CVPS pays Fortis $19.5 million to ‘break up’

first_imgCVPS to merge with GMPTue Jul 12 2011The leaders of Central Vermont Public Service Corporation (NYSE: CV) (CVPS) and Gaz Métro Limited Partnership (Gaz Métro) today announced that a definitive agreement for the sale of CVPS has been signed. This clears the path for the combination of CVPS and Green Mountain Power Corporation (GMP), a subsidiary of Gaz Métro, into one utility. by Kate Duffy,Vermont Business MagazineBreaking up is hard to do. Central Vermont Public Service will pay $19.5 million to Fortis Inc, a Canadian company that had sought to acquire the utility in a $700 million deal announced in late May. The deal dissolved when Gaz Metro, the Montreal-based parent company of Green Mountain Power, bested it with a $702 million offer to merge the two Vermont utilities.CVPS shareholders will receive $35.25 per share, a 45 percent premium over the closing price of $24.32 immediately before the Fortis deal was announced, and 15 cents higher than the $35.10 Fortis had offered for each share. Fortis declined to submit a counter offer. Instead, it will collect on a sort of corporate pre-nuptial agreement, receiving a $17.5 million ‘break-up fee’ and $2 million from CVPS to cover expenses associated with the failed acquisition.  ‘Under our contract, Fortis had the right to negotiate with us exclusively for five days and match the terms of the proposal at that point,’ CVPS President and CEO Larry Reilly said. ‘They declined to do that and said they were not going to get into a bidding war. That gave us the ability to terminate that agreement and execute the new agreement with GazMet.’ Reilly said CVPS wired Fortis the $19.5 million on Tuesday, and Gaz Metro will reimburse it. But even with that payout, the Gaz Metro offer provides advantages for shareholders, customers, employees and the Rutland community. ‘From our perspective it clearly is a better deal,’ Reilly said. ‘For our shareholders, the payment is a little bit higher on the price per share and we have the ability to make dividends that would have been precluded under the deal with Fortis after November. It comes with substantial benefits for our customers. Fortis doesn’t have a contiguous company here. We’re going to be able to put these two companies together and realize some efficiencies from that. We’ll be able to share inventory and leverage our buying power.’ Reilly noted the Gaz Metro deal will not force it to lay off employees or relocate managers. It will retain a presence in Rutland, which will serve as its Headquarters for Operations and Energy Innovation. Still, the company does expect that about 40 percent of the projected $144 million in customer savings associated with the merger over the next 10  years will come from downsizing the workforce. ‘That’s going to be done gradually over time through retirements and attrition,’ Reilly said. ‘It’s going to be five or six years to realize those benefits, but that is something that’s going to happen naturally. With the exception of a few executive officers, there aren’t going to be any layoffs at all in this transaction.’ Reilly himself will be one of those people out of a job once the deal is finalized. He will stay on throughout the transition and regulatory approval process, but Green Mountain Power President and CEO Mary Powell will assume leadership of the combined company. She said a merger between GMP and CVPS had been discussed for more than a decade. ‘It was the right time,’ Powell said. ‘It was the right set of factors in terms of investments that need to be made in the future. I think CV came to the same conclusion Green Mountain did a number of years ago, which is that being such a small, publicly held utility doesn’t make access to capital work very smoothly, and that there’s a real benefit to partnering up with a strong investor. Certainly in the last few weeks when we saw that that was the desire, we looked at what our value proposition was and decided to bring it to the CV board and the community. With some nice additional work from CV in terms of rounding out our proposal and the value of it to Rutland and the community that CV serves, we’re really pleased we came to this final conclusion and proposal.’ The deal must still be approved by shareholders and regulators, a process expected to take six to twelve months.  RELATED:last_img read more

