‘Hite’-Way Robbery amendment gives BigWind POWER in Ohio

“(Senator) Cliff Hite introduces amendment to grant private property to foreign corporations without the consent of the property owner, a land grant unequaled since the days of the railroad robber barons.” Kevon Martis, IICCUSA

Senator Cliff Hite has introduced an amendment to the budget bill returning setback measurements to a non-participating neighbor’s home rather than the property line.   He thinks sufficient protections are provided because he proposes an increase in setbacks from previous property line measurements from 1.1 times turbine height to 1.2 times the height.  Hite claims he is acting on behalf of his constituents who demand reduced setbacks.  He identifies his supporters as Hardin, Putnam, Seneca, Paulding and Fulton Counties.  It would be interesting to ask the County Commissioners in these counties – on the record – if they support the uncompensated seizure of private property.  Ironically, Van Wert commissioners and others have been on record disputing some of the outrageous claims from the BigWind supporters. See our April 20, 2017 post, “Ohio mayor shares the realities of BigWind in Van Wert, Ohio”.  We have blogged these in the past.  Are the Commissioners of these counties looking to profit from PILOT payments if more wind can be built in their counties?  Projects that are granted PILOT provide that a certain amount of money will be paid into the Commissioner’s discretionary fund each year.  This money can be used to give raises, buy trucks or do whatever the Commissioners want.  Persons in these counties are encouraged to ask their Commissioners if they have written letters of support for stealing land from the people they represent.  Remember, zoning is intended to separate incompatible land uses.  Measuring the setback of an industrial power plant (aka wind turbine) from a neighboring home rather than the neighbor’s property line destroys the protection of zoning and destroys property values too.  We call this HITE-WAY ROBBERY.

The Hite-Way Robbery Amendment  will now be considered for inclusion in the state budget.  We urge everyone to make their calls to the Senate Finance Committee members who will be making this decision in the coming week.  Supporters of property line measurement may also wish to call their State Rep. and urge them to oppose inclusion of the Amendment.  If the Hite-Way Robbery Amendment is put in the budget and adopted by the Senate, the mess will fall into the laps of the House members.  Those folks can either help you fight for your property rights now or they will have to fight for your rights later.  If the matter goes to the House later this month, a compromise may be negotiated where townships are given the power to decide whether setbacks are reduced or not. 

 

ACT NOW to prevent the Hite Amendment from being put into the Budget Bill!

 

A timely news report from a turbine failure in Oklahoma shows once again why protective setbacks from property lines are so important.   “The broken blade sits about 100 yards behind the wind turbine, crushing all of the corn that surrounds it. The cornfield belongs to Ken Carpenter, who declined to comment. Cleaning up the blade and wind turbine could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to two months, and will involve bringing a large crane near the field to take the blade off, McIntyre said.”

 

All readers are asked to call their House Representatives and Senators THIS WEEK to object to any amendment reducing property line setbacks.   IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU CALL THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE AND SENATE PRESIIDENT.   We recommend that you CALL THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE: 

 

Senate President Larry  Obhoff (614) 466-7505

Senate Finance Committee Chair Scott Oelslager (614) 466-0626

Senate Finance Vice Chair Gayle Manning  (614) 644-7613

Senator Troy Balderson (614) 466-8076

Senator Bill Beagle (614) 466-6247

 

Not sure what to say?   “I oppose any budget bill amendment to allow a wind developer to take my land.  Zoning begins at my property line not my front door.   Giving wind developers the right to trespass on my land strips away my property rights and will burden my family for generations.  THIS IS ‘HITE-WAY’ ROBBERY!”   

 

PLEASE MAKE YOUR CALLS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!    ASK YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS TO MAKE CALLS.   THE SENATE NEEDS TO HEAR FROM US.

 

A destroyed wind turbine blade now sits in the middle of a corn field about 10 miles east of Enid.

“We’ve never had a catastrophic blade failure like that,” said Jeff McIntyre, regional wind site manager of NextEra Energy…

The blade broke off the turbine sometime Wednesday night…,

“(We will) need to go through and assess the rest of the blades and make sure there’s not any exposure to the rest of the site, or any of the property around the site,” McIntyre said…

The broken blade sits about 100 yards behind the wind turbine, crushing all of the corn that surrounds it. The cornfield belongs to Ken Carpenter, who declined to comment.

