With an eye toward traditional renewable projects as well as cutting-edge studies, Central Vermont Public Service has proposed funding a variety of projects to further clean energy development in Vermont. ‘From improvements to existing projects to forward-thinking projects with great potential, we hope to improve and expand Vermont’s renewable energy options,’ CVPS spokesman Steve Costello said. ‘In proposing funding for these projects, we hope to make new strides in energy production.’ The CVPS proposals, filed with the Vermont Public Service Board, include funding for nine renewable and carbon-reduction projects and studies for a total award of about $340,000. In a letter to the PSB, CVPS noted the proposals would be funded from an insurance rebate related to the company’s former ownership in Vermont Yankee. CVPS proposed a $30,000 grant to the University of Vermont to fund a study that could improve energy production of manure-based methane, the energy source for CVPS Cow Powerâ ¢. The study would analyze microbes that produce methane in an effort to improve the cost-effectiveness of farm methane energy systems. ‘The primary goals are to identify the micro-organisms that can produce the highest amount of methane and the optimal conditions for them to grow and produce methane,’ Costello said. ‘This could improve energy production and the economics of manure-based energy production.’ CVPS proposed a $15,000 grant to help fund the Vermont Deep Geothermal Energy Study, a state effort to examine the potential of deep geothermal energy. This grant would fund field data acquisition, including a survey of water well temperature data and rock properties, which are cost-effective methods to begin the search for geothermal resources. A separate $25,000 grant would support Vermont Technical College’s plans to install a ground-source heat pump space heating and cooling system on the Randolph Center campus. Other proposals include:$50,000 for two solar hybrid-electric vehicle charging stations;$30,000 to fund continued research on the use of lake weeds as an energy source in biodigesters;$43,000 to improve the CVPS Renewable Energy Education Center on Route 7 in Rutland Town. The funds would be used to add web-based and on-site monitoring equipment that would allow viewers to see energy production of the solar and hydro facilities in real time, as well as wind speed from a test tower at the site. Drainage and walking path improvements would also be made;$15,000 for a Green Mountain College summer learning project to evaluate energy and environmental innovation as it pertains to customer engagement;$15,000 for the production of a GMC white paper on hyper-efficient electric devices, including plug-in vehicles; andA $15,000 grant to the Vermont Environmental Consortium to study the feasibility of a significant new solar project at the Elizabeth Copper Mine in Strafford. ‘Vermonters already enjoy one of the cleanest power supplies in the nation, with rates that are among the lowest in the Northeast,’ Costello said. ‘Through these studies and projects, we intend to support continued development of new renewable energy while providing seed funds to investigate promising new technologies.’
Second-year IMCA Sunoco Stock Car driver Hesston Shaw has been a regular at Longdale Speedway this season. (Photo by Gary Pigg, IMAGESx2)HENNESSEY, Okla. – Social media has helped Hesston Shaw follow who’s won what at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s for the past two years.He hopes to give his Facebook friends plenty to talk about this September.The Hennessey, Okla., driver makes his first trip to Boone Speedway to experience the motorsports event everybody’s been telling him about since he started racing an IMCA Sunoco Stock Car two years ago.“When I moved up to the Stock Cars, I ordered a new Jet from Johnny Saathoff and everybody was talking about Super Nationals,” said Shaw. “The last two years I’ve kept up with it on Facebook. It’s pretty much the biggest race I’ve ever heard of. There’s a lot of racing and I can’t wait to be part of it. I wish it was this weekend.”Shaw has been racing for nearly half of his 24 years. He started at the age of 12 in a pure stock class, moving up to the factory stocks, sportmods, pure stocks and ultimately the sanctioned Stock Cars.A nine-time feature winner in his rookie season, he’s won seven of 13 starts at Longdale Speedway so far this year and had a streak of six straight checkered flag runs.“I love the full-bodied cars. I’m not an open wheel kind of guy,” admitted Shaw, who also has a single outing this year at Outlaw Motor Speedway. “There are times you have to make sacrifices to do what you love and for me, that’s racing a Stock Car.”Making the Saturday night main event at Super Nationals is his first objective. Winning it, of course, would be the ultimate goal.“Hopefully we can make the big dance. If we can do that, I’ll scratch it in my book as a win,” Shaw said. “Regardless of how we do, we’ll load up at the end and say we had fun.”His father Harold owned and promoted Enid Motor Speedway before selling it to go racing with Shaw, and now helps Jackie Walters on the crew.Aton Engine and Clutch of Hennessey has backed Shaw since he started racing.Other sponsors include Daniel Construction and Choate Oilfield Services, also of Hennessey; CWS Wireline of Dover; and BB Machine and Dunsworth Machine, both of Enid.