by Mickey Smith
Last week the United States 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Vermont Legislature overstepped its authority in attempting to close Vermont Yankee. Despite the ruling, Governor Peter Shumlin and Attorney General Bill Sorrell have vowed to keep fighting because they feel closing the plant is in the best interest of the state.
Locally, the decision has had little effect on electric utilities.
Vermont Electric Cooperative CEO David Hallquist said his company had stopped purchasing power from Vermont Yankee when their last contract expired. The Board of Directors chose not to renew because of the threat of closure.
In its stead, Hallquist said they get about 20% of their power from Seabrook, as he sees nuclear power as a viable option because it is a carbon free source of power.
Hallquist opined Vermont Yankee’s future may be bleak even without the pressure from the state. He said power costs are so low right now, and Vermont Yankee is the most expensive plant in the Entergy family. Hallquist said because the plant is so small, and nuclear power is so labor intensive, it can’t produce power at a competitive price.
In Morrisville, Craig Myotte, director of Morrisville Water & Light, said it doesn’t have an effect on them as well since they do not have any contracts with Vermont Yankee either. He said without any contracts with them or any pending, Vermont Yankee has not been on their radar.