Articles from Colorado
Jones said Black Hills Energy is asking for a four percent electric rate increase to pay for construction of a wind farm that was built in Huerfano County in 2010. The increase would be about a $4 hike in a customers' monthly utilities bill.
In the future, the wind industry should expect that in-state preferences and distributed generation requirements will be the focus of Commerce Clause attacks. Although these provisions can be justified. the strict standard of review applied to discrimination among states will create more risk for these provisions.
Meanwhile, whirling turbine blades and electrical lines running to oil and gas facilities and wind farms have been linked to golden eagle deaths. Nobody has a good handle on how many eagles and other raptors are caught in blades or electrocuted; scientists have calculated in peer-reviewed articles that turbines kill at least 60 to 65 golden eagles a year nationwide.
A group of residents in Parker, starting in the Rowley Downs neighborhood, and Aurora have formed the group Halt the Power Lines, which opposes a transmission project that will take electricity overhead lines from the Daniels Park substation in Castle Pines, through northern Parker and through Aurora up to the Smoky Hills substation.
A dozen people spoke against the project at the Dec. 19 commission meeting, with concerns related to noise and property values, among other things. ...The project probably will qualify for wind energy production tax credits, he says, by acquiring the farm just before they expired last year.
Xcel wants the utilities to pay for its costs associated with having supplies of reserve power ready to go in case the wind suddenly dies, said Terri Eaton, Xcel’s director of federal regulatory and compliance efforts. Currently, those costs are paid by Xcel’s business and residential customers, Eaton said.
If the Tenth Circuit upholds Judge Martinez’s decision, the challenge — and other constitutional challenges to RPS programs and their provisions — could discourage the adoption of programs in additional states, or the expansion of existing programs. “If you don’t know how far you can go, it’s difficult for a state legislator to say, ‘OK, let’s do this.’”
Wind energy might be great: we would commend any energy producer who found a way to provide efficient, inexpensive, abundant, reliable, and clean energy, regardless of the source. If it worked as Sen. Udall and his allies claim, we as consumers might even support it with our hard-earned dollars. If the product is inferior to its competition and more expensive (unless buoyed by tax-credits), we wouldn't make that investment-our money is better off elsewhere.
Black Hills Energy is asking the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for a 3.7 percent rate increase for its electric customers, a hike the utility wants to recover $70 million it spent on a new wind farm near Walsenburg and other expenses.
I started thinking about it in a larger context, how the Great Plains have been this really abused area of the country. You can go back to the buffalo hunts and the genocides of Native Americans. We have nuclear weapons out there. We’ve drilled and spilled oil and gas, and now we’re fracking and building wind turbines. Most people don’t see this area. It’s flyover country. When you spend a lot of time there it really hits home what we’re doing in the name of consumption and the whole sociological impact people have on the environment.”
The wind lobby today is one of the fattest hogs at the corporate welfare trough. Rather than win customers through good prices and reliable products, the wind lobby uses political clout to force consumers to purchase its overpriced services.
Colorado electricity prices rose 5 percent during the first 10 months of 2013 while U.S. prices rose just 2 percent during that same span. These price increases are predictable, indeed inevitable, when government forces consumers to purchase ever-increasing amounts of expensive renewable power.
Colorado's Democrats aren't willing to scrap a plan to increase renewable energy requirements for rural electricity providers. But they insist they're ready to talk about revising the proposal that has sparked sharp opposition in pockets of the state.
Republicans are seeking to roll back a new law requiring rural electricity providers to draw 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2020.
Indeed, on Dec. 19 the commissioners and interested members of the public endured a meeting that lasted from 9 a.m. until about 8 p.m. The meeting began with presentations from county staff and Golden West Power Partners employees, before moving on to a lengthy citizen comment period, and ending with approval for the project on a 3-1 vote. Lathen voted against the project; Commissioner Darryl Glenn was absent.
"I live under one of these, and my dream of living in a peaceful place is gone," the she said. Now that dream is lost for other El Paso County residents as well after commissioners voted 3 to 1 to approve an overlay zoning ordinance that allows the construction of a 147 turbine, 37,000-acre wind farm to be constructed within 1,000 feet of at least 18 rural homes southeast of Calhan.
The Obama administration should redraft the rules with an eye toward installing stronger wildlife protections that take into account how migratory birds live and travel. It's not too much to ask from an industry that is supposed to be environmentally friendly.
As conservative Republicans intensify their effort to permanently kill the PTC, which has been part of the tax code in some form since 1992, the wind industry itself faces some negative publicity. In late November, the U.S. Justice Department announced a settlement with Duke Energy Renewables, which pleaded guilty to the deaths of 14 golden eagles and 149 other migratory birds at two of its wind farms in Wyoming.
But at least one person is against it. Gail Hahn, who lives near the site of the wind farm, said she opposes the project because it will ruin the panoramic view from her home, and she believes it will reduce the value of her property.
The Abound Solar plant, which got $400 million in federal loan guarantees in 2010, when the Obama administration sought to use stimulus funds to promote green energy, filed for bankruptcy two years later. Now its Longmont, Colo., facility sits unoccupied, its 37,000 square feet littered with hazardous waste, broken glass and contaminated water.