Peter Shumlin named ‘Green Governor’ of the year

first_imgVermont Governor Peter Shumlin received the 2011 Green Governor of the Year Award last week at the Opportunity Green business conference at Los Angeles Center Studios. The award was founded by Beautiful Earth Group, a sustainable energy facilities and products developer, and is presented each year by its CEO, Lex Heslin. Following the award, the governor met with local clean tech business leaders and California State Governor Jerry Brown. Governor Shumlin received the award for his environmental advocacy, regulatory reforms to support the clean tech industry in Vermont and efforts to clean the state’s energy portfolio. Shumlin, a new, young governor, is seen as a rising star in the environmental movement, and a leader who clearly sees the broader linkages of policies implemented in the Green Mountain State. The Governor was joined on stage by award-winning journalist Simran Sethi for a conversation on his outlook for sustainability in America. Shumlin took on the media’s preference for “sound bites versus substance” and the need for the United States to move away from its dependence on fossil fuels – not just because it’s good for the environment, but because it’s good for business and people’s welfare. “I really do think that Vermont has lessons to be learned in both energy efficiency and building renewables, getting off our addiction to oil, and making that an economic development issue and a jobs issue,” Governor Shumlin said. “We will continue to fight to resolve these challenges.” Governor Shumlin met with California Governor Jerry Brown later in the day to discuss critical issues facing both of their states, including the advancement of renewable energy. Governor Brown has long been recognized as an environmental leader. He has recently taken action on legislation to protect California’s environment and natural resources and has signed a series of bills in support. In April 2011 Governor Brown signed Senate Bill X1-2 into law, requiring all California’s utilities to source 33% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. In July 2011, Governor Shumlin wrote to President Obama and Governor Brown to voice his support for a single, national emission standard for passenger vehicles and light trucks. California and the federal government are in negotiations to harmonize their standards into a single national standard. Vermont is one of thirteen states and the District of Columbia which have voluntarily adopted California’s vehicle emissions standards. Beautiful Earth Group, a sustainable energy company founded in 2008, develops, owns and operates utility-scale solar and wind power generating facilities. The company’s first projects are located in the southwestern United States. Beautiful Earth invests exclusively in non-carbon emitting electricity generation and seeks to promote long-term green solutions towards a goal of sustainability. is external).Read more: is external) November 18, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ —last_img read more

Ai Squared launches latest ZoomText for visually impaired

first_imgAi Squared, the worldwide leader in screen magnification software for the visually impaired based ini Manchester, has announced the release of ZoomText 10, the latest version of its popular screen magnifier/screen reader. ZoomText makes computers accessible and friendly for Windows users by magnifying and speaking what appears on the screen. In addition to the already versatile capabilities of ZoomText, the new ZoomText 10 release is full of new features designed to enhance users’ productivity by allowing them to multitask, navigate around the web faster and easier than ever before, take their work with them on the go when they’re away from the computer, and access print material.  Plus, Ai Squared is growing their list of accessories to include a webcam magnifier. ‘In this day and age where everything is accessed online, it’s imperative that the visually impaired have the tools that let them surf the net as quickly as their sighted colleagues,’ states David Wu, CEO at Ai Squared.  ‘Not to mention that the need to have access on the go ‘ ZoomText 10 offers so many new and robust features that it’s really going to be a game changer.’The four main features are:  ZoomText Camera, which allows you to use a webcam along with ZoomText as an inexpensive CCTV alternative; Background Reader, which lets you listen to text spoken aloud in the background while you concentrate on other tasks; Enhanced Web Finder, the ultimate productivity tool for browsing the web and finding information; and finally ZoomText Recorder, which lets you create audio files from any text on screen which you can put on your portable device(s) for access on-the-go.ZoomText at a GlanceZoomText is a powerful computer access solution for the visually impaired. Consisting of two adaptive technologies’screen magnification and screen reading’ ZoomText allows you to see and hear everything on the computer screen, providing complete access to applications, documents, email and the Internet. Specialized support is provided for Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Outlook), Internet Explorer, Firefox and Adobe Acrobat Reader.ZoomText is available in two versions’ ZoomText Magnifier and ZoomText Magnifier/Reader’and available on CD and USB.  Both versions include Ai Squared’s exclusive ‘xFont’ technology, delivering perfectly clear text at all magnification levels (up to 36x).  A variety of screen enhancement features make everything on the screen easy to see and follow.  ZoomText Magnifier/Reader features powerful screen and document reading with human-sounding ‘NeoSpeech’ voices that are pleasant to listen to all day long.ZoomText 10 supports Windows 7, Vista, and XP, and can be used with virtually any application.  ZoomText is localized in 21 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and UK English.Low cost upgrades from any previous version are available to all registered users of ZoomText.  About Ai SquaredHeadquartered in Manchester, Vermont, Ai Squared is the worldwide leader in computer access solutions for the vision impaired, and has been for over 20 years.  Their products are available in twenty languages and are sold in 45 countries through our network of over 350 dealers across the globe.  Ai Squared has helped over 100,000 individuals with early vision loss, computer vision syndrome, and visual impairments such as macular degeneration and glaucoma.  Ai Squared’s screen magnification and screen reading products dramatically improve a computer’s usability and friendliness for the low vision user, raising their level of productivity, satisfaction, and independence. The family of Ai Squared products includes ZoomText Magnifier/Reader, ZoomText Magnifier, ZoomText Express, the ZoomText Large-Print Keyboard, i-loview Handheld Video Magnifier, ZoomReader iPhone app, and ZoomContacts iPad app.  For more information, please visit Ai Squared online at is external). Manchester, VT, November 29, 2011:last_img read more

