The natural gas pipeline / electric generating plant project proposed for Southwestern Vermont is backed by three cooperating companies:
  Vermont Power & Energy Development Corp. (VPEDC)
  Vermont Energy Park Holdings (VEPH)

Proposes to build, through subsidiary companies, three gas-fired electric power plants: 520 MW plant in Scotia-Glenville, NY, a 1080 MW plant in Rutland, VT, and a 270 MW plant in Bennington, VT. These would be gas-fired, combined-cycle electric generating facilities.

On Dec 29, 1999, VEPH, through its subsidiary Genville Energy Park, LLC, filed with the NY Public Service Commission a preliminary application (scoping statement) to construct the $300 million Scotia-Glenville plant. The proposed facility is a scaled-down version of the $400 million 810 MW plant originally proposed for this site.

The two partners of VPEDC and VEPH are Thomas Macaulay and Robert Votaw. Thomas Macaulay is a former Rutland County State Senator and is currently of Estech-North, Inc., an electronic surveillance development company. Robert Votaw, formerly of ENSERCH Corporation is currently of Farmington Power in Connecticut.

Although VPEDC and VEPH will not discuss the details of their financial backing, financing for the Glenville plant is reportedly on track, whereas financing has not yet been found for the Rutland and Bennington projects.

Both VEPH and the pipeline promoters have clearly and publicly stated that the pipelines will not be built unless the power plants are built.

  Southern Vermont Natural Gas (SVNG)

Proposes to build a 63 mile natural gas pipeline from the Iroquois pipeline in Bennington to the VEPH electric power plants in Bennington and Rutland, and to construct ...distribution systems to provide natural gas service to industrial, commercial and residential customers along the pipeline.

Southern Vermont Natural Gas is a wholly-owned subsidiary of New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG), a $5 billion public New York utility with headquarters in Binghamton, NY. NYSEG itself is a subsidiary of Energy East Corporation in Albany, NY. SVNG has no current Vermont presence: all communications are forwarded to NYSEG in Binghamton.

Most of NYSEG's pipeline construction work to date has been building distribution systems. Their major transmission project was the Seneca East and West project in the Finger Lakes region of New York State in 1995 and 1996.

Vermonters for a Clean Environment has identified property owners who were affected by the Seneca East portion of that project. Three years after completion, there is still one property owner who is waiting for NYSEG to restore her horse pasture to the golf course condition that was promised. Right now it is a field of rocks. Another property owner has invited us to come and take a look. You can't miss it, she said of the clear-cut.

  Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P

Proposes to build the natural gas pipeline extension from the Albany, NY, area to Bennington, VT.

Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P. is a partnership of ten U.S. and Canadian energy entities, and is owner of a 375-mile interstate natural gas pipeline extending from the U.S.-Canadian border at Waddington, N.Y. through western Connecticut to Long Island, N.Y. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, the Iroquois Pipeline Operating Company, headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut, is the agent for and operator of the pipeline. (from the Iroquois website)

Iroquois is a $26 billion company. Trans Canada Pipeline is the the largest shareholder in Iroquois, with a 35% ownership.

Iroquois was charged with numerous environmental violations for its pipeline project in New York/New England in 1991. They agreed to a settlement of $22 million in fines in 1996, and several Iroquois employees went to jail. Since that project, Iroquois has been involved primarily in the reconstruction of pipelines.

Copyright © 1999-2000 by Vermonters for a Clean Environment
Updated: January 28, 2000