Proposed changes to the Clean Energy Development Fund

Dear Vermonters

For those of you who want to help increase clean renewable energy in our state, please read this.

As a town energy coordinator I understand the challenges that schools and municipalities face in order to undertake a solar electric or solar hot water project. Schools and municipalities are not taxable entities, they cannot take advantage of the federal tax incentives and so rely on town or bond funding for projects and improvements.

As you may know, the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the investment tax credits will be extended through the end of the year under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was passed by Congress on January 1, 2013, and signed into law on January 2 by President Obama.

But this does not help the schools or municipalities (special customers) without some kind of third party investment scheme.

The Vermont Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program is currently closed as funds are no longer available for projects. Hopefully the program will re-open in mid-February.

Due to the increased demand for PV (solar electric) and the lack of funds, the DPS and the Clean Energy Development Fund are recommending changes to the program that would sharply decrease the incentive amounts available for “special customer” and commercial projects.

 Here is a link to the proposed changes that are now out for public comment: 

Some of the critical proposed changes for Special Customers (schools, towns, and low-income housing) and commercial customers are as follows:

  • Change the incentive for Special Customers from the current $2.10/W for systems <10kW; and $1.40/W for each additional watt up to a 50kW max to a flat $0.50/W to a max of 10kW.
  • Lower the kilowatt incentive cap for PV for commercial incentives from 25kW to 10kW
  • Lower the system size cap for commercial PV incentives from 150kW to 25kW; systems 25kW and larger would thus not be eligible for any incentives under this program

  • Change the incentive cap from 50% of the total installed costs for Special Customers to 20% for all incentives for all customers

The CEDF Board will vote on the proposed changes at their meeting on Jan. 24th 2013.

Please send in your comments before Jan 18th 2013.

It is vitally important to the solar industry in Vermont that these incentives remain in effect, and are not diminished or curtailed. It is equally important to come up with long term funding source (Not Vermont Yankee) and a consistent long term incentive structure that can help stabilize the ups and downs in demand for solar projects, in order to help our solar installers grow and succeed. If the goal is more solar then removing incentives has the opposite effect. The special customers are the ones most in need of financial help on projects.

In spite of many public meetings by the DPS, where town after town voted for clean energy over non renewable or nuclear energy, the DPS appears to be curtailing support for Solar Electric projects for commercial and special clients.
Please send a message that you want to see continued incentive support and no reductions in special customer incentives.

Please send in comments to:

or to the Clean Energy Development Fund at 112 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05620

thank you!

Daniel Hoviss

Town of Putney Energy Coordinator

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New actions

WHEN: Sunday, September 23, from1:00-2:00 pm

WHERE:  Governor Hunt Road in Vernon, Vermont

WHAT: Quaker Worship, Vermont Yankee’s Main Gate

This religious witness will go forward regardless of the weather. It is organized under the care of Burlington Meeting (VT)


We request that all who plan to participate in this worshipful witness gather at the Putney Friends Meetinghouse that morning at 11:00 am for a discussion of basic logistics and ground rules, and final discussion based on our previous dialogues with Chief Hebert of the Vernon Police Department and Patrick Ryan, Head of Security for the plant.  At that meeting you will also meet the Quaker elders, identified with arm bands, who will serve as monitors during the worship and aftermath.

We ask that no signs be carried; there will be one banner identifying us as under the care of Burlington Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. We also suggest that Friends may want to carry snacks or a sandwich and something to drink, as the plant is in a rural area with no stores or restaurants. Food can be bought prior to the 11 am meeting at the Putney Coop. There are portapotties including a wheelchair accessible one at the Vernon Town Beach about a quarter of a mile away from the gate. There will be a car available to shuttle those who need it.

Chief Hebert has offered to let us park at the Vernon Town Offices parking lot and along the road behind it.  There is no parking at the local school. Both are also within walking distance of the plant gate  We will also be able to have an appointed transport person to drive anyone with health needs from the parking area to the gate and back.  Directions to both Putney Meetinghouse and the plant in Vernon are attached to this letter.

