RUTLAND, VT -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 01/20/2012 -- Formalizing agreements related to the impending sale of Central Vermont Public Service and its merger with Green Mountain Power, GMP signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the City of Rutland to ensure a strong relationship and significant benefits for Rutland in the years ahead. The MOU settles the city's intervention in the state's review of the sale and merger proposal, and explicitly states the city's support for the merger.
Rutland City Mayor Christopher Louras and GMP President and CEO Mary Powell signed the MOU after the Rutland Board of Aldermen authorized its execution Thursday evening.
"Rutland will play a critical role in the future of the post-merger combined GMP/CVPS company, and the post-merger combined company should continue to play a prominent role in Rutland as well, much as CVPS has done," the parties said in the MOU, which will be filed with the Vermont Public Service Board.
The MOU lays out a series of commitments, which the parties will ask the PSB to incorporate as conditions to its pending approval of CVPS's sale to Gaz Métro Limited Partnership, GMP's parent company. Once that approval is received, the companies will merge into the new Green Mountain Power.
"This agreement solidifies commitments that have been made about jobs and the company's role in Rutland, but more importantly, it provides a foundation on which the new GMP and the City of Rutland will work together for the benefit of the city and region," Mayor Louras said. "We have had a long, fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship with CVPS, and I believe this MOU will mark the beginning of an equally positive relationship with the new GMP."
"The agreement represents a true partnership with the city and we look forward to exploring a range of new opportunities for Rutland," Powell said. "We are also very pleased that Rutland recognizes the tremendous value of the merger for Vermonters, with at least $144 million in customer savings over the first 10 years."
GMP affirmed its commitment to refrain from layoffs or mandatory relocations of employees, as well as to maintain proportional levels of its employee base headquartered in the Rutland area, which was critical to city leaders. GMP and the City will jointly pursue efforts to create opportunities, develop partnerships and attract new businesses to add additional jobs in the Rutland area, exclusive of GMP.
The new GMP will locate its Headquarters for Operations and Energy Innovation Center in Rutland or Rutland Town. The Energy Innovation Center will be a catalyst for innovative programs related to renewable energy, efficiency, customer service options, smart grid technology, and new product offerings. This could include significant new partnerships with state and federal entities, local schools and colleges, renewable energy companies and others.
GMP will also:
- Begin a collaborative, stakeholder-based engagement process immediately upon closing of the merger, or sooner, to identify a suitable location for construction or redevelopment of a new facility in downtown Rutland;
- Establish a solar city program in the Rutland area, resulting in Rutland County becoming the leading solar generation center in Vermont;
- Create a $100,000 "Open for Business Fund" at the Rutland Downtown Partnership and a $100,000 "Green Growth Fund" at the Rutland Economic Development Corp.;
- Continue CVPS's historic level of leadership and participation in the community.