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Explore our latest coverage of environmental issues, climate change and more.

State Wants Up To $250,000 To Study Hydro Purchase

Toby Talbot
/
AP
The Bellows Falls hydro station is included in the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers hydro system.

A working group established to see if the state should make a bid on a hydroelectric system wants up to $250,000 to hire a consultant.

Gov. Peter Shumlin put together the Vermont Hydro Power Working Group to look into purchasing a series of dams and power stations on the Deerfield and Connecticut Rivers.

The seven-member group issued a request for proposal (RFP) this week. The administration wants the money included in the budget now being finalized in the Statehouse.

Transcanada owns the hydroelectric system and the company announced last month that the assets are for sale. 

Transcanada says it wants to unload the hydro system before the end of this year and so the state is moving quickly.

The state considered purchasing the dams in 2004, the last time they were on the market. The consultant is being asked to look at the analysis that was done back then and also to use more recent information.

The state wants the consultant to put together a quick report for the initial phase of the project, which would cost up to $75,000.

The rest of the money would be spent on a more in-depth analysis if the state decides to make a bid for the dams.

The second phase of the contract would require the consultant  to come up with different models that can be used by the state to acquire and operate the hydroelectric resources.

The consultant will also provide an overview of how purchasing the dams will further the state's environmental and energy goals.

The working group is expected to present its recommendation to legislative leaders before August 1.

 

Howard Weiss-Tisman is Vermont Public’s southern Vermont reporter, but sometimes the story takes him to other parts of the state. 
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