COLCHESTER, VT–(Marketwire – January 04, 2010) –
Green Mountain Power today announced results of a customer survey indicating strong support for wind power among Vermont business leaders.
The telephone survey took place this fall among GMP’s largest commercial customers. Fifty-four of 85 customers contacted completed the survey.
The survey sought customers’ feedback on a variety of issues including Vermont’s current energy picture, energy challenges facing the state in the next few years, the business and economic climate, Vermont Yankee and wind and solar power. It also gave customers an opportunity to rate GMP on its performance, its vision and its ability to successfully manage the state’s energy challenges.
Most significant among the findings was respondents’ support for wind energy in Vermont, and specifically for GMP’s plans to build, own and operate a wind plant in northern Vermont.
GMP, in partnership with Vermont Electric Cooperative, has proposed a wind farm on a mountain ridge in Lowell, Vermont with 16 to 24 wind turbines. The project has the potential to meet the annual electrical needs of approximately 20,000 average households in Vermont.
The survey found 68 percent strongly support GMP’s plans to build, own and operate the wind farm. When asked why they support it, customers said they believed this type of energy should be explored, has no adverse environmental impact and is a good alternative in the energy mix.
“We are pleased and excited to see this amount of support and encouragement for wind development in our state,” said Mary Powell, Green Mountain Power president and chief executive officer. “By harnessing the clean, renewable power of wind, we have the opportunity to provide environmental and economic value for our customers, especially with utility ownership of the plant, while helping to create a green energy economy in our state.”
The survey also found nearly two-thirds of those responding — 63 percent — strongly supported the relicensing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant when it comes up for renewal in 2012. They gave it high rankings on the cost of power, reliability and plant safety. Respondents also cited cost, reliability, safety and a low environmental impact as reasons for GMP to continue purchasing power from Vermont Yankee.
A July 2009 survey of 400 GMP residential customers also found support for Vermont Yankee, with a plurality supporting relicensing.
Lastly in the energy issues survey, customers provided feedback about GMP itself, giving the Vermont utility a vote of confidence for its vision and its ability to manage the energy challenges facing the state. Eighty-seven percent said they were very satisfied with GMP and gave the utility high performance rankings in a number of areas, including customer service, competent management and responsiveness.