BigWind actively ‘pursuing prey’ in Ohio

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On Tuesday, Senator Kris Jordan introduced Senate Bill 325 to “To repeal the requirement that electric distribution utilities and electric services companies provide 12.5% of their retail power supplies from qualifying renewable energy resources by 2027, to repeal energy efficiency and peak demand reduction requirements for electric distribution utilities, and to modify the topics included in the Energy Mandates Study Committee report.” Many of you will remember that Senator Jordan was our earliest and only supporter years ago when he traveled to Champaign County during the screening of the movie “Windfall”. Jordan’s bill is separate from the bill introduced by Senator Seitz which would continue the renewable mandate freeze for several more years.

In Logan County, the Commissioners have announced a hearing on EverPower’s request for tax abatement through the PILOT program. The hearing will be held on May 17th at 4:00 in the Holland Theater. The Bellefontaine Examiner newspaper report below contains a link to EverPower’s application filed with the Ohio Development Services Agency. It is notable that much of the application is incomplete. It strikes us that an incomplete application makes comprehensive public comment impossible. We do not know when EverPower intends to submit the missing information but can’t imagine any public official approving tax abatement without full understanding of EverPower’s plan.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, Fight the Wind, the mighty Logan County wind warriors, have taken aggressive action. They have placed a full page ad in the paper in opposition; put up a billboard and sent out a communication to the community. The Scioto Ridge project is proposed for Hardin County as well as two townships in Logan County. The hearing will only address that part of the project which is planned for Logan County. Each County must separately grant tax abatement and the actions of one county do not affect the other county.

In nearby Allen County, there will be a hearing TOMORROW, May 5th at 4:00 PM at the Allen Economic Development Group office located at 144 S Main St, Suite 200, in Lima. This hearing will consider a request from the Apex Long Prairie project to the Allen County Port Authority to run transmission lines along rail lines to facilitate delivery of power into the grid through the village of Spencerville. Immediately following the petition is the Apex outreach to citizens soliciting support from Van Wert citizens. Apex is an aggressive and determined wind developer based in Charlottesville, Virginia. We will be seeing a lot of them in Ohio.

Meanwhile, chaos seems to be the best way to describe what is happening in Ohio’s regulated utility world. Following the PUCO’s approval of plans by AEP and First Energy to build renewable energy and to receive an income guarantee for coal-fired plants that are being phased, PUCO Chairman Porter handed in his resignation saying he has accepted a position with an unnamed out of state company. Simultaneously, the federal regulators at FERC said they would not support the plan and would take a closer look at it. At this point AEP withdrew its proposal fearing that delays in their commitment to build 500 MW of wind would be at risk of losing the federal tax credits. Apparently AEP still intends to build the wind projects but it is not a sure thing. The location of AEP’s wind facilities has not been disclosed – if they know….

The road to American electrical blackouts is paved with wind turbines

Even though this article was written in April of 2014, it is still incredibly pertinent today.  This administration is heavily pushing renewable energy on the American citizen, through EPA rules and regulations- spoken about just last week by our President. Congress is, again, considering the renewal of the Wind Production Tax Credit.  The assaults on our energy grid are endless. Please educate yourselves and share your knowledge with friends and your legislators. We must now allow this to happen.  We do not want to someday say, “I told you so!”….

Last winter, bitterly cold weather placed massive stress on the US electrical system ― and the system almost broke. On January 7 in the midst of the polar vortex, PJM Interconnection, the Regional Transmission Organization serving the heart of America from New Jersey to Illinois, experienced a new all-time peak winter load of almost 142,000 megawatts.

Eight of the top ten of PJM’s all-time winter peaks occurred in January 2014. Heroic efforts by grid operators saved large parts of the nation’s heartland from blackouts during record-cold temperature days. Nicholas Akins, CEO of American Electric Power, stated in Congressional testimony, “This country did not just dodge a bullet ― we dodged a cannon ball.”

