Utilities, governor hail PSB approval of Hydro-Québec agreement

first_imgVermont Governor Peter Shumlin and utility leaders today hailed the Public Service Board’s approval of a 26-year contract with Hydro-Québec, a key element of Vermont’s energy future.‘I am glad that the Public Service Board approved this agreement for clean, reliable, and favorably priced power for Vermonters,’ Gov. Shumlin said.  ‘Hydro-Québec has been an important partner in Vermont for many years, and will continue to be a key player in Vermont’s energy future.’ The PSB order, issued late Friday, is the culmination of a more than a year-long process that began with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Central Vermont Public Service (NYSE-CV), Green Mountain Power and Hydro-Québec in March 2010.  The MOU led to a contract last August, now approved by the PSB, which will benefit not only CVPS and GMP customers, but people across Vermont. ‘We are very pleased that the Public Service Board has validated our belief that this will be a very favorable contract for Vermont,’ CVPS President Larry Reilly and GMP President Mary Powell said in a joint statement.  ‘This approval ensures a large, clean, renewable baseload energy source in our portfolios that will be competitively priced and reliable.’ The PSB concurred.  ‘The proposed HQ (agreement) would provide a number of benefits to the Vermont utilities and their ratepayers,’ the board said.  ‘First, over the term of the contract the price of power is expected to be competitive with or favorable to market prices, and is less expensive than currently available sources of power with similar characteristics. Second, the price for this power is expected to be more stable than purely market-based purchases due to the formula for determining its future price. ‘This formula is based not only on market prices for power but also on inflation, and includes a buffering feature that limits year-to-year price fluctuations,’ the board said. ‘Third, the Vermont utilities will receive environmental attributes associated with the energy delivered by HQUS into the New England market in an amount matching the Vermont utilities’ purchases under the HQ PPA and reflecting at least 90 percent hydroelectricity, which Vermont law recognizes as renewable.’ Under the agreement, Vermont will purchase up to 225 megawatts of energy starting in November 2012 and ending in 2038. Hydro-Québec’s generating fleet is 98 percent hydroelectric. The agreement includes a price-smoothing mechanism that will shield customers from volatile market prices. The price will start at approximately 5.8 cents per kilowatt-hour.  Vermont has purchased energy from Quebec for decades. In the early 1980s, the first longer-term power deals were established.  The current Vermont-Hydro-Québec contract, which was signed on Dec. 4, 1987, phases out largely in 2016. The current contract has proven to be a sound agreement for Vermont, helping GMP and CVPS maintain clean portfolios and rates that are among the lowest in New England. The new energy contract was negotiated between CVPS, GMP and H.Q. Energy Services (U.S.) Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro-Québec. Other Vermont utilities that have confirmed their intent to purchase energy under this agreement are Vermont Public Power Supply Authority, Vermont Electric Cooperative Inc., Vermont Marble Power Division of Omya Industries Inc., the Town of Stowe Electric Department and the Burlington Electric Department.Soruce: CVPS, GMP. 4.18.2011last_img read more

