Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hearing and Letter-Writing on Seabrook Power Purchase

The Seabrook Deal

In May, Green Mountain Power made a deal to buy around 60 MW of power from Seabrook Nuclear Plant in New Hampshire. There was general rejoicing: Liz Miller, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service, said "GMP has struck a deal for a price that looks good... Keeping costs down for Vermonters is great for the state's economic development."

Ms. Miller was appointed by Governor Peter Shumlin. Shumlin has been trying to shut down Vermont Yankee, despising its low-cost power and in-state job creation. Therefore, this hearty embrace of nuclear power from a neighboring state depresses me. In my blog, I have discussed this purchase in terms of:

I guess that pretty much covers it! Nuclear power is clean and reliable, but why should we substitute out-of-state power for in-state power?

Luckily, there is now a way to make our thoughts known on this subject.

The Public Service Board Hearing AND Email Addresses

Go to the Hearing: On Wednesday night, August 10, the Public Service Board will hold a hearing on the Seabrook power purchase. The hearing is being held by interactive TV, all over the state. You can go to TV stations in Bennington, Lyndonville, Montpelier, Springfield, White River Junction of Williston at 7 p.m. Here's the PSB web page with the meeting information, prefiled testimony to read, and so forth.

Send an Email: You can email your opinion to the PSB. This information is not on the website, but I emailed Sarah Hofmann of the Public Service Board for information.

Hofmann wrote: To submit electronic comments to the Board they should go to and the DPS email is

(I gather you should send your comments to both addresses).

Send Snail Mail: You can also send comments by snail mail.

Hofmann wrote: The comments go to the Public Service Board with a copy to the Department of Public Service. The Board's address is: 112 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05620-2701. The Department's address is the same but with the zip code of 05620-2601.

I think email would be easier than sending two letters.

Share your opinion with the Public Service Board.

It's Not About Seabrook

I was a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) specialist in my career. I'm not against Seabrook, a perfectly lovely PWR.

But why substitute it for Vermont Yankee?


Joffan said...

And, of course, Seabrook is not "new" power - the purchase agreement for Vermont means that someone else has been displaced from using that carbon-free source.

Meredith Angwin said...

Joffan. You are totally correct here. Also, Seabrook and Vermont Yankee have staggered their outages. VY refuels in the fall, Seabrook in the spring, or vice versa, so they are never both off-line at the same time. This choice is even worse than it looks at first glance.