Monday, August 23, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, August 23, 2010

Maine, N.H., Vermont get $14M in energy efficiency funding | The Burlington Free Press
Agencies in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire will share over $14 million in federal funding to to install renewable energy systems and cutting-edge technologies in homes to help families save on their energy bills.

The Department of Energy grants include $7 million for Maine, $4.7 million for Vermont and $3.1 million for New Hampshire.

The funding will be used to install solar hot water systems, hot water heat pumps, replace inefficient washers with efficient ones, and upgrade heating systems, among other efforts.

The money is part of a $90 million in stimulus money awarded to more than 100 weatherization providers in 27 states to expand their work.
Solar energy projects grow with incentives | Vermont Business Magazine
Tax credits and other incentives are spurring a solar-energy boom in Vermont, with more than half-a-dozen commercial projects underway or nearing construction in various parts of the state.

Even with this spate of development, however, solar will account for only a tiny fraction of Vermont's electricity supply. But the sprouting of solar farms does point to a future in which this type of renewable energy might play a significant role in a state not noted for brilliant sunshine.

“We're seeing a lot of projects being deployed because of all the incentives,” says Robert Dostis, a spokesman for Green Mountain Power, which itself is developing three solar installations. The push for solar acquired a degree of urgency in recent weeks as businesses mobilized to meet a July 15 deadline for applying for an expiring set of state tax credits.
Learning to go green through natural building | WCAX.COM
At the end of a dead end road in Middlesex, nearly a dozen students and instructors from the Yestermorrow Design Build School are putting the finishing touches on a major assignment.

"It is essentially a classroom like a classroom that you would find at any academy except that here you have a hammer in your hand," said Jose Galarza, an instructor at Yestermorrow.

The class is called Natural Building-- one of many courses offered by Warren-based school. Using materials and an approach that is in harmony with the environment, the group helped build the bulk of a 1,700 square foot home.
Vermont Edition | Commercial Wind Power's Role In Vermont
Advocates for commercial wind projects say Vermont lags behind other New England states in developing wind as a source of power. But opponents say that's a good thing. Monday on Vermont Edition, we step back and debate what role, if any, locally generated commercial wind power should have in Vermont's energy mix.
Vermont biodiesel plant closes | Energy Technology
A Swanton plant once promoted as the largest biodiesel production facility in New England is shuttered and unlikely to reopen, at least in the short-term, according to state and company officials.

The state’s economic development authority is now in the process of trying to recover more than a half-million dollars it provided to the facility in low-interest loans, according to officials. State tax credits were also awarded to the company that built the plant, Biocardel, a subsidiary of a Canadian company, although the credits were never used.