Thursday, February 28, 2008

Comment Rescue and Radio Alert

I'll be on WDEL, 1150 AM, with Allan Loudell this evening at 5:35 to talk about the cost and reliability of wind power.
Earlier today, Allan interviewed the reporter of this story about how a quick drop in output from a wind farm almost led to a rolling blackout. But the reporter, R.A. Dyer of the Star-Telegram, said that several factors, including the failure of some scheduled generators to come on line and an unanticipated uptick in demand contributed to the problem.
John Austin, who is pretty sharp with a calculator himself, offered this comment in response to my News Journal op-ed today:
What will be the SOS rate cost if there is no BWW project???
McDowell's SB-19 passed last year forces SOS rate payers to use 20% renewable energy by 2019. It is not free.
Based on the current $4/month difference in the WGES 5% and 25% wind offers, it is just a few steps to calculate projected costs at 3% inflation.
Comes out at $5.88/month on average 2014-2038 for the nonsolar costs. That is "IF" DPL finds a long term onshore contract at the same costs.
PSC number for BWW alone was $6.46/month.
Latest, bid for 1/3 of SOS power came in 15% higher. The price of electricity just keeps going up. It was reported the average Delmarva residential customer will see an increase of 1.9 percent, or $2.52 per month, on their monthly bills. How that isn't really a $109.9 - 95.8 = $14.10/3 = $4.70 increase still escapes me. I'm sure DPL will get it right on my bill.
He gets the point that energy prices are going up already, as I reported last Friday:
The average weighted price for this class was $109.90/MWh, about 15% higher than bids last year.
This of course reinforces the point in my op-ed, which was submitted before the new bid prices were announced.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Nancy Willing said...

I was going to rescue John's comment if you didn't. He makes that great point that the 20% renewable mandate will translate into costs one way or another.

Now why didn't I think of that!

I am sure getting pissed off at this stupid radio ad war between BWW and DPL, the cost of which is being foisted off on us rate

5:20 PM, February 28, 2008  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

Thanks Nancy.

As for the cost of radio spots, Delmarva may or may not pass the cost on to us.

However, Bluewater Wind cannot; the price in the PPA is the price, whether the company runs radio ads or not. Bluewater has no machanism for passing that cost on to customers.

5:48 PM, February 28, 2008  
Blogger Shirley Vandever said...

Great job, and I learned some things.

Offsore-vs-onshore, dynamic management techniques...you handled the question about the number of receptors well. Dang, you know your stuff.

I think the major obstacle here is the complexity of the whole issue. You stated that many of the legislators are still trying to wrap their heads around the whole issue. It is a difficult one. People are still burned over the last rate increase which was ostensibly caused by the General Assembly and the rate freeze.....I remember the letter from Delmarva...we can s**w you slow, or we can s**w you fast....it is those kind of gut issues that I think wind power proponents need to address in order to get more support.

Your best line?

"We have the technology".

5:52 PM, February 28, 2008  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

Thank you Shirley.

Usually I try to avoid improvising on the air, but I thought of that line on the spot.

6:13 PM, February 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wind power sucks for dpl. In the future they will not be able to use increases in the price of wind on the futures market as an excuse to raise rates. Wind is not on the futures market yet????

6:22 PM, February 28, 2008  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

No, as far as I know, there are no futures contracts for wind.

6:30 PM, February 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tommy as you well know one of the biggest supporters of wind power is T. Boone Pickens, the wall street energy maven. In his view there is no down side to wind power. Oil and nat gas can only go higher from here. I was being sarcastic about the futures market .

6:59 PM, February 28, 2008  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

I thought I heard a bit of snark there. Thanks.

Pickens is interested because that's where the money is.

9:15 PM, February 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pickens talked for 45 min. on cnbc the other day its more than just the money. Oil and natural gas that are easy to get at are becoming scarce. 200 dollar oil is not far away. The eastern side of the rockies from new mexico to montana benefit from chinook winds that make wind power a no brainer for the country. Dpl does not want to be the first in fear thier stock will not rise on wall street. Thats the reason for all the lies thier spreading about wind power. In ten years wind will be much more cost effective than anything out there now. It will only happen hear if people demand it.

9:41 PM, February 28, 2008  
Blogger Connie said...

Glen Moore from Delmarva told me publicly at the civic alliance meeting last week, that Delmarva was absolutely going to pass on the $4m in costs of this campaign of lies they've waged and were only deciding if they were going to spread that burden over some time. (Like their incremental rate increase pay me now or pay me later). I believe you were there Nancy and may have missed it but the point was made very clearly and unequivocally. There also is the slight matter of the Alternative Compliance Penalty rates (if Delmarva does not meet the 20% goal/edict by 2019) rising to as high as $65 MGWH I confirmed this some time ago with Dr. Firestone.
Regards,
John Kowalko

11:43 PM, February 28, 2008  
Anonymous J Austin said...

Thanks for the rescue and kind words.
The thing is WGES onshore wind offer went from 13.9 cents per kwh to 14.5, or 5%.
DPL increase is like 4.68% yearly inflation since the price bid 3 years ago.
Assume those rates of inflation and the future cost of SB-19 of course higher. $7.07/mo @4% to $8.54/mo @5%. The BWW PPA has only 2.5% inflation. HALF what we are currently experiencing.
I have yet to hear a sound agument against the BWW PPA.

10:04 AM, February 29, 2008  
Anonymous J Austin said...

14.6 - one hand typing and no edit will be death of me

10:05 AM, February 29, 2008  
Anonymous J Austin said...

14.6 - one hand typing and no edit will be death of me

10:05 AM, February 29, 2008  

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