 Cleaning up the blade and wind turbine could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to two months, and will involve bringing a large crane near the field to take the blade off, McIntyre said…

Source: Blade breaks off wind turbine east of Enid | News | enidnews.com

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4 windy states pull the rug out from under BigWind

It is time for BigWind to stand on its own 2 feet! Last week was a sad week for renewables. The four leading US wind states, Oklahoma, California, Texas and Iowa are all cutting back on subsidies for wind.  “The wind industry feels betrayed.” The Oklahoma Gov. wants to go a step further an impose a tax on wind while in Texas there is movement to get rid of 10 year PILOT payment/tax abatement programs. California’s issues concern land use because no one wants the turbines near them.  In Iowa, transmission needed to carry the power out of the state is facing regulatory hurdles.   The wind industry is doing their expected “woe is me” theatrics while “Industry opponents call such talk largely hot air, arguing that the federal $24/MWh production tax credit will enable developers to continue generating healthy profits for years to come as all projects under construction and many of those in their pipelines will have qualified for it. They contend that Oklahoma will continue to lure investment because of its world-class wind resource and lower corporate tax burden compared with many states.  The windies are blaming the oil and gas industry lobbyists for their “problems’. Will Ohio politicians pay attention to these realities and PROTECT our citizens from these problems? Don’t expect Ohio Senator Hite to care about these truths.  He supports BigWind, irregardless of the facts. Wave some cash in his district and he goes blind to the truth.  If you reside near him, would you please educate?…

A stinging political setback in Oklahoma and problems brewing elsewhere could short-circuit future wind industry growth, writes Richard A Kessler in Fort Worth…

10 May 2017

Back in November, the US wind sector could never have imagined that four of its leading wind states would be a greater source of industry uncertainty than President Donald Trump.

Events in Oklahoma have raised concerns over states’ readiness to continue subsidy support in an era of budget cutbacks and fiscal constraints, while potential trouble is also brewing in California, Iowa and Texas, suggesting that the industry’s ability to lobby effectively on crucial issues will soon be put to the test.

In March and April, by an overwhelming margin, Oklahoma’s Republican-dominated Senate and House voted to roll back the remaining state tax incentive for wind energy to 1 July, breaking an earlier pledge to preserve it until the end of 2020. It was signed into law by Republican Governor Mary Fallin on 17 April.

The wind industry feels betrayed. “Changing the investment rules in the middle of the game sends a message to every investor in America that Oklahoma can’t be expected to honor its economic development commitments,” says Jeff Clark, executive director of regional advocacy group The Wind Coalition.

Facing large budget shortfalls, Republican Governor Mary Fallin is in no mood to debate the issue, saying the sector was “incentivized sufficiently to now be a major player in the Oklahoma energy industry”. She also wants to also slap a $5/MWh tax on wind energy production — five times what Wyoming collects, the only other state to do so….

In neighbouring Texas, the leading wind state, the industry is under attack from lawmakers who want to limit or prohibit counties and school districts from using a popular ten-year property tax abatement scheme known as Chapter 313 to attract new wind projects…

Meanwhile, in California, zoning boards and other regulatory bodies are, for various reasons, restricting land use so much that wind activity has slowed to a crawl.  The number-four wind state did not install a single megawatt in 2016 and had only 131MW under construction this year.

Analysts warn that if this trend continues, California could have to import 80% of the estimated 10GW of new wind capacity it may need to meet a 50% renewables mandate by 2030.

And in Iowa, the second-ranking wind state, merchant transmission developer Clean Line Energy Partners is struggling to obtain necessary regulatory approvals for its $2bn Rock Island project that it says would lead to $7bn in new wind farm investments…

Without it, the industry will not be able to continue all its planned massive wind expansion there, as future supply will exceed domestic needs. Iowa already generates more of its electricity from wind power — 36.6% in 2016 — than any state.

Lessons from Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s early sunset of the $5/MWh Zero-Emissions Facilities Tax Credit is particularly troubling for the wind industry, as it represented a high-profile political setback in one of its fastest-growing markets. The move will also be financially painful for developers.

“This is the type of thing the industry doesn’t want to have happen. It sets a precedent and empowers other states to pursue similar legislation,” says Luke Lewandowski, research manager at MAKE Consulting…

The independent, non-partisan think tank estimates this would be an increase from an estimated $460.5m year earlier — a huge chunk of lost revenue considering the entire state budget is less than $7bn. By comparison, latest official data shows wind energy producers claimed $59.7m in zero-emission credits and $29.6m in for an exemption on local property taxes in the 2016-17 financial year. Wind investment in Oklahoma over the last decade exceeds $12bn…

Oklahoma wind developers currently use the zero-emission incentive to reduce their tax liability during the initial decade a wind farm generates power. Unused credits are also refundable in cash for 85% of face value. So developers stand to lose millions of dollars if they cannot bring under-construction projects into operation by 1 July…

Industry opponents call such talk largely hot air, arguing that the federal $24/MWh production tax credit will enable developers to continue generating healthy profits for years to come as all projects under construction and many of those in their pipelines will have qualified for it. They contend that Oklahoma will continue to lure investment because of its world-class wind resource and lower corporate tax burden compared with many states.

