Roper: $2.2 billion requested for ‘green’ electricity infrastructure

By Rob Roper

As the Legislature takes up the Climate Action Plan’s recommendation to electrify pretty much everything in Vermont by the year 2050, including home/business heating and transportation, a big question is how are we supposed to create and deliver enough electricity to actually do that. And, of course, how much might it cost.

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

Testimony to this issue came before the House Energy & Transportation Committee this week, and the answer to the latter question is $2.2 billion in upgrades — to start. This price tag just represents the “top priorities” the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority deems necessary for moving away from fossil fuels.

The breakdown of the $2.2 billion request falls into four categories: Resilience & Reliability ($771,881,477), Grid Modernization ($89,594,826), Energy Transformation Equity ($676,575,095), and Distributed Generation Integration ($668,192,000). Click here to see further breakdowns and explanations.

Some of this money will likely come from federal sources as part of the ARPA program, but exactly how much was not known. This is just an immediate request for what they think it will take to meet the infrastructure needs of the Climate Action Plan.

Replacing oil, propane, natural gas, gasoline and diesel fuels with electricity — and preferably, according the Climate Council, with in-state renewables — ultimately will at least double demand for electricity. The problem is, we don’t create that level of electricity now. If we did, we don’t have the grid capacity to deliver it to homes and businesses. And, if we did, 75% of homes in Vermont are not wired to handle the levels of electricity necessary to heat their air and water and charge an electric vehicle or two. The cost to upgrade a home from a 100 amp panel to a 200 amp service is on average between $2,500 to $4,000 per home, with a range of hundreds of dollars up to $10,000.

We did get some hint as to where this money will come from. Energy & Technology Committee chairman, Tim Briglin, D-Thetford, warned that we can all expect to see higher fees on our electric bills in the future. “Some of this is going to be funded through electric rates. Certainly we want to minimize those costs for Vermont ratepayers, but some of this stuff is going to wind up there.”

Although Vermont’s electrical grid does need to be upgraded regardless of the Climate Action Plan, this policy choice to go “all electric” is making this way more expensive and complicated than it needs to be.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Public domain

15 thoughts on “Roper: $2.2 billion requested for ‘green’ electricity infrastructure

  1. The only climate change Vermont voters should be concerned with is the one that needs to take place in Vermont government!

    • Good point. The first sentence from the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority says

      “Clean electricity and a strong, connected grid are key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change.”

      I’m not aware of any data which can verify that claim. Keep in mind that these are the companies responsible for constructing and maintaining the power grid. The more money they can get from the taxpayer the better the return on their investment.

      While there have been several studies done on complete electrification, they all came to the same conclusion that it won’t work for a variety of reasons. See

    • And do you think heat pumps will work at the level of cold temperatures we have been having lately? Not gonna happen.

  2. Never mind where is the money going to come from.

    Where is the labor to implement all these upgrades going to come from ?

  3. eleiminating global warming emmisions is relatively easy.

    3 or 4 or 5 large strategically located nuclear Electric generating plant
    around the state

  4. Holy Cow these people have lost their minds!! This state already costs us enough with their better for all mandates! I have never seen a vote where ALL people in this state got to weigh in on if we want to eliminate our access to oil, natural gas and gas for cars etc.. it would be nice if we got to decide-for ourselves this huge decision for the years to come!!

    or do they get to decide for us???

  5. Has it been established that the people of Vermont want to eliminate their access to oil, gas and motor fuel and the costs of so doing? The population and business reduction resulting from the cost and regulation may lower emissions, but will it be adequate to offset the reduction in revenue from the smaller tax base? Has the population reduction been factored into the planned carbon dioxide reduction? Clearing vast areas for solar cells, windmills may also meet with resistance from the “Preserve Nature” sector against the AGW cabal. Is there any projected climate advantage to Vermont in these radical acts? After all, Vermont’s “climate” today will be New Hampshire’s or Maine’s climate tomorrow. I’m sure the maintenance cost has been factored in, but is the inevitable decommissioning cost in the bill?

    • I’m glad you pointed out that the climate here will be somewhere else tomorrow. Apparently, no one under the Golden Doom understands that the earth rotates. They must the air and atmosphere just hangs around waiting for these geniuses to change it like a cat box. Of course thinking people realize this isn’t about climate change, it’s about the financial change that will come to all the Global Warming players with businesses built on a lie.
      they will not be able to change the climate and they know it.

      • Yeah, but all they need is to convince the majority of the voters with fear mongering, supported by news media, with propaganda from climate scientist aligned with the RE Industry, and incentives.

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