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Wind power drives interest in VEC board  

Credit:  Robin Smith, Staff Writer, The Orleans Record, orleanscountyrecord.com 9 March 2012 ~~

Vermont Electric Cooperative is again seeking candidates for its board of directors – including one serving the towns in the viewshed of the Lowell wind project and the rest of Orleans and Essex counties.

Last fall, a mid-term vacancy on the board in the eastern zone serving towns from Lowell Mountain to the New Hampshire border attracted a record number of 29 applicants for appointment to the board, including some big wind opponents.

“This is a dynamic time for energy issues,” said Dave Hallquist, chief executive officer of the non-profit co-operative utility.

“As a cooperative, we rely on members who are willing to step up and take a leadership role to set policy and direction for VEC. I encourage interested VEC members to consider running for one of the open seats on our board.”

The board’s nominating committee in November winnowed the 29-member field to four candidates with wind energy experience and in December appointed George Lague of Derby, former manager of the Swanton municipal utility who has a career in Vermont electrical systems.

Lague is the cousin of the late Bert Lague of Derby Line, whose death last summer created the mid-term vacancy.

Now the position is up for election in May, and the co-op is seeking candidates. The deadline to file applications is March 26. Voting will be by mail from April 17 through May 11. Votes can be cast at the annual meeting on May 12 at Jay Peak Resort, when the results will be tallied.

Other positions on the board also up for election are:

– District 7, serving five towns in the Grand Isle area;

– West Zone II, serving part of the northwestern territory of VEC, from Grand Isle to Eden on the western side of Lowell Mountain to Essex.

VEC serves 34,000 customer-members across northern Vermont and would become the second largest utility in the state if Central Vermont Public Service and Green Mountain Power merge.

Issues facing the cooperative include the ongoing development of the Lowell wind project, the future of Vermont Yankee, the merger of CVPS and GMP and what that means for VELCO, the transmission company co-owned by all the utilities in Vermont, and the future of where electricity will come from to serve northern Vermont.

VEC is seeking candidates who have “the ability and time to fulfill the responsibilities” of the board which includes participating in all monthly board meetings and committee activities, according to a VEC announcement Thursday.

The board meets in the afternoon on the last Tuesday of each month at VEC’s headquarters in Johnson.

Candidates must be VEC members and have a principal residence within the VEC territory and in the district or zone in which they are running.

They cannot be a VEC employee or be employed or have a financial interest in a business selling electric energy or supplies to the cooperative, according to Amanda Niklaus, spokeswoman for VEC.

The towns in the eastern zone are in Essex and Orleans counties plus a few in northern and northeastern Caledonia County.

For an application form, contact VEC at 802-730-1172 or go to the website at www.vermontelectric.coop.

Source:  Robin Smith, Staff Writer, The Orleans Record, orleanscountyrecord.com 9 March 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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