Vermont ranks 12th lowest poverty rate

first_imgStateTotalPoverty Rate %New Hampshire110,0968.6Maryland559,9379.9Connecticut348,88110.1New Jersey883,64310.2Alaska76,85011Virginia865,74611.1Hawaii146,92311.1Wyoming62,63611.4Massachusetts724,84511.4Minnesota595,48511.5Delaware104,45611.9Vermont74,72012.4North Dakota81,17612.5Iowa368,96512.5Nebraska224,53012.6Maine169,07613.1Wisconsin731,56413.2Colorado651,74413.2Utah362,68913.3Pennsylvania1,645,09713.4Kansas374,67713.5Washington890,25113.5Illinois1,732,12913.8Rhode Island143,13214.1South Dakota114,79814.6Nevada393,60514.8New York2,840,56415Montana146,25715.2United States46,215,95615.3Indiana960,40215.3Missouri888,47115.3Idaho244,00915.8California5,785,03615.8Ohio1,771,40415.8Oregon596,64915.8Florida3,048,62116.5Michigan1,614,11016.7Oklahoma613,06716.8North Carolina1,618,59717.4Arizona1,105,07517.6Tennessee1,102,64317.8Texas4,411,27317.9Georgia1,698,00418South Carolina813,93918.1West Virginia327,45918.2Arkansas529,71018.7District of Columbia107,27918.8Louisiana831,51218.8Kentucky796,20818.9Alabama883,07818.9New Mexico400,77919.8Mississippi644,15622.4 US Census Bureau. 11.29.2011 NamePoverty Estimate All AgesPoverty Percent All AgesPoverty Estimate Under Age 18Poverty Percent Under Age 18Median Household Income $Vermont74,72012.420,03615.949,393Addison County4,10912.01,06714.651,967Bennington County4,89413.81,56121.247,161Caledonia County4,83316.11,43121.840,219Chittenden County17,28911.83,66411.956,016Essex County1,08217.231726.534,947Franklin County5,61411.91,79315.551,296Grand Isle County5658.120514.854,907Lamoille County3,17913.389616.647,994Orange County3,54312.51,01917.348,008Orleans County4,47617.01,37624.436,515Rutland County7,78913.21,93116.743,600Washington County6,16110.81,68714.051,334Windham County5,53312.81,54818.143,045Windsor County5,65410.21,53914.048,804New Hampshire110,0968.630,48110.860,917United States46,215,95615.315,749,12921.650,046 Vermont’s poverty rate ranked 12th in the nation at 12.4 percent, or among a large group of second tier states, according to a US Census Bureau report issued today. New Hampshrie was best in the nation and led the usual group of mid-Atlantic and New England states with the lowest poverty rates. The Southeast and Southwest US again had the highest rates.Between 2007 and 2010, the poverty rate for school-age children showed a statistically significant increase in about 20 percent of counties across the United States, according to US Census Bureau estimates for income and poverty in 2010 for every county and school district. In Vermont, Grand Isle County had the loest rate (see graph); Essex and Orleans counties had the highest rates. In all, 653 counties saw a significant increase in poverty for children ages 5 to 17 in families and eight counties saw a significant decrease over the period. A similar analysis of median household income showed 735 counties with a significant decrease over the 2007 to 2010 period and 78 counties with a significant increase. The 2010 Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) data are available for 3,142 counties and nearly 14,000 Title I-eligible school districts. The data represent the only current, single-year income and poverty estimates available for all sizes of counties and school districts. These estimates are released annually; however, 2007 was chosen for comparison because it was a pre-recessionary year. The 2010 estimates also show that about one-third (1,011) of counties had school-age poverty rates significantly above the national poverty rate of 19.8 percent and 851 counties had rates significantly below. Among the 1,306 counties with total population less than 20,000, 73 counties were significantly above 30 percent poverty for school-age children in 2010. There were 48 counties above 30 percent in 2007. SAIPE also provides county and state estimates for the total number of people in poverty, the number of children under 5 in poverty (for states only), the number of children 5 to 17 in families in poverty, the number of children under 18 in poverty and median household income. School district estimates from SAIPE, produced for the Department of Education to implement provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, are available for the total population, the number of children 5 to 17 and the number of children 5 to 17 in families in poverty. This release includes publication of the 2010 SAIPE Highlights Document, which presents SAIPE statistical trends and explains the sources and approach. Also available is an interactive mapping tool ( is external)), allowing access to the county and school district statistics by selecting the geographic area for display, as well as thematic maps for all concepts available from SAIPE 2010 and 2009. More information can be obtained from the SAIPE main page, .    SAIPE combines the latest American Community Survey data with aggregate data from federal tax information, administrative records on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participation, 2000 and 2010 Census statistics and annual population estimates. These statistics, sponsored by the US Department of Education, are used as one of the criteria to allocate federal funds to local educational agencies. In addition, state and local programs use these statistics for distributing funds and managing school programs.Table 1: 2010 Poverty and Median Income Estimates – Counties                            Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Small Area Estimates Branch                             Release date: 11.2011last_img read more

