Central Vermont Public Services submits four projects for LIHI certification

PORTLAND, Maine 2/13/12 (PennWell) — Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) has submitted applications for certification of four hydroelectric projects, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) announces.

Each is part of CVPS’ Passumpsic River Hydroelectric Project. The four for which the company is seeking certification are:

The Pierce Mills Project. The 250-kW Pierce Mills Project was constructed in 1917-1919 by Twin State Gas & Electric Company before being destroyed by floods in 1927. The plant was rebuilt in 1928.

The Arnold Falls Project. The 350-kW Arnold Falls Project was built in 1928 by Twin State Gas & Electric Company and is downstream of Pierce Mills.

The Gage Project. The 700-kW Gage Project was constructed in 1919-1920 by Twin State Gas & Electric Company. The dam was destroyed in the 1927 floods, but the powerhouse was largely undamaged.

The Passumpsic Project. The 700-kW Passumpsic Project is the furthest downstream and was built in 1906 by St. Johnsbury Electric Company. The powerhouse was destroyed by flooding in 1927 but rebuilt in 1929.
LIHI is a non-profit organization that uses its voluntary certification program to reduce the impacts of hydropower dams through market incentives. Candidates will be evaluated in criteria including their ecological, economic and social impact.

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Central Vermont Public Service reaches settlement on purchase of Omya’s Vermont Marble Power Division

Central Vermont Public Service announced that it has reached a settlement with the Vermont Department of Public Service, the Town of Proctor Selectboard and Omya Inc. for the purchase of the assets of and consolidation of service territory of the Vermont Marble Power Division of Omya.

The transaction has already been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates the hydro sites and transmission facilities involved in the sale, but must also be approved by the Vermont Public Service Board.

Under the settlement, the purchase price of the previously announced sale will decrease from $33.2 million to approximately $29.25 million, including $28.25 million for Vermont Marble’s hydroelectric facilities and about $1 million for the other assets. The agreement includes a five-year, six-step phase-in of residential rate changes for existing VMPD customers, which will be funded by Omya up to an amount estimated to be approximately $1.125 million. The agreement also requires creation of a value sharing pool that provides for certain excess value received by CVPS to be split between CVPS’s customers, Omya and CVPS shareholders if energy market prices and hydro improvements create more value than anticipated.

CV plans to invest an estimated $15 million to upgrade the Vermont Marble facilities and operate them in consort with CV’s existing Otter Creek and East Creek hydro operations. The company said it would also:

Invest in the Vermont Marble system, immediately replacing the main substation at the Proctor hydro site and spreading the approximate $1.5 million cost over CV’s 159,000 customers rather than just Vermont Marble’s customers.
Provide Proctor residents and businesses with greater resources. For example, in the event of major storms, CV has nearly 30 line workers within an hour’s drive of Proctor.
Offer choices and services Vermont Marble customers don’t have today, including automatic bill payments through CVPS Electripay, on-line bill payments, CVPS Cow Power, various rate choices, budget billing, on-line bill review and outage information, and in the near future, CVPS SmartPower, an advanced automated meter reading, outage detection and power management system.

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