Leters 3 – 26 – 2013

Intermittent Power vs. Baseline Power

The intermittent (renewable) power that we get from wind and solar is not as valuable to us as the good baseline, zero carbon, power we used to get directly from Vermont Yankee and we now import from Seabrook. An energy policy that sets a premium on intermittent power generated from Vermont’s difficult-to-predict weather patterns and that needs both a fossil-fueled “backup” and expensive additional power management hardware makes no sense either from a cost, or environmental, point of view.

I have read the VEC position paper supporting a wind power moratorium (http://www.vermontelectric.coop/press-releases) and as an electrical engineer, I understand and agree. We can not easily integrate intermittent power sources into the existing power grid without adding new levels of hardware and load management controls to the grid. As a result, wind and solar derived power is actually less valuable to us and should not be purchased at a premium.

Do the non-engineers in Montpelier understand this? Their focus seems to be more simplistic and ideological – “only renewables can save us.” I think it’s time they let the facts get in the way of their opinion.

Vermonters need to plan now for rising electricity rates. In May, the average kilowatt purchased from the New England grid cost Vermont utilities 2.6 cents, by November that price had jumped to 5.6 cents, and in February it was 12.5 cents according to data from ISO New England (www.iso-ne.com). (In February, the cost of natural gas went way up due to a shortage of winter pipeline transmission capacity.) Also in February, wind derived intermittent power was priced at about 10 cents while solar derived power was priced at about 30 cents. You can see where our electric rates are going if we continue following the path we are on.

I would have much higher confidence in the future stability of Vermont’s electrical grid and the availability of competitively priced power in Vermont if I knew the policy wonks in Montpelier listened to and understood the engineers who design and run our Vermont electrical grid.

Reg Wilcox
Cambridge, VT



Saturday April 6thCastleton Republicans Spring Breakfast and meeting at the Trak-In

Route 30 North in Bomoseen, 8:30 am.  Guest speakers Senator Joe Benning and Rep. Heidi Scheuermann. Please RSVP to:


Sunday, April 7: Effectively Communicating Principles of Freedom” with KCarl Smith

KCarl is an unyielding defender of the constitution and Liberty. Inspired by the guiding principles of the Founding Fathers, and holding fast to the oath taken during service to our country, he launched what is now known as the Liberty MESSENGER.

KCarl captivates and inspires audiences with infectious energy, compassion and satire- with practical solutions for broadening the base of the liberty movement.

With his life-empowering message, KCarl leaves audiences ready for action- action for changing the political landscape of America.

Kcarl recently authored Frederick Douglass Republicans: The Movement to Re-ignite America’s Passion for Liberty.

Upon completion of training, particpants will be able to effectively advocate

  • Respect for the Constitution
  • Respect for Life
  • Belief in Personal Responsibility
  • Belief in Limited Government
  • …..and respond to those who would limit our rights in these areas.

The Country Club of Vermont
2800 Country Club Rd Waterbury, VT 05676
from 12:30 PM to 4:30
Go here to register for the event.