The Vermont Country Store and the Vermont Community Foundation create fund to benefit employees

first_imgVermont Country Store,The Vermont Country Store is partnering with The Vermont Community Foundation to create an innovative model program that will assist VCS employees experiencing disasters and other hardships. The program, called the Good Neighbor Fund, is the first of its kind in Vermont, and enhances The Vermont Country Store’s longstanding philanthropy program, which provides support to over 600 non-profit and community organizations annually in the 65 communities where its employees live and work.While The Vermont Country Store will provide program funding, the Vermont Community Foundation will manage the process of accepting tax-deductible contributions to the fund, confidentially review and consider VCS employee applications, and make independent grant decisions and payments. The Good Neighbor Fund is the first of what The Vermont Community Foundation expects will be similar partnerships with other Vermont companies.‘The aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene last August opened our eyes to the value of creating this program,’ said Eliot Orton, co-proprietor of The Vermont Country Store. ‘We provided basic necessities like clothing and bedding to our employees after the storm, but we didn’t have a meaningful channel to help employees who needed to get back on their feet. The Good Neighbor Fund will fill that void not only when disaster strikes, but in times of personal crisis.’Soon after the storm, The Vermont Country Store contacted the Vermont Community Foundation, which has been working with donors and other partners to facilitate donations for flood relief and recovery efforts. It turned out that in response to a request from another Vermont-based company, the Foundation had already started to research developing a turnkey service for companies that wanted to offer an assistance program to their employees.‘To the best of our knowledge, this is a unique service that gives Vermont companies another way to give back to their communities and to support their employees,’ said Vermont Community Foundation President & CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay. ‘It allows a company to quickly and easily put in place a program to help employees get through some of the toughest stretches of their lives. For a company like The Vermont Country Store, which has a long history of community philanthropy, this is a wonderful complement to their existing efforts and we’re delighted to be a partner.’As a family owned business, The Vermont Country Store places a high value on trust, and fosters an atmosphere of caring for its employees that made developing the Good Neighbor Fund an easy choice. ‘We have always said that our employees are our greatest asset,’ said Bill Shouldice, President and CEO of The Vermont Country Store. ‘Through the Good Neighbor Fund, we are making an investment that will have a tremendous impact on the lives of some of our employees and their families. For us, establishing the Good Neighbor Fund was just the right thing to do.’The Vermont Country Store and the Community Foundation are looking forward to sharing their experiences and knowledge with other Vermont companies to help perpetuate this giving model throughout the state.In 1946, Vrest and Ellen Orton printed their first catalogue’just 12 pages and 36 products’and mailed it to the folks on their Christmas card list, and sixty-five years later continues to be Orton family owned. As Purveyors of The Practical and Hard to Find, The Vermont Country Store operates as a multichannel merchant through its mailed catalogs, e-commerce web site and two retail stores in Weston and Rockingham, VT.The Vermont Community Foundation was founded in 1986 and is Vermont’s largest homegrown foundation, managing a collection of over 600 charitable funds that invest more than $18 million annually in Vermont through grants, loans, and other investments. In addition, it helps keep Vermont’s nonprofit community vital by offering endowment management and planned giving services, and providing leadership in charitable giving of all kinds. In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, the Foundation worked with donors and other partners to facilitate donations for relief and recovery efforts.MANCHESTER, Vt-BUSINESS WIRElast_img read more