Byron Schlomach, director of the 1889 Institute, a public policy group in the state capital that favours limited government, disputes the notion that Oklahoma is turning against the wind industry or engaging in discrimination. He says the industry no longer needs incentives as the state did what it could to help it grow. Oklahoma also met its voluntary 15% renewables mandate by 2015.

“I think everybody feels like we’ve done our part,” he says. “We’ve done enough for them at this point and they need to stand on their own two feet.”…

 

 

Source: The coming threat from US wind states | Recharge

BigWind’s ‘OILY’ secret spills out

Unfortunately, many people are MIS informed about the cleanliness of renewable energy.  Industrial wind turbines are anything BUT clean and green.  In reality, each turbine has thousands of moving parts that must be lubricated with hundreds of gallons of oil.  This oil, much like in your car, must be ‘changed’ every so often, but how? By building a crane, on site, that can reach to the top of the mighty high nacelle.  This crane compacts soil and costs a lot of $ to transport to the site. Industrial wind turbines are manufactured from machines that USE oil, they are transported to the jobsite by vehicles that USE oil, and they then USE oil to lubricate their parts. Additionally, they utilize hundreds of pounds of rare earth elements, fiberglass, etc….all items that generate toxic, dangerous conditions for individuals.  The only ‘green’ that these machines generate are in the form of tax credits for the international companies that own them.  If you reside in NW Ohio, please feel free to inform Senator Cliff Hite of these truths, as he is an avid supporter of BigWind. The wind turbines in NW Ohio should begin to show similar problems as they age…

Wind turbines were planted along a strip of Mexico’s southern coast to make the country’s power industry cleaner. Now they’re spilling oil.

 In the town of Juchitan last month, a clean-up was under way around a generator owned by Electricite de France. Workers wearing goggles and masks were scrubbing off a copper-colored lubricant that dripped down from the turbine. They’d wrapped cloth around its base, to absorb further leakage, and stuffed contaminated soil and stones into plastic trash-bags.

Flor, who owns the land where the turbine is sited and rents it to EDF, said she arrived on the scene after being alerted by a neighbor. “The stench was terrible, like a sort of burned fuel or ammonia,” she said, asking not to be identified by her surname out of concern over reprisals. “The trees were glistening with oil.” Similar problems have been reported all along the Tehuantepec isthmus, one of the western hemisphere’s windiest places….

He said oil from Acciona’s turbines never reached the ground, and the company is working on a fix: a sheath for the gearbox which will prevent the lubricant from running down the mast or onto the blades.

Gamesa Corp Tecnologica, which made the EDF turbines used at the Juchitan wind park, said oil leaks occur with “relative frequency” and operators are equipped with “spill kits” to deal with them. Most leaks are contained, though “small amounts habitually” spill from the turbines, the company said in an emailed response to questions….

Source: Wind-power pollution: turbine oil seeps into the land in Mexico

pic source: http://www.romania-insider.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/oil-barrel.jpg

Ohio Mayor shares the realities of BigWind in Van Wert, Ohio

BigWind does NOT generate a windfall for the communities in which it resides and Van Wert is no exception. BigWind avoids paying tax, thanks to the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) that they INSIST each community accepts.  Additionally, they are given dozens of other incentives/subsidies to bully their way into a community.  BigWind is a plague on our grid and it will increase our electricity rates.  Let us say thank you to this mayor for stating some hard facts and numbers, so the public can see the truth.  Unfortunately, our legislators are being told another, completely different story from the BigWind lobbyists. Senator Cliff Hite is a perfect example, as he appears to do everything he can to pave the way for more BigWind in Ohio.  Please share these truths with YOUR legislator…because most are drinking the BigWind koolaid….

By Jerry Mazur

This has been a week filled with misquotes, misunderstandings, and personal attacks. I think the full moon stimulated some strange thinking in a few of the uninformed or misinformed among us.