At approximately 12:45 pm we will walk prayerfully in single file, in silence, from the parking area to a designated place at the beginning of the plant driveway and form a circle to continue our standing worship. Please bring a light-weight chair with you if you are unable to stand for the worship period, which will last somewhere between a half hour and one hour, and the booking time after, approximately 30 minutes.

We have had many questions about the issue of civil disobedience  The meeting for worship, which is the primary focus of this religious witness, is being held in a mutually agreed upon spot on the edge of the plant’s property, and participation in the worship will not incur arrest.  There are a few of us who feel we are called to leave the circle during worship, to duck under a rope and continue our worship further inside the plant grounds, about 15 – 20 feet from the first circle. We will form a smaller circle there and continue in worship. We ask that the initial circle continue to hold the worship, while some go inside the grounds.  We will then be asked to leave and if we do not, we will be charged with trespassing and be arrested. The police will walk with us to a small house next to the driveway where our paperwork will be completed, and we will then be released on our own recognizance and allowed to leave. We will not be handcuffed. We ask that the circle hold us in worship while we are being booked, until we come back and join you.  No one is under any pressure to either go inside or remain outside, nor do Friends need to decide that before we gather.

We would be grateful if Friends who are coming for this witness will let us know your approximate numbers and your home meeting or church at the email or phone number below.  We also urge you to carpool if possible.

Please contact us if you have any questions.


Phone: 802-434-7114

Emergency contact phone for that day only:


Directions to Putney Friends Meetinghouse:  Take exit 4 off of I – 91.  Go north on Route 5 for about a mile.  The Meetinghouse will be on your left.

Directions from the Meetinghouse to Vernon Town Offices: From Putney Meetinghouse, take Route 5 South, through the downtown of Brattleboro, onto 142 South.  In Vernon, continue onto Governor Hunt Road.  The Town Offices are on the right. The time is about 25 minutes

* * * * * * * * * *

Vermont Yankee Meltdown: What Will We Do?
Lessons from Fukushima
Monday, September 24, 2012
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Stinchfield Hall, Greenfield Community College Main Campus

This should be an excellent opportunity to hear first hand about
Fukushima. Please consider attending this event in Greenfield. The
danger from Vermont Yankee does not stop at the 10 mile evacuation
zone. The Greenfield Guardians Affinity Group.

Ira Helfand, M.D., co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility
and emergency physician in Springfield, MA, returns from a conference in
Japan with the latest on Fukushima. Join us to hear crucial information
for all of us living within 50 miles of Vermont Yankee. Additional
comments by Deb Katz, co-founder Citizens Awareness Network. Discussion
to follow.

Sponsored by Citizens for Emergency Preparedness
More information call: Suzanne G-Sosis 413-774-3585
Press, please call Marian Kelner 413-773-8401

* * * * * * * * * *

WHEN: September 30th, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
WHERE: Upper Valley Food Coop, Route 5, White River Junction, VT
WHAT: SAGE Alliance Affinity Group Meeting
For more information, go to:

Our River Runs Through It: Flotilla & Rally to Stop VT Yankee Pollution


Connecticut River – Hinsdale, NH

Sep 8 2012 – 11:00am to 3:00pm

Flotilla September 8th

Our River Runs Through It: Flotilla & Rally to Stop VT Yankee Pollution 

Saturday September 8th  on the Connecticut River, Hinsdale NH

Join us by watercraft or along the shore in a creative “Flotilla” action

to protest the thermal & radioactive pollution of the Connecticut River

by Entergy’s Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor.

