Friday, September 19, 2014

Electricity Rates Decrease, Thanks to Vermont Yankee: Harold Bailey Guest Post

The Electricity Rate Decrease Shows the Ongoing Value of Vermont Yankee
Guest post by Harold L. Bailey

Vermonters  do not often receive good news about energy costs, so the 2.46 percent decrease in Green Mountain Power rates scheduled to begin Oct. 1 is a welcome relief. The savings largely come from Vermont Yankee’s $17.8 million "revenue sharing" payment, the outcome of a deal struck with the State of Vermont several years ago.

This huge payout tells me two things: first, Vermont Yankee has once again proven itself to be a stellar corporate citizen that keeps its commitments. Second, Vermont stands to benefit from still more payments by Vermont Yankee - notably millions in cash for economic development. In addition to the $2 million of economic development funds already allocated for 2014, Vermont Yankee is scheduled to provide $2 million each year for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. These payments are contingent upon Entergy and the state both fulfilling in good faith the conditions of the Master Settlement Agreement governing the closing of the plant.

In particular, Vermont Yankee will need a state Certificate of Public Good to store more spent fuel in dry casks. Let's hope our state officials appreciate the benefits, to everyone, of a smooth decommissioning of Vermont Yankee.

Harold L. Bailey was the representative for Hyde Park and Wolcott in the Vermont Legislature in 2002-2004. He lives in Hyde Park, Vermont.  In the past week, this letter-to-the-editor has been printed in several newspapers in Vermont.

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