Recently, in a discussion, I made reference to the number of people needed to work in Van Wert to generate an additional $530,000 of income tax. This is approximately the dollar amount of the State’s government funding that Van Wert received annually from Columbus. This was prior to the dollars being reallocated to the State’s budget seven or so years ago. This government funding (our money) being sent back to us was a major infusion for our General Fund.

To get back to the point of my discussion, I used Federal Mogul as a data point due to the number of people working there who are paying City income tax. My statement was that “it would take about two companies the size of Federal Mogul with approximately the same number of employees to fill the gap that the shortfall in government funding created.” I went on to say, “or maybe one company the size of Eaton.”

My point to all this was, while we are aggressively seeking new businesses and jobs to come to Van Wert, it will take years and all the blessings available to us to see the fruits of our labor. In the interim, we must make the decision to step to the plate and vote yes to the .28 tax increase proposal.

I received a Facebook posting from Mr. or Ms. HTW, also known as misinformed. He or she stated that the Blue Creek Wind Farm was adding about $6,000,000 to the local economy and that tIn the interim, we must make the decision to step to the plate and vote yes to the .28 tax increase proposal.he City should forget the 0.28 tax and explore wind farms as a source of revenue.

Well, let me set the record straight. According to the County Auditor’s Office, several schools, some townships, some property owners, and the County government have received payments from wind energy. However, in searching the financial records with City Auditor Martha Balyeat, we find no direct wind energy contributions being made to the City of Van Wert. To that I say, Mr. or Ms. HTW, we’re still looking for our portion of the $6,000,000 you boasted about in your Facebook posting.

If by chance you’re speaking to the guy who signs the checks at Blue Creek Wind Farm, please have him send a check in the amount of $531,000 to Martha Balyeat, Auditor, 515 E. Main St., Van Wert, Ohio 45891, and mark it General Fund Contribution. By the way, we’re going to need this amount year over year. Thank you.

To all reasonable thinkers out there, please don’t hold your breath. I think it’s going to be some time before we see either Mr. or Ms. HTW or Blue Creek Wind Farm coming up with the cash. In the meantime, we must go to the polls and say yes to the modest .28 tax question. Consider this: if you are earning $50,000 dollars a year, you would be asked to pay an additional $2.69 cents per week. If you have no earned income, such as being on retirement, Social Security, or receiving no earned income, you will not be paying additional tax. And yes, I am asking the seniors to get out and vote. It is important to you, your children, and your grandchildren. We must keep City services funded for the good of the order.

With regard to the economic windfall created by the wind farms, we have looked at the hotel/motel tax that is paid to the City. Yes, there has been an increase in these tax dollars. This tax was greatly stimulated by the addition of the new Holiday Inn Express and a modest amount attributed to the wind farm construction crews with overnight stays. On the other hand, construction crews typically rent by the month and are not subject to this tax. Therefore, this is not a great source of economic impact to the City. The crews do spend dollars in our stores and restaurants and do pay sales tax. These taxes go to the County.

As mayor of Van Wert, I have and will continue to maintain a neutral position regarding additional wind farms. It is my opinion that this should be decided by the voters in those districts which will be impacted by them. I would say, however, that I would be concerned if the wind farms were to consume potential housing development areas around the City. I have concerns about setback requirements choking off housing developments. Housing will very much be in demand should we be successful in attracting new companies and jobs to our area. This is a long-term outlook, but my experience tells me that we must have available housing areas in order to make us attractive to interested companies. In addition, if the turbines use up all of the land and create set back situations, we will be unable to provide much needed space to future industry which would directly feed dollars into the City of Van Wert….


In closing, Sir, it is not my nature to look down on or treat people poorly. I am a blue collar worker such as yourself. I have worked my entire lifetime building my personal character and staunch life-long relationships. I have great respect for the people of Van Wert and thank them for allowing me to serve as their mayor.

Early voting has started, so please step up to the plate for the .28 tax increase proposal.

Source: Mayor responds to comments – Times Bulletin

Senator Cliff Hite, why does BigWind always trump my property rights?

