Library filed under Impact on Economy from Colorado
Black Hills wants to increase utility rates by 4 percent starting next year to make up for the construction cost of a wind farm in Huerfano County. "I'm here to absolutely oppose this rate increase," Kiera Hatton said to Administrative Law Judge Robert Garvey.
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.
The $1 billion figure covers the cost of new wind farms, natural gas power plants to provide power when the wind isn't blow and transmission lines, Dave Lock, Tri-State's senior manager for government relations told a new committee Wednesday. ...Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, said that "in a perfect world" the committee would have been convened to reach consensus on the issues a year ago.
Renewable energy may be a popular catch phrase along Colorado's urban Front Range, but it has turned into fighting words across much of rural Colorado. Not because rural communities are against it, to the extent it makes economic sense, but because they're about to be force-fed an overdose by state Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs.
Vestas is cutting working hours at its Colorado blade plants at Windsor and Brighton in preparation for a post-PTC slowdown in the US wind sector. The company said it had told employees at the factories that it was reducing their weekly hours from 40 to 32 hours. The change will take effect in January.
The resilience of Colorado's vaunted "new energy economy" is being tested after a series of job cuts, financial setbacks and political firestorms. ...Hard times for the green industries stem from a combination of technical challenges, low-cost foreign competition and an uncertain outlook for government support of alternative energy.
Pueblo's rising energy costs are among their chief worries, they say. ...Tony Knopp, manager of the wind turbine maker Vestas' tower plant, said he understands many industries' concerns about rising energy bills. Still, Knopp said, he's convinced the greater use of renewable energy will pay off
Bills for Xcel Energy's 1.4 million electricity customers in Colorado are up about 21 percent in the past six years - almost double the rate of inflation - to an average $68.26 a month. Over the next six years, rates are expected to increase another 20 percent as new power plants, wind farms and transmission lines are added, according to state regulators. The increases have rippled through the bills of Colorado homes and businesses.
European countries have been pushing a green jobs agenda far longer than America. Matthew Kahn, professor of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, summarizes their record in the May/June issue of the centrist journal Foreign Policy. While "an optimist can certainly find success stories" in green job creation, Kahn concludes, there's no doubt that the "subsidies are costly," and that they not only "distort consumption and investment decisions" but result in "a less robust economy."
Danish company Vestas is catching some head wind. The world's largest wind-turbine maker on Wednesday said it might reduce jobs and scale back capital spending in Colorado and the United States, unless orders pick up, according to Bloomberg News. Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel said orders from the U.S. "came to a standstill" after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September tightened credit for wind energy developers.
In the 20 years I have lived in Colorado, I have seen the transition from a growing, functional economy into an economy that increasingly relies on obscure, "politically correct" subsidies such as solar- and wind-power generation that are touted as solutions to our economic woes. ...these partisan policies are undermining Colorado's economy.
Xcel Energy oversold wind energy credits as far back as 2000 for a program in which customers voluntarily pay a premium for wind-generated power, according to an investigation by Colorado Public Utilities Commission staff. A settlement is looming related to Xcel's excess collections for the Windsource program from 2005 to 2007, which was disclosed earlier this week.
Xcel Energy overcollected more than $1.5 million from customers who voluntarily pay a premium for wind- generated electricity, according to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission staff. From 2005 to 2007, the state's largest utility sold credits for more green power than it generated at the wind farms in its Windsource program. Xcel knew it would have a production shortfall in the program but "failed to act".
The city of Durango is pulling the plug on green power because of problems with green -- or money. ...The La Plata Electric Association charges 80 cents more per 100 kilowatt hours for electricity from solar and wind power. LeBlanc says that adds $45,000 to the city's annual electric bill.
Xcel Energy has asked regulators to increase the amount it can charge consumers to help recover the cost of renewable-energy generation. ...If approved, the increase would take effect Jan. 1 and increase typical residential bills by 33 cents a month.
Colorado has lost out on a bid for a Vestas Wind Systems research center. Vestas, which opened a major blade-manufacturing plant earlier this year in Windsor, announced Monday it will locate the research facility in Houston. Colorado was the other finalist, according to Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.
Southeastern Colorado held its own economically for decades. But in recent years, the region has seen population dwindle and the economy shrivel at the hands of a drought and other curses of Mother Nature. While the numbers of farmers and ranchers have been on a steady decline over the years, hardy people who stayed to weather the storm have been adapting with a new friend -- the relentless wind.
Lease agreements vary but can usually range from $3,000 to $6,000 per turbine allowed on the land, said Jan Johnson, a spokeswoman for PPM Energy. Most projects pay landowners per kilowatt that's generated from the turbines on their land.
"We haven't had a decent wheat crop in six years," said Gordon Vallier, who lives in northwest Logan County. He explained that there's hardly any grass left, so he had to sell all his cattle last fall. "This is the first time since my grandfather started the farm that we haven't had cattle," Vallier said. There is a bit of good news in Vallier's story, however, and it has to do with the wind.
So why is this higher mandate likely to hike your bills? Because when government creates an artificial market by fiat, shortages almost always follow (of turbines for wind power, for example), thus boosting the mandate’s cost. For that matter, if all forms of renewable energy could compete on their own, they wouldn’t need a mandate in the first place.