Where:  Main launch area: Prospect Street Boat Launch in Hinsdale, NH:

Land Rally: Fort Hill Rail Trail near the Prospect St. Boat Launch

Area map:

When:  Saturday September 8 (rain date Saturday September 15)

  • 11:00 am – Noon: Boats arrive and launch
  • 12:30 pm Land Rally
  • Please launch early enough to join us by 1pm on the river

What :

  • A flotilla of watercraft from kayaks to motor boats will launch & fill the Connecticut River, just East of Vermont Yankee.
  • Land supporters will gather at two shady rock outcroppings on the Fort Hill Rail Trail, a 10 to 15 minute walk from the boat launch on Prospect St. From these points, supporters will look out over the flotilla, directly across from Vermont Yankee and be able to hear speakers & music. Bring your binoculars, signs and banners!
  • There will be speakerson the water
    • David Deen, Connecticut River Steward, Connecticut River Watershed Council
    • Christian Parenti, acclaimed writer for The Nation
    • Deb Katz, Executive Director of Citizens Awareness Network (CAN), a member of SAGE Alliance.
  • There will be music from Tom Neilson, Molly Scott, and One Journey
  • There will be a symbolic “ice drop”,  to cool the river, highlighting the thermal pollution by VT Yankee and it’s effect on the river ecology.

WhyEntergy Corporation’s Vermont Yankee Nuclear Reactor dumps millions of gallons of heated water, some of it at 105 degrees, into the Connecticut river on a daily basis. Fish like the Atlantic salmon and American shad are very vulnerable to warmed habitats; in Vernon VT, where the reactor discharges, the shad have decreased by 99% since the 1990’s. The effects of this heated plume extend up to 55 miles downriver to Holyoke MA. Entergy could avoid all this by exclusively using their cooling towers instead of the river for cooling the reactor. Join us in telling Energy to cool it.

Launch Details:

  • Prospect Street Boat Launch in Hinsdale, NH: 11:00a.m. to 12:00p.m. (or from the Fort Hill Rail Trail just north of the Boat Launch) Note; there is a bridge to go under from this launch point. Canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and small boats will have no problem. Larger boats should launch elsewhere. Area map:
  • Brattleboro: 
    • Brattleboro marina 28 Spring Tree Rd  Brattleboro, VT 05301 2 hour paddle to Vermont Yankee
    • Vermont Canoe Touring Center 451 Putney Rd, Brattleboro, VT.: 2 hour paddle to Vermont Yankee
  • Other locations: Please allow plenty of extra time for launch from these locations:

Canoe/kayak rental info:

  • Vermont Canoe Touring Center  451 Putney Rd, Brattleboro, VT. 2 hour paddle to Vermont Yankee
  • Barton s Cove in Gill MA has Kayaks and canoes for  $40/day.  (413) 863-9300.  Can reserve with a credit card.
  • Amherst/Northampton area: Eastern Mt. Sports for $35/day & Adventure Outfitters for $30/day and canoes at $35/day.

Water Safety: All participants on the water are required to have proper flotation equipment (vests, cushions). All boats/rafts need to have sufficient flotation equipment for everyone on board their craft. Motorized boats must be cautious — we expect most of the folks will be in canoes and kayaks, and motor boats must be aware of creating wakes and distracting paddlers. No inner tubes, horseplay, weapons, alcohol or dogs (except service dogs) please. Even though this is not a civil disobedience action, all those in the flotilla (on water or land) are expected to follow the SAGE Alliance Nonviolent Code of Conflict.

Shore Supporters: Along the shore on the the Fort Hill Rail Trail (map coming). The trail is flat. There are two large openings to the side of the trial, a 10-15 minute walk from the boat launch. Bring large signs, banners, puppets (Fish, River, No Hot Water, No Radiation symbol, Close VY, ). Food and water will not be available, so bring your own. Binoculars will be a bonus! Cameras and video are always welcome.No weapons, alcohol or dogs (except service dogs) please. Even though this is not a civil disobedience action, all those in the flotilla (on water or land) are expected to follow the SAGE Alliance Nonviolent Code of Conflict.

Post-Flotilla Gathering: The Marina restaurant, just off Putney Road (Route 5), 28 Spring Tree Rd,  Brattleboro, VT 05301


Questions: please email


Poster credits: Canoe photo by Will Bennington from Red Clover Climate Justice. This group organized the Northeast Regional Convergence in Burlington VT in July 2012, which highlighted the resistance of the indigenous Innu communities to the mega-dams planned for Northern Quebec. Canoe image edited by Tom Wyatt. Vermont Yankee photo: Lauren Frohne

Flotilla action poster

VY powers down for smoke in reactor building

by JOSH STILTS, Reformer Staff
Posted:   06/18/2012 05:46:33 PM EDT
Updated:   06/18/2012 05:47:06 PM EDT

BRATTLEBORO – The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant has been reduced to 36 percent power since 1 p.m., after smoke was detected in the reactor building.

