Two of Vermont’s biggest power suppliers, Central Vermont Public Service and Gaz Metro Ltd., have signed a contract to buy up to 225 megawatts of power from Hydro-Quebec. Green Mountain Power, which is owned by Gaz Metro, hammered out the deal on behalf of other smaller utilities in the state.
Though Vermont currently already has a contract with Hydro-Quebec that was signed on December 4, 1987, the deal mostly phases out in 2016. They have purchased Quebec power for many decades, and want to keep up the tradition.
Currently, Vermont gets the majority of its energy from Entergy Corp’s Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. A 620-MW, non-carbon emitting source, its operating license for their reactor is set to expire in 2012. State legislators have so far rejected the plant’s request to extend the reactor’s license for another 20 years, but Entergy remains determined to try again next year at a new legislative session.
Not taking any chances, the new 26-year deal with Hydro-Quebec begins November 2012 and goes through to 2038. 98% of the power supplied is generated from low carbon hydropower, keeping up with Vermont’s want to keep their power supply “arguably the nation’s cleanest.”
The utilities will be buying the power at 6 cents per kilowatt hour. Delivery prices for customers have not been set yet, but they can have peace of mind knowing that a mechanism will be in place that will protect them from erratic market prices. Consumer price will be officially set at the end of 2010.