Mad dashes, mad men, mad money—its a mad world!! Loads and loads of news this week. Important Ohio news is presented but the big picture news is a focus this week as well. It is important to understand the big picture and context in which each local battle is being waged. The upcoming elections at national, state and local levels will shape the future direction of energy development. Left-wing environmentalists (mad men) have billions of dollars (mad money) invested in the fight and many angry Ohioans are seeing the effects in their own backyards. Developers are madly dashing to secure 100% funding from the Production Tax Credit (more mad money!) but as a back-up, they hope to retake the US House of Representatives and EXTEND the PTC for wind. Stay informed!
Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee
Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof has appointed Senator Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and State Senator Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) to the Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee. The committee is charged with studying the features, benefits and challenges of establishing regional economic development alliances and partnerships between Ohio communities. Senator McColley has worked hard to address the concerns of NW Ohio residents who face the threat of industrial wind development. Senator Hottinger represents an area where one of Amazon’s data centers is located. Amazon is seeking to power their data centers with renewable energy.
The study committee is composed of 17 members: three members of the Ohio Senate; three members of the Ohio House; the Governor or their designee; two representatives of academia; two economic development professionals; the chairperson of the Regional Prosperity Initiative or their designee; the president of the Ohio Association of Regional Councils or their designee; and three persons appointed by the Governor based on recommendations from an Ohio-based advocacy group, an Ohio-based foundation and a metropolitan planning organization. The study committee is to complete a report for the Governor by August 1, 2019.
Update on Van Wert county blade failure
After several weeks have passed since the failure, Rep. Bill Seitz inquired about the status of the investigation and findings of the Ohio Power Siting Board relative to the incident. It appears they knew nothing about it and the developer may not have reported it. The OPSB is now alerted and promises to make a report to Rep. Seitz as soon as possible.
Seneca County Poll Confirms Public Rejection of Industrial Wind
A new poll of more than 1,000 Tiffin area residents found that 75.84% of Seneca County residents oppose the area’s proposed wind projects, while 21.67% support and approximately 2.5% said they’re unsure/don’t know how they feel on the issue. The poll breaks down respondents by varies classifications and it is clearly not a partisan issue. In the meantime, residents with Good Neighbor Agreements up for renewal claim the developer will not release them if they do not want to renew. The developer claims the projects are “under construction”. Seneca County folks who signed setback waivers (aka Good Neighbor Agreements) should remember that the OPSB was charged with establishing a rule for waivers but they never did. Are the waivers enforceable? Against this backdrop, the State of Ohio has announced Seneca Wind qualified to receive PILOT under the terms of the local AEZ….see article link below
“Fake” Conservatives for a Clean Energy Future honors Champions of Clean Energy
CCE has applauded three Ohio lawmakers as “champions” of clean energy. Sen. Matt Dolan, (R-Chagrin Falls), Rep. Rick Carfagna (R-Westerville), and Rep. Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) are among elected officials receiving the group’s praise. Jon Cross, Republican candidate for the 83rd House District, was also honored. Mark Pischea, the group’s president, called each “vocal supporter(s) of conservative energy policy solutions that emphasize clean, renewable energy and energy waste reduction. It’s polices like these that spark true innovation, create jobs, protect ratepayers and grow the economy in states like Ohio.” Given the Seneca County Poll maybe these elected officials should decline to accept the awards. Do YOU reside in any of their districts? Have you shared YOUR opinion with them??
Lake Erie Icebreaker Project Blasted by Boaters
Boating Associations of Ohio and the Michigan Boating Industry Association, along with environmental and fishing groups, are blitzing members of the Ohio Power Siting Board with petitions from hundreds of boaters in both states ahead of a closed meeting Monday, Sept. 24 in Columbus, Ohio. The article below notes “More specifically to boating and fishing interests, the turbine installations are expected to trigger large security zones similar to those around Great Lakes power plants. This will prohibit thousands of boating and fishing families from accessing large areas of the very waters held in the public trust. That alone should be unacceptable to the Ohio Power Siting Board, not to mention protecting the health and aesthetics of the state’s most important natural resource.” This is a must read. See the link to article below
The Sierra Club and Columbus are getting Ready for 100% renewable energy
The Sierra Club is working with Columbus on a campaign establish a path to 100 percent renewable energy in the city and how to attain that goal in the next 30+ years. While they ramp up to launching their campaign, the Ready for 100 team will be adding updates to their Facebook page. What’s not to “like”? NW Ohio should be forewarned that Columbus is on the march!