According to Vermont Yankee spokesman Rob Williams, there was an electrical failure in one of the two motor generator sets, which controls the reactor’s power by varying the flow of reactor cooling water.

Williams said the malfunction is not safety related and that the public is not in any danger.

“This is not related to plant safety,” Williams told the Reformer. “The plant will remain online at the reduced power output until the investigation of what happened is complete and proper repairs are made.”

On Sept. 30, 2011, the plant was forced to reduce its power output after one of its recirculation pumps had an electrical problem.

Williams said it’s unclear at this time if it’s the same pump or not.


Please join us for a rally to support the democratic will of the people and elected officials of Vermont to shut down Vermont Yankee rather than permit it to operate beyond its original 40-year license.

 Saturday, April 14, 2012, Noon to 2:00 pm

Brattleboro Common, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301

[rain location: Brattleboro Union High School]

Unite to defend democracy!

VT Governor Peter Shumlin and Attorney General William Sorrell

will join US Senator Bernie Sanders at the April 14th rally in Brattleboro. Show your support of the State of Vermont’s resolve to stand up to the Entergy Corporation’s arrogance and intimidation! Join us at noon on the Brattleboro Common.

Read more about the rally here.


Keynote speaker:

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Special Musical Guest:

Fenibo, a 12-piece Afro-beat ensemble

The rally will…

• Acknowledge the state’s tireless work to replace Vermont Yankee with sustainable energy solutions and prevent further radioactive contamination of the soil, air, and water surrounding the reactor.

• Support Vermont’s resolve to stand up to the Entergy Corporation’s arrogance and intimidation.

• Recognize the Vermont Yankee’s impact on neighboring states and their people and elected officials’ help in closing Vermont Yankee.

• Demand that Entergy immediately shutter Vermont Yankee and begin a thorough, responsible decommissioning of the reactor and clean-up of the site.

Rally sponsors include: Citizens Awareness Network (CAN), Safe & Green Campaign, Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG), Nuclear Free Vermont, Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance, New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution (NEC), Beyond Nuclear, Greenpeace, The Enviro Show, SAGE Alliance, Vermont Toxics Action Center, the Sierra Club and Vermont Citizen Action Network.

Updates at: www.Facebook/shutdownvermontyankee


Demonstration at VY HQ 03/23/12 successful!

Above are some of the images from this great event.

While other news outlets are reporting “dozens of people arrested” and the Brattleboro Refraimer shows no news at all, the real numbers are: over 1000 people met on the Brattleboro commons, and marched to Vermont Yankee HQ on Old Ferry Road where there was music, and presentations from a diverse group including Bread and Puppet. Well over 2000 people were at the event, over 136 people were arrested and detained on the VY grounds.

The Brattleboro Police and the Windham County Sheriffs department were on hand to make arrests and are to be commended on a professional, calm and in many cases good humored approach to the demonstrators. Hats off to them all for such a good job! While processing did take longer (up to 7 hrs for some) due to the details of mass arrest and the intake a cataloging of personal possessions (Hint: next time bring only ID and Cell – not back packs) all in all the event went very smoothly.

Several people were released on-site due to age or other disabilities. Most were processed and transported to the Brattleboro Police HQ, and released. The court dates are in Aug 2013!

Other news links:

VT Digger

News 5

You tube


Remember Fukushima – Walk 3/16 – 3/22 to VY



2012 WALK FOR A NEW SPRING: REMEMBER FUKUSHIMA  March 16 – March 22, 2012

 The Connecticut River has been an historic route for many peoples over many centuries. And now it becomes the route of 2012 Walk For a New Spring: Remember Fukushima. We walk to Remember Fukushima, in the knowledge that nuclear energy is neither safe nor clean. Already the Connecticut River, the earth, and the people have suffered contamination from Vermont Yankee. The threat of any sort of accident at the aging nuclear reactor in Vernon, VT is all too real and the consequences would be unimaginably catastrophic.


