Hydro Success Story Bill Scully Shares Secrets in Barton on October 29, 2014 at 1:00 pm
Bill Scully’s life changed one Christmas about 7 years ago when listening to the radio. An NPR story about Vermont’s potential for hydro-power caught his attention and changed his life’s path.
The NPR story indicated that there were many times more potential hydroelectric plants in Vermont than actually existed. Vermont could play a much more positive role in providing this renewable energy and helping global environmental problems than it was doing, he heard. Mr. Scully began asking himself why he wasn’t driving an electric vehicle? Why wasn’t he….? Why couldn’t….?
And then and there he decided he would be on the side of the energy solutions rather than the problems. He would be part of the change that he sought. So he formed his company, Carbon Zero, and purchased an old Vermont Tissue Paper Mill in North Bennington in 2008 which included a 200 year old dam. That dam has about 13.7 feet of ‘head power’ which can be used to generate electricity for about 220 homes and his own businesses which includes restraunts and a store.
Mr. Scully proceeded to pursue the difficult job of securing State and Federal permits to pursue his hydro dream—a job which at least one Barton citizen, a former owner of E.M.Brown’s, admitted to giving up on because of the red tape and expense entailed. It took Mr. Scully four years, but last year he secured his hard sought prize.
Anne Margolis, Vermont Renewable Energy Development Manager in the Vermont Public Service Department, identified Mr. Scully as a good model for Barton last summer when she came to Barton for a site visit and helpful talk about the hydro permitting process. Other State officials joining her, Rod Wentworth and Jeff Crocker from ANR and Scott Dillon from Historic Preservation, also contributed good information about the process and the roles that their agencies play in hydro permitting and development. Other representatives like Representatives Vicki Strong and Sam Young attended this workshop as well as Jenny Nelson, staff assistant to Senator Sanders.
After a site visit to the Brick Kingdom followed by a talk in a locartion to be announced (probably the Senior Center of Memorial Hall), Mr. Scully will head South and share his hydro expertise with Dr. Ben Luce and students and faculty in the sustainability studies at Lyndon State College at 3:00-4:00 pm. Look for more information in newspapers, flyers, and on this website.
The MPG is providing funding to secure Mr. Scully’s presence in Barton and at Lyndon State which is assisting Barton’s hydro review. These meetings both in Barton and at Lyndon State are free and open to the public.
Here is a video tour of the Bennington facility…
To listen to the 3:11 min. VPR story by Susan Keese of Bill Scully and his company Carbon Zero aired last year, listen to:
and for more information/history: