Co-op Rejects Vermont Yankee Power Purchase Deal

Entergy Corp.’s Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant hit another hurdle on Tuesday as the Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) rejected a 20-year power purchase contract at below market prices.

The cooperative’s board voted 9 to 1 to reject the offer negotiated in March at a meeting that included Entergy officials, VEC staff and members, and an independent nuclear engineering and safety expert. VEC said in a press release that “Each VEC director present expressed their position on the VY offer balancing financial impacts against social and environmental concerns.”

Elected democratically by its consumers, VEC’s board of directors is responsible for setting policy for Vermont’s third-largest electric distribution utility, which serves members in 74 towns in northern Vermont.

Entergy last week filed suit against the state of Vermont to prevent it from shutting down the plant on March 21, 2012, after it received a 20-year license extension from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Vermont is the only state in the nation with the authority to block a license renewal.

“Unfortunately there are no easy energy choices,” said Dave Hallquist, VEC’s CEO. “However, VEC’s power supply is secure and stable through 2016. We will continue to seek competitively priced, long-term contracts that meet our members’ needs beyond 2016.”

Sources: POWERnews, VEC

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