On Friday, March 16th, 2012 Walk for New Spring: Remember Fukushima will meet up with Grafton Peace Pagoda Walk that has come up from New Jersey and New York. They will meet at AGAPE, in Hardwick, MA and then will journey to Springfield, walking as one body to gather in fellowship at Arise for Social Justice, Springfield.


The next morning on March 17th, please join us at The River Front Park (W Columbus Ave and Memorial Bridge) for the initial ceremony of a week-long series of ceremonies along the Connecticut River.   After the Ceremony, we will walk to Chicopee for lunch, followed by a walk to Holyoke . There will be a second ceremony along the Connecticut River at the farm land of NUESTRAS RAICES (24 Jones Ferry Road, off  Route 5 near lower Westfield Road. At this point, from Springfield, Mass to Yankee Nuclear Plant in Vernon, Vermont, the Walk will “FOLLOW THE RIVER,” journeying along the route of the Connecticut River through Western Massachusetts to Vermont.


And therefore, each day,  the Walk will go “down  by the riverside” to offer prayers to the  spirit of the river – prayers for the healing of the waters, prayers  for healing Mother Earth, prayers for the awakening of  all of us for our human duty to shut down Vermont Yankee.





                        March 16th:  Worcester to Springfield

                        March 17th: Springfield to Chicopee to Holyoke

                        March 18th: Holyoke to Northampton

                        March 19th: Northampton to Montague

                        March 20TH: Montague to Northfield

                        March 21st: Northfield to Vernon




Join us as we walk together  in love and solidarity for a nuclear free future.

Join us so that together we can search and open the path  to help us realize the possibility

of a more just, sustainable and compassionate world,  built on respect for living beings and for the earth that sustains us.


Let’s become a  ground-swell of concerned residents. Let our walking together speak for itself.

By gathering together and walking as a community , we become “the walking prayer:”

“(the)   prayer for the suffering of the Japanese people and a plea to the people of New England

to recognize the grave dangers that nuclear energy poses to our lives, where we live, and all life on Mother Earth.”


The children of today and the children of the future call to us to take action.  We answer their call by walking with Walk for a New Spring, following the River, and offering prayers for healing at the River’s edge .


details to join the walk or support the walk when it comes to your community,

contact: Tim Bullock:413-485-8469;


WFNSP sponsored by New England Peace Pagoda, co-sponsors: AFSC Northampton, Arise for Social Change, Sprngfld;

Nuclear Free Future; House of Peace, Ipswich, MA; MassPeaceAction.


Latest News

  • 10 days 17 hours 45 minutes
    Until the Closure of Vermont Yankee
March 5, 2012

Evacuation March & Forum 3.11

“Evacuating” on the 11th? In an Affinity Group? Coming 3.22 to Occupy HQ? However you are acting to shut down VT Yankee, join the 250 citizens who have taken the VY Pledge! Click here for the VY PLEDGE


FLYER: Evacuation Anniversary 2012       FLYER: Fukushima Forum March 11 2012
On March 11, one year after the disastrous earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima, Japan, the SAGE Alliance will be conducting a mock evacuation from Vermont Yankee in solidarity with the people of Japan. Said organizer Nancy Braus, “We will be thinking especially of those 100,000 people exiled from their homes, maybe forever, within the 12-mile radius around the Fukushima reactors.”

Those who wish to take part in the evacuation will meet at 12:45 pm at the Transportation Center on Flat Street in Brattleboro with their “evacuation gear.” School buses will transport participants to the Vermont Yankee gates. From there, “evacuees” will assemble with their strollers, roller bags, backpacks, and other evacuation items, as well as signs and banners, and then walk the six miles from Vermont Yankee to downtown Brattleboro.  Those who cannot walk the entire route may join us in the Marlboro Graduate Center parking lot; we hope to arrive there around 3:30pm and walk downtown.  Once in Brattleboro, food and drinks will be served to walkers at the River Garden, at 153 Main Street.

