The future of the Vermont Electric Cooperative, formed with 10,500 rural customers that private companies
refused to serve, is being threatened by the failure of nuclear reactors in which it invested. The federal
government loaned the co-op $67 million to invest in power plants. According to the VT Public Advocate,
the co-op invested in every failed nuclear plant in New England, including 5 that have been canceled and
Seabrook 1 (NH), whose costs exceeded original estimates by billions of dollars. To try to pay for its nuclear
commitments, the co-op has raised its rates 40% in less than a year; electric rates are now 50% above the
state average and are threatening to rise higher.
--Peter Montague, Ph.D.
Descriptor terms: vt; vermont electric cooperative; loans; nuclear power; costs; financing;