Library from Kentucky
GE is getting government subsidies to build wind turbines and solar panels. And it supports legislation that would force customers to use them. Immelt has placed the company in the untenable position of not being able to succeed unless it takes something from someone else - in this case taxpayer money and freedom.
By a 2-1 vote, the PSC rejected the proposed contract. Chairman David Armstrong and Commissioner Charles Borders, in their majority decision, noted that the PSC cannot approve a power purchase that is not immediately needed and is more expensive than current power sources, but commended Kentucky Power's interest in renewable energy sources.
On December 29, 2009, Kentucky Power Company ("Kentucky Power") filed an application seeking authority to enter into a Renewable Energy Purchase Agreement ("Wind Contract") with FPL Illinois Wind, LLC ("FPL Wind"). Under the terms of the Wind Contract, Kentucky Power would purchase from FPL Wind a 100 MW share of the electrical output and environmental attributes of FPL Wind's Lee-DeKalb Wind Energy Center for a 20-year term.
KU and sister company Louisville Gas and Electric Co. plan to purchase wind power from the breezy prairie of northern Illinois to help meet what they expect will be federal requirements to increase their use of renewable energy. Last month, they asked the Kentucky Public Service Commission for permission to add a "renewable resource clause" to customer bills so they can recover the costs of the pricier wind power and transmission.
Kentucky Utilities Co. intends to purchase wind power from northern Illinois and will soon ask state regulators to charge home customers about a buck a month more to pay for that alternative energy. The wind power, including the cost of transmitting the electricity to Kentucky, is about twice as much as it costs KU to generate power by burning coal at power plants. To pay for the wind power, KU plans to file an application with the Kentucky Public Service Commission, requesting permission to impose a "renewable resource clause" so it can recover the costs of purchased wind power and transmission costs.
The nation's largest public utility issued a request for proposals Tuesday to buy enough clean energy from the wind, sun and other renewable sources to supply about 978,000 homes in three years. It would be like adding two new nuclear reactors to the TVA system. The possible energy sources also could include hydropower, geothermal, ocean, tidal, biomass and other biologically derived fuels, not necessarily produced in the Tennessee Valley.
Wind Energy Corporation, a wind turbine manufacturer based in Elizabethtown, closed its Morgantown manufacturing facility last week, resulting in about 17 lost jobs and several disappointed community members. ...The company located its manufacturing plant in Morgantown in July 2007, promising about 260 new jobs in five years. According to reports, the state lured Wind Energy to Morgantown by offering the company $3.4 million in tax incentives.
A Massachusetts company wants to install several turbine generators on the Ohio River bed in Daviess County to generate electricity for area industries. Free Flow Power Corp., a two-year-old company in Gloucester, Mass., has filed applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for two permits in Daviess County for sites between the Natcher Bridge and the Owensboro Riverport. "The licensing process is lengthy," Jon Guidroz, Free Flow's director of development, said Wednesday. "The best-case scenario for starting work is four years."
Herman J Schellstede, owner of an oil industry equipment company in New Iberia, is betting the Gulf of Mexico can produce enough wind to power thousands of homes and businesses. He's preparing to establish 62 huge wind turbines in the gulf off the coast of Galveston, Texas, that would produce 150 megawatts of power for electric generation. Some of the turbines will be mounted on abandoned platforms like the oil rigs Schellstede constructed in the gulf for 42 years.
States with renewable portfolio standards have generated growth in the renewable energy sector, but many of the Appalachian states don't have one. Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New York all have some fairly progressive goals, but West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee don't have a state RPS and wind projects often ignite battles.
Louisville-area family business is considering the Riverport industrial complex for a proposed $75 million ethanol plant that could produce 50 million gallons of the gasoline supplement a year. For the People LLC, of Corydon, Ind., unveiled the proposed design Tuesday night to Riverport tenants and some of its potential residential neighbors near the site at 8300 Cane Run Road. The meeting was part of the requirements for obtaining planning and zoning approval for the project. The plant would use 60-foot wind turbines, solar panels and a geothermal system to limit outside energy demands. The company projects 60 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $2 million.
“It is novel for Kentucky to be experimenting in wind power,” said James Bush, program manager at the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy. Bush pointed to a map by the Department of Energy that classifies the strength of wind power, on a scale of 1 to 7, across different states and regions within the United States. The study classified most of Kentucky as a 1, meaning it had little to no wind power. Southeastern Kentucky received a 2, and a thin area bordering Virginia (along the Allegheny Front) fared better with a 3. The overall DOE assessment indicated that Kentucky would be a poor place to set up wind farms, and no further government studies on its wind power were conducted, Bush said. Sykes has narrowed his search to a handful of counties in Eastern Kentucky that fall along the Class 3 area. The top five states for wind energy are North Dakota, Texas, Kansas, South Dakota and Montana, respectively, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
WASHINGTON - Thanks to the high prices of oil and natural gas, the electricity industry is turning back to coal, America's oldest and most abundant fossil fuel, to drive a new generation of power plants. The upshot is that even as politicians take the threat of global warming more seriously, the problem may get much worse. Utilities are proposing to build 154 coal-fired power plants in the next 25 years, according to "Coal's Resurgence in Electric Power Generation," a recent Department of Energy report. Most of those new plants would use conventional coal-burning technology, which would increase carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. coal plants by more than 50 percent by 2030, according to the Energy Information Administration, the analytic division of the Energy Department. A traditional coal plant produces three to four times more CO2 -- a potent "greenhouse gas" that traps the sun's heat and helps raise the Earth's temperature -- than comes from a modern plant that uses natural gas as its fuel.
Appalachian states have the potential to compete in the global energy market and should seek alternative sources of energy beyond conventional coal production, regional leaders said Thursday. Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher and other members of the federal Appalachian Regional Commission released a report detailing how the area could increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy resources, including biomass, and develop conventional energy resources, such as clean coal. “Energy is quickly becoming one of the biggest issues facing the country today,” said Fletcher, who is also the state’s co-chair of the ARC. “It is important for Kentucky and the other ARC states to develop a solid plan of action in order to capitalize on our natural resources and provide high-quality job opportunities for our citizens.”
The union sees construction and upkeep of wind turbines, solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells as drivers for new jobs, even though the alternative energy industry now provides a small portion of unionized electricians.
Partnership Latest in Series of Actions by Governor Rendell to Accelerate Alternative Fuel Development, Increase Domestic Fuel Supply