Bids for Egypt solar project come in under ¢3/kWh

first_imgBids for Egypt solar project come in under ¢3/kWh FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company is currently reviewing six bids for the 200 MW Kom Ombo solar PV project including two bids both of which were below the $0.03 mark, causing an immediate publicity campaign from the two companies involved, Spanish solar developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures and Saudi energy giant ACWA Power.On Tuesday, PV Magazine reported that Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) had issued a press release revealing the details of the 200 MW solar energy tender for the Kom Ombo solar PV project which is estimated to be worth $525 million and will be constructed in the Aswan Governorate in the south of the country.At the time, FRV confirmed that it had submitted the lowest bid price of $0.02791 per kWh, followed by ACWA Power with $0.02799 per kWh, and the third lowest offer was offered by Norway’s Scatec Solar at $0.03045 per kWh.Three other bidders were also involved, including three consortiums made up of the consortia EDF-Marubeni-El Sewedy, Engie-Orascom, and Actis-Enerpal, with bids of $0.0315 per kWh, $0.034, and $0.035 per kWh, respectively, according to the Daily News Egypt.However, a day later PV Magazine had to update their story after Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power announced, via a statement to the magazine, that “Hassan Amin, the regional manager of ACWA Power Egypt, declared that ACWA Power offered a price of $0.02799 at the very beginning, then it submitted a discount letter to reach the lowest price – $0.02752.”The fierce competition for Egypt’s solar market is good news as the global solar industry continues to evolve and shift away from traditional juggernauts and new countries looking to build up their store of low-cost renewable energy join the fray.More: Egypt 200 MW solar tender boasts sub-$0.03 bidslast_img read more

Rocky Mountain Power moving forward with $3.1 billion wind project in Wyoming

first_imgRocky Mountain Power moving forward with $3.1 billion wind project in Wyoming FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wyoming Public Media:Rocky Mountain Power plans to break ground on a $3.1 billion-dollar statewide wind energy project this week.The project includes building three new wind farms in Carbon and Converse counties, adding upgrades to existing wind turbines in those counties, and constructing an 140-mile high voltage transmission line through Sweetwater and Carbon counties.The utility’s spokesman Spencer Hall said the project will provide for up to 1,600 construction jobs and 100 full-time positions, while the new wind farms will generate 1,150 megawatts of energy.“Importantly, it’s going to benefit rural economies,” he said. “I think Wyoming is facing a transition in the energy future and I think it’s exciting to see Wyoming embracing new technologies, new opportunities.”Hall said construction and upgrades will generate approximately $120 million in tax revenue and that the project will result in significant tax revenue after construction is completed, with around $11 million projected for 2021 and $14 million annually by 2024.More: Rocky Mountain Power to break ground on $3.1 billion wind projectlast_img read more

