Planning for the Future of Vermont’s Electric Power Grid
In 2007, Vermont stakeholders began convening as the Vermont System Planning Committee—or VSPC—the first statewide collaborative process for addressing electric grid reliability planning. The goal of the process is to ensure full, fair and timely consideration of all options to solve grid reliability issues. Ultimately, the VSPC helps Vermont fulfill an important public policy goal: to ensure that the most cost effective solution gets chosen, whether it is a poles-and-wires upgrade, energy efficiency, demand response, generation, or a hybrid solution.
The VSPC’s work must coordinate with many other stakeholders at the local, state and regional levels. In particular, ISO-New England has the primary responsibility for transmission planning in the region, so the utilities must coordinate closely with ISO-NE in all its work. In addition, many others play important roles in Vermont’s planning process, such as regional planning commissions and local energy committees.
The VSPC process is focused on grid reliability, which is essential to today’s society. As other types of transmission projects, such as merchant, public policy-driven and economic upgrades, are proposed, the VSPC provides an forum for exchange about the increasingly complex electric system picture. The VSPC website has two goals:
- To provide information and transparency to the public about Vermont’s transmission planning process.
- To support the information needs of VSPC participants for meeting preparation and archives.