Ohio Senator, Cliff Hite, is proposing to reduce the BigWind setback, which is currently 1,125 feet from a property line. BigWind argues 2 points: the setback is too large and it should be from a residence, not a property line.  We have an important question to ask Senator Hite and the industry, “Why should YOUR rights supersede those of Ohio citizens?”  It seems to us, this is is bass akwards.  Additionally, a couple of arguments are easily made: #1 We have viewed hundreds of ordinances (all across the globe) and Ohio’s setback is NOT restrictive- there are plenty that are greater and in many cases, setbacks increase after an area has allowed BigWind to build there.  #2 Ohio law always establishes setbacks from the property line.  Let’s be consistent.   BigWind is getting significantly LARGER/TALLER/FASTER.  Each tower holds the equivalent of 3 buses on a stick that can spin well over 100 mph.  Shouldn’t Ohio residents be protected? Has our legislature forgotten that 1 of the turbines in N Van Wert blew apart its blades, very early after being turned on? Milo Schaffner reported that pieces flew approximately 1000 feet away from the tower.  Our setback does NOT account for the continued vertical rise of these industrial machines.  Our setback does NOT provide extra protections for a non-participating property owner (as below). Why does Senator Hite value the rights of BigWind OVER Ohio constituents?

A group of about 18 people attended the last Clay County Supervisor’s meeting, where they sought answers regarding planned wind turbines in Clay County….

 

An audience member in the back shouted out that 1,200 feet from a residence is the requirement in current Clay County ordinance….

“You can read through the county zoning ordinances that are talking about setbacks and some things like that and other issues that deal with those. You probably need to have your hands on those things,” Matthews said….

 

“Why should we suffer, and deal with the noise, and the lights? … I’ve put everything into my acreage, and now I don’t have the serenity of my acreage. My closest neighbor is a mile away, and for all of a sudden these windmills, 1,250 feet from my house, would be the most destructive thing imaginable. … I’m just sick to my stomach about it. I’m hoping that you guys can do something, if you can’t stop them, lets work on the setbacks away from our acreage. Let’s go study how close we can hear these things. If it’s three-quarters of a mile away and you can hear them, that’s too close to shove it next to a person like me. … The amount of people here is small because we’re a mile away from each other, but we gotta sit here and think about the setbacks and how close we shove them to people like me that are enjoying Clay County, our beautiful area, (because) to throw these in (will) ruin these acreages and in my mind end my life,” Lux said.

Janice Swanson, of the Coalition for Rural Property Rights, also made an appearance to the supervisor board to share information regarding current national changes in setbacks regarding wind turbines and raised concern over any rights infringement that wind turbines might cause for Clay County’s rural property owners….

Source: Community News: Citizens meet Supervisors over turbine concerns (4/18/17) | Storm Lake Pilot Tribune

Can Ohioans sue Senator Cliff Hite if his BigWind legislation passes?

Ohio Senator Cliff Hite will soon be proposing to shorten the current Ohio BigWind setback of 1,125 feet.  IF his legislation passes AND an Ohioan suffers from a consequence (see 1,000 foot ice throw below) of this legislation, can the Ohioan sue Senator Hite? As we have previously stated, it is time for Senator Hite to take a Hike, along with a new job with BigWind.  He practically works for them anyway….

Kevon Martis has been the leading activist working to halt the expansion of wind turbine developments in Michigan.

The Riga Township man who founded the grass roots Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition has coined a new phrase to describe one of the reasons he cares — “trespass zoning.”

The concept is that the industrial wind farms’ towers and spinning turbines require such large safety zones and noise setbacks that these extend onto neighbors’ property. Turbine blades can reach up to 600 feet above the ground with tips moving at 180 miles per hour. Since the uses of the property within a safety zone are limited — no children’s swing sets, for example — the intrusion is a property value-reducing trespass.

Martis said that wind farm promoters lobby local townships for zoning setbacks that only consider a turbine’s proximity to an actual residence. This means neighbors can lose the ability to use large portions of their land if a wind turbine is nearby.

“You did not give your consent to that and you didn’t get compensated for lost property,” Martis said about neighbors of property owners who have signed tower leases with wind turbine companies. “What they’ve done is make it legal to trespass on my private property.”…

 

One safety issue centers around ice forming on spinning turbine blades.

A report issued by General Electric in 2006 warned about “ice shedding” and “ice throw.” It states: “Any ice that is accumulated may be shed from the turbine due to both gravity and the mechanical forces of the rotating blades.”

A wind industry opponent called the Industrial Wind Action Group Corp.has posted testimony on its website from Will Staats, a wildlife biologist for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. In his testimony to a New Hampshire Senate committee, Staats explained the dangers of ice that come from wind turbines.

He said, “The danger of ice throw cannot be overemphasized. I have often worked near these turbines on our research projects in the winter and witnessed the large divots in the snow where ice has been flung from the turning blades. I have seen the steel stairs leading to the doors of turbines bowed and broken by ice falling from the nacelle. And, on one terrifying occasion, my truck was struck by flying ice that, had it hit me or anyone else close by, could have killed or caused serious injury. One operator of a wind installation told me these machines will throw a 400-pound chunk of ice 1,000 feet.”

