The New Year is staring off with gusto! A must watch video has been produced by the Seneca Anti-Wind Union coalition. Everyone – we mean everyone should watch this video, share it on your social media, send it to your friends and think about ways your community can activate your neighbors. Watch https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=pzg8qPOgI7s.
Next, educate yourselves about a memorandum filed with the PUCO by the Staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board in connection with Republic Wind in Seneca and Sandusky County. Last February Apex filed an application for Republic Wind. In May, the OPSB declared the application complete and ready for review. In December, Apex filed a motion to change the turbine models and alter the array resulting in all proposed turbines being put in new locations causing changes to access roads and collector lines. They also requested that the OPSB commence a hearing on the revised application in March, 90 days after submitting practically a whole new application. The OPSB staff rejected the request citing the customary 60-day window to determine whether the amended application is complete.
Staff sees no need to rush the process. Apex will ask the PUCO to overrule the OPSB staff.
If one visits the Apex Republic Wind website, https://www.republicwindenergy.com/ , this is how Apex characterizes it’s amended application and the push to cut short the time period for careful evaluation:
‘“Great news! After months of diligent work to gather feedback from the community, we have found a few opportunities to amend our proposed turbine layout for Republic Wind. We have been working with OPSB to update our permit application for the project with this new layout, which we believe will be even more amenable to the members of the Seneca County community as a whole. We are glad to report that we do not anticipate this shift to delay our project, even with our request to extend the OPSB review process. We want to thank everyone who provided feedback for helping us create an even stronger Republic Wind project.”
Pure spin! They call this significant amendment, an “update” and does their statement that they do not anticipate a delay mean they do not anticipate the PUCO will support the OPSB? Something to watch!
Next up is Invenergy’s Hardin Wind project. This project has not received opposition from the community. It was approved in 2010 under the old setback rules measured from the neighbor’s house and has been amended multiple times although it does not appear the OPSB ever required Invenergy to adhere to the new setbacks. According to the docket in the case, construction started in 2016. In order for Hardin Wind to secure 100% of the PTC, they would have to place the project in service within four years of commencing construction (2020). In 2017, the media reported that AEP would purchase the power from Hardin Wind for its subsidiary, Appalachian Power serving West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. But unbeknownst to us, the West Virginia Public Service Commission denied the AEP’s request to buy the output of Hardin Wind last April. The WV PSC said the cost of the power would impose an unnecessary increase in power bills and be a burden on taxpayers. WOW!
“Appalachian Power’s push into renewables suffered a setback in April when the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) denied the company’s proposed purchase of two wind farms, one in Greenbrier County and another in Ohio. The PSC ruling stated that construction costs would cause an unneeded increase in power bills and a burden on taxpayers. The PSC decision followed a similar decision made by Virginia regulators in April.
The company had proposed to buy the Beech Ridge II Wind Facility in Greenbrier County and the Hardin Wind Facility in Ohio for more than $86 million.
We are not certain if much construction has actually occurred in the Hardin Wind project and we wonder if it will go forward without a contracted entity that will buy the expensive power. Notwithstanding, it is interesting to look back to 2017 when AEP announced it would purchase the power from Hardin Wind, At the time, Invenergy spun the project this way: “Wind power’s declining costs and the extension of a federal tax credit “make the purchase of these wind facilities beneficial for customers, improve Appalachian’s fuel diversity, and increase the company’s flexibility to develop and offer renewable products for its customers,” Appalachian Power said in a statement.” Guess not…..
Trouble in Paradise China. “China has said it will not approve wind and solar power projects unless they can compete with coal power prices.”
It has now been determined that the US emitted more CO2 in 2018 despite less coal and more renewables. This is a very interesting article which shows that U.S. emissions reductions since 2007 were principally the result of the recession and lower energy use. As the economy recovers and industry expands, renewables cannot contribute to CO2 emission reductions. As increases in energy demand continue, more renewables are not the way to address emissions reduction…..
US 2018 CO2 emissions up despite less coal, more renewables
Research firm Rhodium Group reports the 3.4% increase was aided by the power sector with natural gas the main replacement for coal as electricity demand grew
By Richard A. Kessler in Fort Worth 09 January 2019Updated 09 January 2019
US CO2 emissions rose 3.4% in 2018, the largest increase in eight years, despite near-record coal plant closures and the addition of 7.9GW of wind and solar capacity through October, according to a preliminary estimate by research company Rhodium Group.
This compares with declines of 0.8% in 2017, 1.7% the prior year and 2.7% in 2015…
Total US emissions have generally declined since the Great Recession that began in 2007-08, in part because of lower electricity usage in the ensuing years but also from reduced carbon intensity of US energy supply as utilities switched from coal to natural gas and renewables…
Even though 14.3GW of coal capacity likely closed last year, the most since 14.7GW in 2015, additions of renewables fell far short of making up this shortfall as US electric power consumption surged year-on-year in a robust economy.…
That raises questions about to what extent renewables can replace coal generation next decade and by extension, contribute to CO2 emission reductions…