PUC rejects GlobalFoundries’ bid to become independent utility

Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 6:29 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 18, 2022 at 10:18 AM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont regulators have rejected an attempt by GlobalFoundries to become its own self-managed utility.

The move would have allowed the chipmaker, one of the largest power users in the state, to bypass Green Mountain Power and buy electricity directly from the regional market. Company officials last year argued that their power rate for the plant in Essex Junction was about 80% higher than the company pays at its facilities in New York and it could do better going it alone.

But environmental groups, including the Conservation Law Foundation, opposed the move, saying the proposal contained no commitments to stick to the state’s climate reduction goals in the future and that the company will be buying energy produced from coal and oil.

The Vermont Public Utility Commission Thursday concluded they did not have the statutory authority to grant GF’s request to be removed from GMP’s service territory.

The Conservation Law Foundation called the decision a victory.

“If GlobalFoundries had been able to get that exemption, they would have been able to get electricity from fossil fuel sources, so their climate change pollution emissions very likely would have increased significantly,” said Chase Whiting of the Conservation Law Foundation.

In a statement, GlobalFoundries said, “We are disappointed with the decision and are now in the process of assessing the impact and next step.”

GlobalFoundries is GMP’s biggest customer, accounting for 8% of electric use in the state.

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