Where We Get Our Power

Energy Sources

McNeil  The McNeil Generating Station is a primarily wood-burning facility, located in Burlington’s Intervale. Capable of generating more than 50 MW of electricity, McNeil is jointly owned by BED (operator and 50% owner), Green Mountain Power (31%), and Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (19%). More about McNeil»

Winooski One  Winooski One is a 7.4 Mw hydroelectric generating station located in Winooski, Vermont, on the Winooski River as it flows between the cities of Burlington and Winooski.

Short-Term Purchases After the power received from resources is accounted for, BED may make short-term purchases from a number of counterparties.  Short term purchases are assumed to come from the mix of fuels used to generate residual (i.e. non-renewable) power in New England (generally coal, natural gas, nuclear, etc.).  As new long-term resources come on line, the amount of energy from short-term market purchases will be adjusted accordingly.
NextEra Energy Power Marketing NextEra is a short term contract which provides power from three small hydro facilities in Maine. BED is entitled to 10 MW of power per hour through 2014 and 5 MW of power per hour for 2015-2017.

Sheffield Wind Sheffield is a 40 MW wind farm located in Sheffield, Vermont.  BED is entitled to 40% of the output (16 MW).

Georgia Mountain Community Wind GMCW is a 10 MW wind farm located in Georgia, Vermont.  BED is entitled to 100% of the output.

NYPA (New York Power Authority) NYPA provides power from hydro stations on the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers. The energy BED receives is based on an entitlement of 2.558 MW of power from the Niagara Project and 0.059 MW of power from the St. Lawrence Project (2.617 MW in total).   

Hydro-Québec BED has a long-term contract to buy 5 MW through October 2020, 9 MW from November 2020 to October 2035, and 4 MW from November 2035 to October 2038 from Hydro-Québec. BED is entitled to power from 7am to 11pm daily.
VEPPI (Vermont Electric Power Producers, Inc.) VEPPI is the state agent responsible for purchasing all energy generated by a number of renewable resources within Vermont and for assigning this power to Vermont utilities.  Currently BED receives 6.0781% of the output (2.5 MW) from these facilities. There are currently 15 hydro facilities with contracts expiring between 2016 and 2020.

Vermont Standard Offer Vermont Standard Offer is a statutory program which mandates purchases from small renewable resources. BED receives 6.1554% of the output from these facilities. There are currently 6 hydro facilities, 2 biomass facilities, 15 farm methane facilities, 1 landfill methane and 30 solar facilities.
Burlington Solar BED purchases the output from six small solar projects located within Burlington and owns two solar facilities: one at the Burlington International Airport and the other at 585 Pine Street.

BED GT BED’s gas turbine (wholly owned by BED) produces 25 MW of electricity and is primarily used as a peaking unit and for emergencies.  It is located on Burlington’s waterfront and was installed in 1971.  The turbine is fired by fuel oil.

ISO-NE Exchange Differences between sources available and load are settled by ISO-NE and show up as a net exchange. Positive values represent net purchases of energy; negative values represent sales of excess power across the specified period, though hourly values may vary according to resource output and load.


January-December 2015

Winter Peak MW 53.1      
Summer Peak MW 63.1      
Energy Use (MWH) 353,730      
Resource Fuel Type Location Capacity (MW) Energy
McNeil Wood Vermont 25.0 145,180
Winooski One Small Hydro Vermont 7.4 26,785
NextEra Energy Power Marketing Small Hydro Maine n/a 43,800
Sheffield Wind Vermont 16.0 35,006
Georgia Mountain Community Wind Wind Vermont 10.0 33,145
NYPA Large Hydro New York 2.6 17,263
Hydro-Québec Large Hydro Quebec n/a 4,880
VEPPI Small Hydro Vermont 2.2 7,456
Vermont Standard Offer Other Renewable Vermont 4.4 5,543
Burlington Solar Solar Vermont 0.9 1,117
BED Gas Turbine Oil Vermont 22.0 217
ISO New England Exchange - Net Various (system mix) New England n/a 33,337
Total Net Purchases       353,730

The information above shows which resources provided BED’s energy supply in 2015. BED’s ability to claim that the energy used by its customers is renewable is affected by sales and purchases of Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s).  See “BED Fuel Types & Renewability” below.

BED Fuel Types and Renewability

Prior to Renewable Attribute “REC” Sales and Purchases

Sales of the right to claim renewability, called Renewable Energy Credits or REC's, are allowed under BED's integrated resource plan. REC sales help BED control the rate impacts of purchasing renewable resources (which are generally more expensive than the non-renewable alternatives). BED receives a portion of its energy through ownership in, or contract for, renewable resources before it sells or buys REC's. Sales of such rights affect BED's claim to what portion of the energy it provides to its customers is renewable. This avoids double counting since the purchasers of these rights will have the right to claim the renewability. For CY2015, before BED sold RECs, renewable resources provided over 90% of the total energy used by BED. Renewable resources are inherently variable, so the amount of production in any year will fluctuate. Two new resources, Hancock Wind and South 40 Solar, which were expected to produce electricity in CY2015, did not. They are still expected to come online in 2017.

The amounts shown in the graph below for natural gas, nuclear, coal or oil fired generating stations result from BED making short term energy purchases and sales that are not from any specific resource (“generic power”) or being a new purchase from ISO-NE (Exchange). In this case BED assumes that the fuel providing the energy is the same as the mix of fuels in New England after all REC transactions have been accounted for (called the New England residual mix).

Residual Mix for New England taken from NEPOOL GIS System Information: https://www.nepoolgis.com


After Accounting for Renewable Attribute “REC” Sales

Renewable resources are almost invariably more expensive than non-renewable resources, and REC’s have become an important cost reducing tool for the renewable electricity market. The sale of REC’s allows BED to support and generate new renewable resources, while controlling costs by selling REC’s to other entities. In CY2015 BED sold REC’s representing over 240,000 MW of generation and received revenues of $11,982,778 - equal to roughly 24% of its cost of service. As mentioned above, after making such sales, BED has to revise the amount of energy it claims as renewable.  This is the reason for the increase in the natural gas, nuclear, coal and oil “pie slices" from the above graph, to the one shown below.

click to enlarge


After Accounting for Renewable Attribute “REC” Sales and Purchases

BED can reclaim renewability by purchasing Class II renewable energy credits from the renewable resource market (at prices significantly lower than Class I REC sales). Contracting for the purchase of REC’s created from a particular type of renewable resource (like small hydro), allows BED to return to a more positive renewable position as shown in graph below, while still placing some pressure on the markets to create additional renewable resources.

For 2015, between RECs reserved/retired on BED’s own behalf, BED reserved/retired 5,079 RECs in excess of its 2015 load of 353,730 MWh. In total, BED reserved/retired 358,809 RECs from hydroelectric, biomass and solar resources.

click to enlarge

Click here to read BED's 2012 Integrated Resource Plan