At 5:00 pm, a public forum on Fukushima and Vermont Yankee will be held at the River Garden. Arnie and Margaret Gundersen, nationally respected consultants on nuclear issues, will present an update and analysis on conditions at Fukushima and discuss the response to the meltdowns of the Japanese government and nuclear industry one year later, the implications of Fukushima for U.S. reactors, including Vermont Yankee, and the impact of radiation from Fukushima on public health in the U.S.  The forum will also include a talk by Ms. Chiho Kaneko of Hartland, Vermont, who will give an eyewitness report about life in the aftermath of Fukushima in the area around the reactor and in Japan as a whole.

Click here for The Commons April 2011 coverage of Fukushima and local reactions, including essays by members of Safe & Green.

Tags: ,

VY cannot be ruled out as the source of radioactive contamination of fish

Why did Bill Irwin, the radiological and toxicological
sciences program chief for the Vermont Department of
Health, say in Field and Stream, 2/8/12, “What we
thought, that that plant has not yet leaked any kind
of radioactive materials of this nature into the
environment where it could harm public health, is
currently true”?

Concurring with Bill Irwin, Larry Smith, spokesman for
the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon,said
in the Burlington Free Press 2/8/12 the results, (of
the fish in Lake Carmi testing positive for Strontium
90) backs up the company’s argument that “Vermont
Yankee poses no threat to the public health of the
Connecticut River.” Smith says in an August 4, 2011 AP
article by David Gram “Entergy remains firm in its
conclusion that Vermont Yankee operations cannot be
linked to the recent identification of (SR 90) in fish
tissue from a fish sample obtained by the state” and
again in the same article, Smith states there was
“absolutely no evidence to suggest that Vermont Yankee
is the source for the SR90.”

Irwin and Smith contend that SR90 found in fish in
both Lake Carmi and the Connecticut River proves that
radioactive materials in both fish populations come
from above ground weapons testing or the Chernobyl
nuclear disaster and not from Vermont Yankee.

The problem with Smith and Irwin’s reasoning comes to
light with Gram’s investigation of SR 90 releases from
Vermont Yankee. Gram found in the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission’s files that the plant itself reported
releases of SR 90 into the environment in at least one
of the quarters each year from 2002 to 2005. An
investigation by David Lochbaum, director, Nuclear
Safety Project of the Union of Concerned Scientists
found that the NRC was informed by Entergy on
5/11/2011 that Vermont Yankee released measurable
amounts of SR90 during 2010. Lochbaum states that,in
fact, past reports show that Entergy routinely
released SR90 into the environment.

Lochbaum concludes that, despite what Irwin and Smith
say, VY cannot be ruled out as the source of
radioactive contamination of fish in the Connecticut

On Vermont Public Radio news, 2/7/12, Dr. Harry Chen,
Vermont State health commissioner says that, although
the Lake Carmi results indicate that those fish may
have absorbed background radiation levels of
radioactivity from global sources, he cannot rule out
Vermont Yankee as the source of contamination in the
Connecticut River.

I cannot square Dr. Irwin’s nonsensical assertions
about radiation in the Connecticut River fish with
Lochbaum and Chen’s separate analyses.

Why does this matter? Simply stated, SR90 is the worst
of the radioisotopes found to have leaked from Vermont
Yankee. It is bone seeking and water soluble and poses
a significant public health hazard. It is linked to
both cancer and leukemia. There is no threshold below
which it can be considered safe.

Vermont Yankee has leaked significant levels of SR90
into the groundwater, river and air, which is now
being discovered in fish in close proximity to Vermont
Yankee. Thus a public health hazard now exists for not
only the fish, but individuals, particularly pregnant
women and young children who eat the fish.

We cannot continue to tolerate being poisoned by
Vermont Yankee. It must be shut down now.
Hattie Nestel