BIG GREEN powered by billions of left wingers and maybe a few Russians
Recharge reports “Ten liberal foundations gave $3.7 billion to environmental groups and causes over eight years….”Foundations have promised $3 billion more to “reduce the rate of global warming.” Major foundations handed nearly $4 billion to global warming activists, anti-fossil fuel campaigners and other environmentalists over the past eight years, according to a database debuted Monday by the Institute for Energy Research. IER president Tom Pyle said the vast web of funding detailed by Big Green, Inc. shatters the notion environmentalists are locked in a David versus Goliath-like struggle against energy companies. “The truth is the environmental left is a deep-pocketed and powerful force in American politics that is working to stop all natural gas, oil, and coal production in the United States.” Meanwhile, Congressman Devin Nunes, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee might have found Russian collusion.
New Gas Plant in Ohio will produces 1,182 MW of reliable power
South Field Energy LLC will build a $1.3 billion combined-cycle energy plant in Columbiana County, Ohio. The 1,182-megawatt facility WILL (unlike BigWind) be able to power a million homes. This story notes “Owners and developers of power plants and other energy-generating facilities are increasingly trying to find ways to provide enough power to their customers… The 53 natural gas projects, however, created more installed capacity in megawatts than all the others combined.”
Everyone should read this article from American Thinker: Wind and Solar Good For Nothing
“Wind or solar is an appendage to the electrical grid rather than an essential part of the system. If all the wind or solar vanished, the grid would continue operation without the slightest problem, because the grid has to be able handle the load without wind or solar. Thus, wind or solar does not reduce capital investment for traditional generating plants. You may read in the press that coal plants have been replaced by wind or solar. That is never true.”
Federal Clean Power Plan Scrapped and Affordable Clean Energy Plan (“ACE”) Developed
Renewable advocates are furious that states will be given more authority to establish their own air quality program fearing that older coal plants would be able to continue to operate if they still have a useful life. Ohio Energy Policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council Dan Sawmiller adds that clean and renewable energy sources will be the losers should ACE be approved, as the proposed rule pits certain power plants against others. Boo hoo.
Production Tax Credit Race Nearing the Finish
Recharge Reports “After stockpiling gigawatts of wind turbines in 2016 to qualify projects for 100% production tax credit (PTC) value, US developers may have begun to lose a race against the clock if they want to have all of them in commercial operation as federal law requires by the end of 2020. Without full-value PTC – an inflation-adjusted $24/MWh for electric power sent to the grid for the initial 10 years – many projects would not make economic sense and by extension, not obtain financing. “
Corporate demand for wind power keeping wind developers in business.
Recharge reports “As US wind developers look to make maximum use of the fading production tax credit (PTC), one of the biggest questions has been whether there would be enough off-takers for all their proposed projects. Any such concerns seem increasingly quaint. This year is proving to be a blowout for US wind power-purchase agreements (PPAs), with more than 5GW signed in the first half — a 44% increase compared to the same period in 2017 — the highest level since the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) began tracking PPA activity.”
Operating Expense is starting to surpass the Capital Expense of Wind portending a possible slowdown in new developments. (Recharge-Wind OpEx will soon eclipse CapEx in North America: IHS Markit)
“By 2021 more money will be spent maintaining existing North American wind farms than building new ones, according to market researcher IHS Markit. Each year the existing base of wind farms expands, regardless of how many new projects get built, fueling the ever-expanding global wind operations and maintenance (O&M) market. ….“The transition from CapEx to OpEx is significant, and the wind industry will need to shift its focus away from infrastructure build and toward providing services and minimizing costs at existing projects,” says Maxwell Cohen, associate director at IHS Markit. The shift has big implications not only for owners of wind farms, but also for turbine manufacturers – most of whom have put a far greater emphasis on O&M revenue in recent years.”