Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Congressman Peter Welch (D) today announced a new report detailing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s impact on Vermont’s clean energy economy.The report, compiled by the Department of Energy, outlines the nearly $140 million worth of ARRA projects the state has benefited from, including local energy efficiency grants, statewide implementation of smart grid technologies and investments in energy-related businesses.‘This report shows that the Recovery Act is creating jobs in Vermont, upgrading the state’s energy infrastructure and laying the groundwork for future economic development,’ Leahy, Sanders and Welch said.Included in the report are the formula-based and competitive grants and tax credits Vermont institutions have received, including:· $16.8 million in Weatherization Assistance Program funds to weatherize 1,600 homes for low-income families.· $9.1 million to support the development of an electric battery production facilities at SBE, Inc. in Barre.· $11.8 million in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funds to implement local energy efficiency programs.· $68.9 million in Smart Grid Investment Grant Program funds.· $11.9 million in clean energy manufacturing tax credits for GE Aviation in RutlandNotable Vermont Formula GrantsThe Vermont Department of Public Service has been granted $22.0 million in State Energy Program funds to expand the size and scope of the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF).The State of Vermont has been granted $16.8 million in Weatherization Assistance Program funds to scale-up existing weatherization efforts in the state, creating jobs, reducing carbon emissions, and saving money for Vermont’s low-income families. Over the course of the Recovery Act, Vermont expects to weatherize more than 1,600 homes. The program also includes workforce training and education as part of the state’s efforts to develop a green workforce.Twenty-two communities in Vermont were granted a total of $11.8 million for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) to develop, promote, implement, and manage local energy efficiency programs.The Vermont Department of Public Service has been granted $596,000 for the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, which offers consumer rebates for purchasing certain ENERGY STAR® appliances. These energy efficient appliances reduce energy use and save money for families, while helping the environment and supporting the local economy.Notable Vermont competitive grants or tax credits Source: Vermont congressional delegation. 9.16.2010 Vermont Transco LLC in Rutland has been awarded $68.9 million under the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program to expand the deployment of Vermont smart meters, implement customer systems, secure control systems for substations and generation facilities, and automate the electric distribution and transmission system grids.GE Aviation in Rutland has been awarded a clean energy manufacturing tax credit for $11.9 million to purchase machinery and equipment that will be used to manufacture the new GEnx aircraft engine.SBE, Inc. in Barre has been awarded $9.1 million to support the outfitting of a high-volume manufacturing facility to build DC Bus Capacitors for the electric drive vehicle industry.The City of Montpelier has been awarded $8 million for the installation of a 41 MMBtu combined heat and power district energy system fueled with locally sourced, renewable, and sustainably-harvested wood chips.Click here to read the full report.
By Taciana Moury / Diálogo January 17, 2020 The technology safeguards agreement allows for the launch of rockets and satellites that use U.S. technology out of the Brazilian base.Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed a technology safeguards agreement (TSA) with the United States, during a visit to U.S. President Donald Trump in March 2019. On November 20, the Brazilian House of Representatives and the Senate ratified the agreement, which allows for the commercial use of the Alcântara Launch Center (CLA, in Portuguese).The TSA represents a commitment between countries to guarantee the protection of their technologies and patents against unauthorized use or copy. This commitment is customary among countries that operate space launch centers.According to Brazilian Air Force (FAB, in Portuguese) General Carlos de Almeida Baptista Júnior, Chief of Joint Operations of the Ministry of Defense (MD, in Portuguese), TSA is the required step to get U.S. approval for the launch out of CLA of rockets and satellites from Brazil and other countries that use or transport U.S. equipment or systems.“Considering that the majority of rocket launchers and satellites have systems or components from the United States, the importance of the TSA is clear to enable commercial operations at CLA,” said Gen. Baptista Júnior. TSA doesn’t grant permission to launch missiles or weapons, it only handles matters of peaceful purposes.The technology safeguards agreement will boosts Brazil’s entry into the global space industry. (Photo: FAB Technical Sergeant Johnson Barros)The Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations, and Communications (MCTIC, in Portuguese) issued a press release to highlight the commercial benefits of Brazil’s inclusion in the global space industry. “The sector has been continuously growing and it will increase from the current $350 billion a year to reach $1 trillion a year by 2040. Brazil can join this market, even with the conservative business goal of occupying 1 percent of the global space volume ($10 billion a year, from 2040),” said MCTIC.According to MCTIC, the commercial use of CLA will benefit surrounding areas and the local population through the immediate boost in social and economic development. “This is an important step for the development of the Brazilian Space Program, in the Alcântara region and in Brazil, attracting more investments, the development of a high added value supply chain, the promotion of economic activities to support launching services, the boost of the service sector, including tourism, and the increase of taxes collected in that region of the country.”OperationalizationGen. Baptista Júnior said that the commercial launches that took place at the center, with the participation of foreign governments or companies, won’t impact operations at CLA by FAB, which controls the center. “The TSA doesn’t imply the permanent use of CLA by the U.S. government. What will happen is that foreign companies will coordinate the use of some areas of the center to conduct activities in preparation for launches,” he said.MD’s chief of Joint Operations said that the commercial use of CLA doesn’t affect Brazil’s strategic safety. “The presence of foreign experts at CLA will take place only during short periods, limited to launching campaigns. In addition, they will follow safety procedures as prescribed by the TSA and the national regulations for the entry of foreign experts in Brazilian military organizations.”The next steps following the enactment of the TSA will be to finalize the bill for space activities and to define the business model for future commercial agreements with companies interested in conducting space activities out of Alcântara.