DOE: 2018 U.S. coal consumption lowest since 1978

first_imgDOE: 2018 U.S. coal consumption lowest since 1978 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享San Antonio Express-News:Despite efforts by the Trump administration to revive the U.S. coal industry, the nation’s appetite for coal continues its long decline.Last year domestic coal consumption fell to 687 million short tons, the lowest level since 1978, according to data released Monday by the Department of Energy.That comes amidst efforts by the Department of Energy to improve the efficiency and reduce the carbon emissions of coal-fired power plants, which have been closing at a fast clip nationwide due to increased competition from natural gas and wind and solar farms.The Energy Department announced Monday it was handing out $39 million in funding, part of a push to improve efficiency five percent by 2020.The power sector accounts for more than 80 percent of domestic coal production, which fell to less than 760 million short tons last year. Of the remainder, 50 million short tons was purchased by U.S. industrial facilities, and another 115 million short tons was shipped overseas.More: Coal consumption continues to drop, despite Trump’s effortslast_img read more

India’s ReNew Power wins contract for 24/7 green energy with first year cost of $38/MWh

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:India’s renewable energy sector claimed a new milestone with the awarding of the country’s first tender for 24/7 green power that’s set to include storage as part of its deployment.Leading developer and IPP ReNew Power won the 400MW ‘round-the-clock’ (RTC) tender award after a competitive process run by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), which handles renewable auctions for the Indian government.The developer is free to deploy wind, solar or hybrid capacity in conjunction with storage to supply power day and night to two utilities – New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Dadar and Nagar Haveli. ReNew Power has been contacted by Recharge for more details.The debut RTC auction – which unlike some recent Indian tenders was more than twice oversubscribed – was hailed by India’s power minister RK Singh as “a beginning towards firm, schedulable & affordable RTC supply through 100% [renewable] power”.The winning price was 2.90 rupees/kWh ($0.038/kWh, $38/MWh) for the first year of the 15-year deals, rising by 3% annually.Sidharth Jain, managing director of India-based research group MEC+, said the escalation gives a median price of around 4 rupees/kWh.[Andrew Lee]More: India hails renewable milestone after first deal for 24/7 green power India’s ReNew Power wins contract for 24/7 green energy with first year cost of $38/MWhlast_img read more

Enel Green Power breaks ground on 284MW Azure Sky solar-plus-storage project in Texas

first_imgEnel Green Power breaks ground on 284MW Azure Sky solar-plus-storage project in Texas FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享NS Energy:Enel’s subsidiary Enel Green Power North America has started construction on the 284MW Azure Sky solar and storage project in Texas, US. The solar and storage project is located west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Haskell County, Texas and will have 284MW of solar along with 81MW of battery energy storage capability. The project is expected to be operational by next summer.The project will be powered by nearly 700,000 bifacial photovoltaic (PV) panels, which could generate more than 586GWh of clean energy annually. The energy produced by the facility will be delivered to the grid and will also charge the 81MW battery co-located at the facility.Enel Green Power CEO and Enel global power generation business line head Salvatore Bernabei said: “Enel Green Power is serious about storage in North America. Coming just a few months after our announcement of the Lily project, Azure Sky’s groundbreaking is yet another step forward toward a sustainable future with flexible, hybrid plants that will generate renewable power while further stabilizing power grids.”Enel has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with The Home Depot, a home improvement retailer in the US, to sell a portion of 75MW from the Azure Sky project. The amount of energy will be enough to power more than 150 Home Depot stores. The PPA is part of Home Depot to produce or procure 335MW of clean energy as per its 2020 Responsibility Report.Last month, Enel had started operations at the second phase of its Roadrunner solar plant in Upton County, Texas, with a capacity of 245MW. With the second phase coming online, the overall capacity of Roadrunner solar plant has now reached 497MW.More: Enel begins construction on 284MW solar and storage project in U.S.last_img read more