In a phone interview this week, Staats said he has seen large chunks of ice debris on the ground that had been thrown from wind turbines into the woods.

The American Wind Energy Association declined to comment for this story. But the organization produced a fact sheet on wind power myths and said the statement that wind turbines are not safe due to flying or discharged ice is a myth.

“Fact: Ice throw, while it can occur under certain conditions, is of little danger,” the fact sheet says. “Setbacks typically used to minimize noise are sufficient to protect against danger to the public. In addition, ice buildup slows a turbine’s rotation and will be sensed by a turbine’s control system, causing the turbine to shut down.”…

Source: If Neighbor’s Wind Turbine Flings Ice Chunks In Your Yard Is It Trespassing? [Michigan Capitol Confidential]

BigWind in Iowa raising electricity prices and scamming taxpayers. Will Ohio investigate?

Iowa brings BigWind ‘negative pricing’ to the mainstream discussion and it is about time! The American people need to understand the TRUTH about what BigWind does to our electricity prices and reliability. Ohioans need to say NO to Cliff Hite and his efforts to increase the number of turbines in our state! What is negative pricing? Here is an excerpt from The NorthBridge Group, “Why wind producers can pay us to take their power – and why that is a bad thing”. If you do not read this entire blog, please review the BOLD typing…

“The federal wind Production Tax Credit (“PTC”) was originally enacted in 1992 to jumpstart the wind energy industry.1 The PTC has since been extended…This paper focuses on one harmful, but often overlooked, aspect of the PTC – specifically how the PTC interacts with wholesale electricity markets to create the phenomenon of distortionary “negative prices.” While the concept of negative prices might at first glance seem to be a money-saver for electricity users, or at best a harmless phenomenon, in fact these negative prices are: (a) funded by taxpayers; (b) distorting wholesale electricity markets; and (c) harming conventional generation and imperiling reliability….

We find that:

The PTC undermines and distorts price signals in wholesale electricity markets by incenting PTC-subsidized wind producers to sell electricity at a loss to earn enormous tax subsidies.

This taxpayer-funded subsidy artificially depresses wholesale power prices, and in hours of the year when demand for electricity is low it can result in negative pricing…

Wind producers can readily turn wind turbines on and off, but have no incentive to do so because they still receive positive margins during negative price hours due to the PTC subsidy they earn when they generate. They have no incentive to curtail their output – which, absent the PTC, would be in their economic interest. The failure of wind generators to curtail output when wholesale prices approach zero has both short term and long term negative consequences. In the short term, the failure of wind producers to curtail output makes it more difficult for system operators to maintain reliability, and also makes it more costly for them to operate the regional electric grid.

In the long run, the PTC destabilizes the market for conventional electricity as generators that are not eligible for the PTC are significantly harmed by negative prices, both in terms of near-term daily operational decisions, as well as long-term decisions to build or retire generation.

America’s continued reliance on the PTC subsidy therefore will invariably deter investments in the conventional power generation needed to maintain a reliable electric system. Conventional generation is critical to reliability because wind generation often does not produce energy during times of peak electricity demand, while producing at high levels (and driving negative prices) when demand is low. In recent years, about 85% of total wind capacity has not operated during the peak hours on the highest demand days of the year, on average. Controllable conventional generation is thus needed to backstop wind and ensure the lights stay on….”

When Iowa utility regulators approved MidAmerican Energy Co.’s Wind VIII project in 2013, Gov. Terry Branstad (R) called the $1.9 billion, 1,050-megawatt build-out a “win-win” for the state.

But two years after turbines began spinning, victory is looking a little bit sweeter on the utility’s side of the ledger, according to the state’s consumer advocate.
The Office of Consumer Advocate, part of the Iowa attorney general’s office, said MidAmerican is unfairly benefiting by seeking to pass through to ratepayers $3.7 million in costs for producing wind energy when wholesale energy prices are negative while keeping the associated federal production tax credits.
“It is not equitable that MidAmerican receive the benefits while its customers’ [sic] bear the costs,” Consumer Advocate Mark Schuling said in a prehearing brief filed earlier this week….

Source: WIND: Consumers contend Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy reaping PTCs at their expense — Friday, March 17, 2017 — www.eenews.net E&E News — Start a free trial

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/news/business/exelon.pdf

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