The Vermont Public Service Board issued an order June 28 implementing the state’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) that requires Vermont utilities to procure 55% of the electricity sold to customers from renewable sources in 2017, increasing gradually to 75% in 2032.
The Entergy (NYSE:ETR) Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, the largest source of non-carbon generation in the state, was retired at the end of 2014.
The standard also creates a program that allows utilities to meet their portfolio requirements by investing in “energy transformation” projects that reduce customer use of fossil fuels.
The renewable program also stipulates that at least 1% of utility electricity must come from new, distributed renewable generators, such as net-metering systems, rising to l0% by 2032.
Utilities are encouraged to invest in projects like weatherization, installation of cold-climate heat pumps, or clean vehicle technologies or procure additional distributed renewable generation.
The implementation of the RES comes in response to Act 56 of 2015, in which the Legislature directed the Board to issue an order implementing the RES to take effect on Jan. 1, 2017.
The state’s renewable mandate increases 4% per year until reaching the 75% milestone in 2032. Among other things, the 80-page order addresses treatment of electricity imported into the state, primarily hydro power, from Hydro Quebec.