Wed, Dec 14, 2011 10:19 AM
More hydro power is coming to central Vermont.
PROCTOR - The Central Vermont Public Service Corp. (CVPS) has
purchased the Vermont Marble Power Division from Omya for $28.2
million, and plans to increase the dam's generating capacity.
The facility is on the Otter Creek in Proctor, at river mile 64.2,
with dams at river miles 21 (Huntington Falls) and 23
"We're planning significant improvements," said CVPS spokesman
Steve Costello. "It's not producing close to capacity."
The dam is capable of generating 18 megawatts of power, the
equivalent of power needed for 18,000 homes. Costello said the
company is relicensing the dam in preparation for the upgrade, as
required by law.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice to
the effect on Nov. 18.
"We are in the early stages of reviewing their amendment
application," said FERC spokeswoman Celeste Miller in an e-mail.
"Once we deem the application complete, we will issue another
notice seeking public comment on the amendment application. This
will be followed by a complete environmental review of the
According to its application, CVPS plans to, among other things,
put in new turbine generators, new controls, and new relays, as
well as increasing hydraulic capacity from the current 890 cubic
feet of water per second to 1,150 cfs. A permanent bridge to the
plant will also be built. Similar improvements will be made at the
other two dams.
The company is also proposing some environmental changes, including
improving the existing take-out for canoe portage at the Beldens
dam, and expanding public recreational use at the Proctor site,
according to the application. This means making the view better and
putting up interpretive signs for the public to learn more about
the historic Vermont Marble Company and local cultural
Costello said CVPS would spend another $15 million to complete the
"It'll produce a little more than 20 megawatts, with a net benefit
for everybody," Costello said. "We'll produce electricity at a very
competitive rate. There's a huge appetite for renewable energy in
Tropical Storm Irene, which blew through Vermont at the end of
August and caused a great deal of damage, didn't hurt the dams,
"Most of the damage was on the eastern side of the state," he said.
"Generally speaking, most small-scale hydro doesn't have a lot of
Anyone wishing to view the full amendment should go to www.ferc.gov
using the eLibrary link and enter docket number 2558.