Environmental policies established by Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are moving us toward electrical grid failure. The capacity reserve margin for hot or cold weather events is shrinking in many regions.

What industry pays customers to take its product? The answer is the U.S. wind industry. Wind-generated electricity is typically bid in electrical wholesale markets at negative prices. But how can wind systems operate at negative prices?

The answer is that the vast majority of U.S. wind systems receive a federal production tax credit (PTC) of up to 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for produced electricity. Some states add an additional credit, such as Iowa, which provides a corporate tax credit of 1.5 cents per kw-hr. So wind operators can supply electricity at a pre-tax price of a negative 3 or 4 cents per kw-hr and still make an after-tax profit from subsidies, courtesy of the taxpayer….

Capacity shortages are beginning to appear. A reserve margin deficit of two gigawatts is projected for the summer of 2016 for the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), serving the northern plains states. Reserve shortages are also projected for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) by as early as this summer.

The United States has the finest electricity system in the world, with prices half those of Europe. But this system is under attack from foolish energy policies. Coal-fired power plants are closing, unable to meet EPA environmental guidelines. Nuclear plants are aging and beset by mounting losses, driven by negative pricing from subsidized wind systems. Without a return to sensible energy policies, prepare for higher prices and electrical grid failures.

Americas power grid at the limit: The road to electrical blackouts | The Daily Caller.

Ohio Utility To Increase Renewable Surcharge By 390 Percent!

We have received word that Kim Wissman, Director of the Ohio Power Siting Board was terminated.   Many of us remember years ago when Ms. Wissman came to Urbana to address the community and stated flatly that unless we had wind power, the lights would no longer come on when we flipped the switch.  Everyone now knows this to be false. 

 Hearings will resume on Tuesday in the House Public Utilities Committee and there is a possibility of a vote on Wednesday.  We pray for swift passage. The advocates for keeping energy efficiency mandates have repeatedly talked about all the cost savings being enjoyed.  Little did they know that on Friday, AEP filed a rate increase to cover the energy efficiency costs. “Just yesterday, AEP-Ohio filed for new rate increases with the PUCO to comply with the energy efficiency mandate. Come August, AEP-Ohio residential customers will see a 115 percent increase in their mandate surcharge and large electric users will see a whopping 391.6 percent increase in their efficiency surcharge.”  It is clearly evident that, Chris Pandoni, author of the article below, is someone that you don’t want to cross!…

 …But let’s leave the realm of the hypothetical. Munson states, “that utilities admit the clean energy standards are saving money. In filings to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio PUCO, the power companies admit energy efficiency programs alone have netted Ohio consumers more than $1 billion in savings to date, and will result in more than $4.1 billion in savings over the program’s life.” It is true that utilities are required to report these numbers to the PUCO. It is also true that utilities are required to use the “total resource cost” model. Under other models, like the “ratepayer impact test” or the “participant test,” the “benefits” of the energy efficiency mandate are much less impressive.

Today Ohioans are paying substantial amounts of money for benefits that may or may not materialize. Duke’s surcharge for the electric usage reduction mandate is increasing by huge percentages: 45% for residential and 25% for all other customers.

And Duke isn’t alone. Just yesterday, AEP-Ohio filed for new rate increases with the PUCO to comply with the energy efficiency mandate. Come August, AEP-Ohio residential customers will see a 115 percent increase in their mandate surcharge and large electric users will see a whopping 391.6 percent increase in their efficiency surcharge. So while Munson quotes AEP higher-ups speaking in generalities about the merits of energy efficiency, their customers might think differently.

One of the first iterations of SB 310 allowed customers to opt-out of the energy efficiency program if the mandate caused costs to increase by more than three percent. If the mandate’s benefits are so self-evident, why did opponents force legislators to strip this provision from the final bill? Furthermore, if ratepayer electricity fees yield such huge returns, why is a law required to force these investments…

via Ohio Utility To Increase Efficiency Surcharge By 390 Percent.