IORP II to revise investment guidelines, introduce remuneration policies

first_imgA draft proposal seen by IPE in March previously listed requirements for schemes to produce risk evaluations immediately following any significant change in risk profile.In what will likely be perceived as a swipe against the Dutch and Irish pension systems, the Commission said the changes were necessitated by a “failure of certain funds” during the financial crisis, leading to reductions in benefits for members.“This has shown a need to strengthen governance provision,” the Commission said.In a detailed Q&A dossier, the Commission stressed that its proposals would seek to “ensure the soundness of occupational pensions” by laying down minimum governance standards and requiring all of the sector’s regulators to conduct stress tests.It said the revised directive would remove existing obstacles to cross-border provision so that funds and sponsors alike could “fully reap the benefits of the single market”, and that this would be accomplished by introducing a pension fund transfer procedure to facilitate the shift of funds between member states.“Innovative companies, raging from SMEs to multinationals, would be able to reduce staff costs through economies of scale, risk diversification and innovation,” the dossier added.Additionally, the revised Directive will overhaul investment rules across Europe, seeking to remove nationally legislated investment rules perceived as a barrier to “financing of growth in the real economy”, the Commission said.“The proposal would change the existing provisions on investment restrictions to make sure occupational pension funds remained free to invest in infrastructure [and] unrated loans,” the dossier said, “thus ensuring that investments, in particular with a long-term profile, should not be restricted if the restriction is not justified on prudential grounds.”The overhaul stands alongside Commission pledges to examine whether pension investment can be attracted to infrastructure loans by increasing the level of transparency in the market.In a move likely to be controversial, the Directive retained a requirement seen in several drafts for a uniform pension benefit statement.The Commission insisted the standardised approach would help members compare different schemes and assist pension providers, particularly where these operate cross-border.However, a number of countries – most notably the Netherlands and Denmark – have spent significant time and industry resources developing their own universal statements catered to national needs, which include online portals.The Commission said the statement would be a “first layer in a modern multi-layered approach to communication, with national specifities described more in depth in subsequent layers”. The revised IORP Directive will aim to modernise investment guidelines to foster long-term investment and improve cross-border activity by developing a framework for the transfer of benefits between member states, the European Commission has said.Publishing the long-awaited Directive – excluding the controversial pillar I solvency rules and instead focusing on governance, supervisory and disclosure requirements through pillars II and III of the legislation – the internal market commissioner Michel Barnier said the proposals would “further develop occupational pension funds as key long-term investors”.Barnier previously said the Directive would be “less regulation, more politics”, but he indicated that it would still fall to his successor to consider the introduction of solvency requirements for pension funds.The measures introduced include new governance requirements for internal audit, revised remuneration policies for pension funds to avoid conflicts of interest and a requirement for a self-assessment of fund risk – described as the Risk Evaluation for Pensions.last_img read more

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap (UEFA): Serbia, Iceland Secure Spots; Wales Suffer Heartbreak

first_imgGroup I:Ukraine 0-2 CroatiaIceland 2-0 KosovoFinland 2-2 TurkeyStandings:Iceland 22 points (Qualified)Croatia 20 points (Playoff)Ukraine 17 pointsTurkey 15 pointsFinland 9 pointsKosovo 1 point Group G:Albania 0-1 ItalyMacedonia 4-0 LiechtensteinIsrael 0-1 SpainStandings:Spain 28 points (Qualified)Italy 23 points (Playoff)Albania 13 pointsIsrael 12 pointsMacedonia 11 pointsLiechtenstein 0 point Serbia and minnows Iceland have become the latest teams to qualify for next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.Striker Aleksandar Prijovic of Greek club PAOK scored with 16 minutes remaining to give Serbia a priceless 1-0 win at home to Georgia. The result was enough for the team to book a place as Group D winners.In the battle for the playoffs in the group, a Bale-less Wales suffered heartbreak following a 1-0 home loss to rivals Republic of Ireland courtesy James McClean’s 57th minute strike. The result was enough for Republic of Ireland to seal a playoff spot.Iceland have also qualified as Group I winners after they defeated Kosovo 2-0 at home with goals from Everton star Gylfi Sigurdsson and his Burnley counterparts Johan Berg Gudmundsson. They will become the smallest nation to feature at a FIFA World Cup in Russia next year.In a winner takes all battle, Croatia defeated Ukraine 2-0 away from home to secure a playoff spot. TSG Hoffenheim forward Andrej Kramaric was the matchwinner for the Croats as he netted a brace to help his country into the playoff picture.ResultsGroup D:Serbia 1-0 GeorgiaMoldova 0-1 AustriaWales 0-1 Republic of IrelandStandings:Serbia 21 points (Qualified)Republic of Ireland 19 points (Playoff)Wales 17 pointsAustria 15 pointsGeorgia 5 pointsMoldova 2 pointscenter_img Related2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap (Europe): Former Winners Spain Book Russia SpotOctober 7, 2017In “FIFA”Denmark, Ireland World Cup Playoff Clash In The Balance After StalemateNovember 12, 2017In “FIFA”2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Review (UEFA): Poland Become Sixth European Nation In RussiaOctober 9, 2017In “FIFA”last_img read more