the Killington Resort, featuring live music, food offerings and over 75 of the finest craft beers from throughout the region. DockDogs, as seen on ABC, ESPN, and the Outdoor Channel, feature distance jumping and retrieving competitions from the world’s best canine athletes. The 2011 DockDogs® National Championships, scheduled for October 7-9 at the Snowshed Base Area, is expected to bring in over 300 of the most experienced teams from all parts of the country — and their fans — to compete for the national title. Along with the breathtaking displays of fall color, visitors to Killington can also expect to see 30 of the town’s giant hay sculptures that make up the Grass Menagerie, the central element of the Killington Hay Festival. The Killington Hay Festival continues through Columbus Day Weekend, featuring an ongoing scavenger hunt and a hay maze at the Gristmill Restaurant. For more information on the Killington Hay Festival, contact Suzie Dundas at (802) 422-2185, or email@example.com(link sends e-mail).
Renewables produced record 33% of U.K. electricity in third quarter FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Almost a third of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources between July and September, as wind turbines and solar panels helped achieve a quarterly record for green energy. Major new offshore windfarms connecting to the grid pushed renewables to 33.1% of electricity generation across the quarter, up from 30% the year before.The speed at which green energy projects are being installed has resulted in records tumbling this year. Wind power broke records during the “beast from the east”, which was eclipsed during Storm Diana last month, and again this week when wind generation hit 15GW on Tuesday.The trend is expected to continue next year as more windfarms around the coast near completion. Initial analysis of some recently built offshore projects also shows they are generating more power than expected.Meanwhile, gas and coal slumped to a new low of just over 41.1%, according to official statistics published on Thursday.Low carbon sources of power, which include the country’s eight nuclear power stations, account for 56% of the UK’s electricity supply. The 50% mark was hit only two years ago.More: New offshore windfarms push UK renewables to record
Norway tightens coal investment rules, expands renewable options for sovereign wealth fund FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Norway plans to tighten restrictions on coal investments for its $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund while opening it up for renewable-energy infrastructure assets.The government proposes to expand its coal ban by adding absolute caps on production of thermal coal, or its use in power generation, which would target big companies such as Glencore Plc, Anglo American Plc, BHP Group Ltd., RWE AG and Uniper SE. The current restrictions, introduced in 2015, have been criticized by politicians from opposition parties and environmental groups because their emphasis on relative thresholds mean miners and utilities with a big exposure to coal were left out.The government proposed to keep the current rules excluding companies that base more than 30 percent of their revenues or activities on coal, while adding absolute limits of 20 million tons of coal for miners and 10,000 megawatts for power capacity.To be sure, the current rules allow the fund to stay invested in a company in breach of the threshold if it has specific plans that would make it compliant at a later point, suggesting that could also be the case for the new restrictions. Norway’s coal ban has already led the fund to exclude 69 companies.The Conservative-led government earlier resisted calls from several political parties and environmental activists to allow the fund to invest in renewable infrastructure, but said on Friday that expectations of significant future investments in these assets made the market interesting.The government proposed a cap of 2 percent of the fund for renewable-energy infrastructure, and signaled that it would start out in developed markets only. It proposed doubling the upper limit on the so-called environment-related mandates to 120 billion kroner ($14 billion), it said in the statement.More: Norway wealth fund to tighten coal ban, add green infrastructure
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享OilPrice.com:Coal usage continues to fall, and the coal industry wants to do something about that. So does the Trump administration. Their proposed solution to the problem of waning coal usage is carbon capture and sequestration (CCS)—a technology that has been around for a long time.The basic idea behind CCS is to remove the carbon dioxide from the exhaust stream after burning the coal. Then the “captured” CO2 can be redirected. But in the US, the Southern Company and others attempted to develop an additional process. Their ultimate goal was to use cheap and plentiful Mississippi lignite and convert it chemically into clean-burning synthetic gas. The CO2 produced from combustion would also be captured. One actual use is to pump CO2 into older, less productive oil field reservoirs to enhance oil recovery. One suggestion is to replace the oil with CO2 storage after the field has been depleted.Abroad, the giant coal miners (as opposed to the smaller American ones that have been skirting bankruptcy) launched Coal21 in Australia (where coal mining is a huge business) to do research and lobbying. The International Energy Agency argues that half the world’s coal-fired power plants are under 15 years in age, so sequestration will be required in order to reduce the world’s carbon emissions (one-third of which are from burning coal).Leaving aside the question of whether past (not fully depreciated) power plant investment should influence future decisions (the sunk cost issue), the real policy question is: what are we doing—limiting greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest possible cost or saving the coal industry?The problem simply is that electricity produced by coal-fired plants using the latest CCS technology is several times the cost of other existing carbon-free technologies. With respect to a commodity product like electricity, these numbers are politically and financially untenable. To overly simplify, coal is already losing on price to wind. The CCS advocates propose to double the price of coal (from about 3 to at least 6 cents per kWh).At the end of the day, sequestration technologies fail to answer a simple question. Why add sequestration technology and the attendant costs when coal is already becoming increasingly uncompetitive as a boiler fuel relative to wind (which only costs 2 cents/kWh to produce)?More: Coal’s last hope: Carbon capture tech It all comes down to cost, analysts argue: Carbon capture simply too expensive
Australian grid regulator releases blueprint for integrating 75% green electricity FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The Australian Energy Market Operator has laid out an action plan to accommodate levels of up to 75 percent “instant” penetration of wind and solar in Australia’s main grid by 2025, saying the country had the technical know-how to cope with such a high penetration of wind and solar, but needed to urgently update the market and regulatory settings.Releasing the long-await Renewable Integration Study, a key adjunct to its 20-year blueprint for the grid transition known as the Integrated System Plan, AEMO chief executive Audrey Zibelman reinforced the widespread view that integrating very high levels of renewables is not so much a technical challenge. It’s more about updating rules and regulations to make them fit for purpose for a new system, and to add new markets to ensure the availability of essential services such as inertia and voltage. Without these changes, AEMO warns it may have to limit the contribution of wind and solar resources to 50 or 60 per cent of electricity supply at any point in time.“Australia already has the technical capability to safely operate a power system where three quarters of our energy at times comes from wind and solar energy generation,” Zibelman says in a statement accompanying the report. “However, to do so requires changes in our markets and regulatory requirements. Otherwise, AEMO will be required to limit the contribution of these wind and solar resources to 50 or 60 per cent of electricity supply at any point in time, even though they are the lowest cost way of providing electricity,” she warned.Wind and solar have recently accounted for close to 50 per cent of supply in the National Electricity Market in some trading periods (more than 50 per cent including hydro, and up to 140 per cent wind and solar in South Australia), although there have been some 5-minute intervals where wind and solar has already exceeded 50 per cent.AEMO, which is responsible for managing grid and keeping the lights on, debunks this and says there is no reason Australia cannot have a very high level of renewables: “Beyond 2025, AEMO has not identified any insurmountable reasons why the NEM cannot operate securely at even higher levels of wind and solar penetration, especially with ongoing technological advancement worldwide,” it notes.Indeed, its ISP maps out a path – mostly through infrastructure – to accommodate a 90 per cent share of renewables in Australia’s main grid by 2040.[Giles Parkinson]More: AEMO lays out “action plan” to manage 75 pct wind and solar by 2025