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CVPS and GMP file merger petition with Public Service Board

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corporation (GMP) and Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) today filed a petition with the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) for the planned acquisition of CVPS by Gaz Métro Limited Partnership (Gaz Métro) and the merger of GMP and CVPS into one, stronger utility. Gaz Métro, GMP and CVPS announced in July the acquisition and the agreement to merge that provides significant benefits for customers, community, employees and shareholders, including a commitment to $144 million in customer savings over 10 years, a public ownership interest in VELCO, and the establishment of the Headquarters for Operations and Energy Innovation in Rutland.”Today’s filing with the PSB represents an important step in the process of combining two great Vermont companies,” said Mary Powell, President and CEO of GMP and Larry Reilly, President and CEO of CVPS. “CVPS and GMP have a long history of bringing affordable, clean and reliable power to our customers. This combination is a unique opportunity that will allow us to deliver lower rates and higher quality service than if the companies continued to operate as stand-alone entities — while maintaining the strong local bonds that set Vermont utilities apart.”The combination of CVPS and GMP will produce $144 million in customer savings over the next decade. The merger will generate permanent cost reductions and customer savings will grow to as much as $500 million over a twenty-year period. Due to the commitment to no layoffs, as well as the complexity of the integration, the full realization of annualized savings will take six years to achieve. During that time, the new combined company would share in anticipated savings while ensuring that customers receive $144 million of cumulative benefit over the first 10 years.The agreement also includes other benefits in addition to customer savings. The new combined company will transfer 33% of the voting shares in VELCO, Vermont’s transmission utility, to a new public benefit entity, which will diminish the new combined company’s voting control of VELCO to less than 50%. The new public entity will provide $1 million annually — largely generated by dividend from the VELCO stock — to support a low-income rate program.The Rutland region will remain part of the new utility’s corporate identity, with the merged company locating its Headquarters for Operations and Energy Innovation in Rutland. There will be no layoffs, other than some executive officer positions due to the consolidation, nor mandatory relocation of employees. Additional benefits for the Rutland region include the establishment of a new downtown facility, $200,000 for regional economic development and support for the downtown, and new “Solar City” program in Rutland. Finally, the new, combined entity will build on CVPS’s extensive community support efforts that are already underway.The combined utility will also deliver even better service to customers in a number of ways. For example, a more contiguous service area will aid in storm recovery as resources can be deployed more uniformly than is possible today and crews from the separate utilities will no longer have to travel across the other company’s service territory to work in a district.The PSB will establish a schedule for the regulatory proceedings. The full petition can be downloaded at http://www.greenmountainpower.com/about/gmpcvpsmerger.html(link is external).This press release is for informational purposes only. Statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes or results to materially differ from those expressed in this release. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements and such statements speak only as of the date of this release. MONTPELIER, VT–(Marketwire – September 02, 2011)last_img read more

Assistant rowing coach embarks on trans-Pacific journey

first_imgMost of us have grand ambitions. Few of us actually strive to achieve them.Megan Biging, an assistant coach on the women’s rowing team, is not simply talking the talk when it comes to lavish dreams — she’s walking the walk. Biging and her partner, Vicki Otmani, will attempt to become the first North American pair to complete the Great Pacific Race, a 2,400-mile journey from Monterey, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii, that will take anywhere from 30-80 days.To question their dedication would be an insult. The pair will make no money off the race, with all funds going toward covering the cost of equipment and all excess proceeds being donated to Ocean Conservancy, a charity that fights against ocean contamination.“I don’t get anything personally out of this except for the excitement and happiness and experience and pride, and hopefully the ability to inspire other people,” Biging said.Sitting in her office in Heritage Hall, Biging is surprisingly calm for a person about to embark on an arduous and potentially dangerous journey across an entire body of water, spending months on end in the open sea.“I feel like rowers in general are so mentally tough and strong that we’re able to push ourselves beyond limits that other people might not be able to,” Biging said.Though neither she nor her partner have rowed across an ocean, Biging has a variety of experience in the sport. She began rowing in her junior year of high school at a local club in Marina del Rey and was recruited by USC to row collegiately. She spent all four years on rowing team, serving as a team captain before rowing competitively in Philadelphia for a couple of years. But a slew of injuries cut her career short, and she returned to coach at USC, where she is in her fifth year as an assistant.“The biggest thing I like about coaching is being able to bring out the best in people that maybe they don’t see or they don’t believe in themselves, so trying to work with them to bring out the best they could possibly be,” Biging said.The same can be said about her ambitious goal. Biging got on board with Otmani for the race just about a year ago, and as the months turn into weeks, and the weeks into days — she leaves on May 15 to prepare for the race, which begins on June 4 — the nerves are kicking it.“The mental [aspect] didn’t scare me initially,” Biging said. “As I’m getting closer, the gravity of being in the middle of the ocean for two months is starting to get to me, but I feel I’ll be able to mentally handle it.”It will be challenging mentally, emotionally and physically, testing the limits of “survival mode.” The rules stipulate that the competitors have no assistance: no engines, no sails, no safety boat. Part of the description on the race’s website reads, “This extreme adventure is not for the faint hearted and the size of the challenge should not be underestimated.”All of the pair’s food will come in the form of pre-packed, dehydrated meals, nuts and fruit.“Nothing too tasty,” Biging said.The pair will depend on a desalinator — which cleans out salt and waste from ocean water that can be turned into fresh water — for drinking water.To add to the challenges, competitors will be in solitude for a majority of the trip.“We’ll all start at the same time, but just the way things work you drift apart so quickly that within the first day or so we won’t see anyone for the rest of the time,” Biging said.Sleep will be a challenge, since any time not spent rowing is time lost. The pair, whose goal is to finish in close to 60 days with an average speed of 40 miles per hour, plans to alternate the rowing responsibilities — two hours on, two hours off.Biging, who typically gets eight hours of sleep a night, admits it will be a challenge to alter her body clock both to the tune of the open sea and when she arrives in Hawaii.“It’ll be just as difficult re-assimilating into normal life as we know it because I’ll have gotten into this meditative, calm, simple, survival mode,” Biging said.They will have access to a satellite phone that they can use to call for help along with a GPS system. Additionally, they will be able to update Twitter and their blog.Nevertheless, the experience appears daunting. Though, it helps that their boat, the Sedna, was previously owned by Roz Savage, a renowned English rower who has crossed the Atlantic and Indian Oceans along with the Pacific.“It has a good history behind it,” Biging said.Storms are inevitable in the open sea, but Biging is confident in the Sedna’s protection.“I’m not as worried about [a storm],” Biging said. “I’m worried about the progress that we won’t get when we’re in a storm because it will be throwing us around. The way the boat’s built, we can hole ourselves up in the cabin and just bob around until it’s over.”Reaching Hawaii at the conclusion of the journey will be a symbolic one for Biging, who will no longer be coaching at USC. Her next step after the race is up in the air.“I really 100 percent don’t know,” Biging said about her plans for the future. “I won’t have a job. It will be a restarting moment of my life. This whole journey has turned into a, ‘Find yourself and get it together kind of trip.’ So I don’t know. We’ll see.”Biging agrees with the assessment that this will be a cornerstone moment in her life. But amid all that is at stake — the preparation, the mental, physical and emotional toll, the uncertainty that awaits on the other side — the hard work will pay off.“No amount of pain or agony or challenge is more significant than the glory at the end of all this,” Biging said. “It all becomes worth it.”last_img read more