Self Sufficient Vermont

LYNDON- Last year the Vail Hydrostation underwent major mechanical renovations, and according to officials, this year should go smoothly as ever, however the plant's rehabilitation has stirred up some contraversy. 


Ken Mason, amidst his retirement from Lyndon Electric after 40 years, was a frontrunner in getting the station revamped and rehabilitated  as it could provide a significant portion of renewable power to all those who are serviced by Lyndon Electric. The Lyndon Electric Department (LED) serves 10 communities in the NEK,  which is over 20,000 people annually and Mason says that the “power will be distributed throughout our coverage area just like regular electricity”. 


The main reason many were against the rehabilitation of the station is that Vermont has already reached and maxed out their renewable energy credits through ISO New England, so any additional credits they receive are sent out of state to Holyoke Massachusetts and then distributed to any other New England state. This means, essentially, that we are covering gaps in other states renewable energy goals at the expense of our own environment and aesthetic.

One such opponent is Joe Benning, Vermont State Senator and lawyer in Lyndon feels strong that Vermont has done enough in terms of renewable energy and “should start focusing on smaller scale projects, like composting or personal solar” instead.

This illuminates a bigger problem; whether or not Vermont is compensating for other states, and if that’s ethical. “We need to stop sacrificing our ridge lines to wind power that doesn’t even stay in state”, Benning says, and instead focus on building Vermont into a leader in self sustaining energy. Benning and many other hope that the revitilazation of the Vail hydrostation will help our local energy efficency, and will stay local. 

Independant solar for homes and businesses is drastically more affordable than it used to be, which should encourage people across the state to become sufficient for their own personal gain and for our state and countries overall environmental health.