Articles from Louisiana
On July 2, the Public Utility Commission of Texas denied a request by AEP affiliate Southwestern Electric Power Co. to use its Texas customers' rates to finance the acquisition of a giant wind farm complex in Oklahoma ...The three-member Texas commission said the project didn't lay out clear enough benefits to consumers to justify their up-front investment. While some big companies have championed renewable energy, the farm had been opposed by major Texas consumer groups.
AEP has received three of the five necessary approvals for its planned $2 billion investment — from Oklahoma, Arkansas and FERC — and expects decisions in May or June from regulators in Louisiana and Texas.
Texas is the nation’s leader in commercial wind power, while Louisiana remains on the sidelines. Harnessing the wind has taken off in the last decade. But the Pelican State’s wind speeds, regulatory framework, abundant natural gas, and opposition from farmers and others, along with the industry’s technical obstacles, have kept projects from launching. Ironically, companies in Louisiana, however, provide expertise and equipment to wind installations in other states.
If we needed any reminder why Texas outpaces Louisiana in so many ways, witness how the Lone Star State last week mooted a bad decision by the Louisiana Public Service Commission made in part by northwest Louisiana’s Foster Campbell.
“I am all for adding clean, renewable power generation to our power grid, but the project has to serve a need, and it has to make sense financially,” Greene said. “I could not vote to have SWEPCO customers finance an unneeded generation project that might only save them money if the price of natural gas increases significantly."
"The goal for me is not clean. It's an important part of the equation, but it is not the goal. The goal is [energy] independence. The goal is security. The goal is reliability. And then also, as clean as possible," Landrieu added.
Although the turbine has generated plenty of hype and some energy, it’s unclear exactly how much it has produced in terms of kilowatts.
The decision reversed the approval by the Dennis Old King's Highway Historic District Commission, which is the town-level arm of the regional historic district. ARC responded by appealing the decision in court. The case is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Oct. 13 in Orleans, Rosemarie Austin of Dennis said. Austin is a member of Save Our Beaches.
At the urging of the federal Department of Energy, the regional transmission organizations also looked at what transmission investments would be necessary if the region increased its renewable power goals to 20 percent of electricity generated. They found that 15,000 miles of new extra-high-voltage lines costing $80 billion would be needed by 2024. Generating 20 percent of the electricity for the eastern power grid from renewable sources would require an additional $1.1 trillion in infrastructure investment.
Along with the flower beds, trees and footpaths that are fundamental to any public park, the designs for a renovated New Orleans riverfront have some unexpected flourishes. A field of modern windmills is slated for the east bank of the Mississippi River ...
Wind Energy Systems Technology, headquatered in New Iberia, recently ad-dressed the Louisiana Public Service Commission regarding its desire to expand wind-gathering operations to the Louisiana Coast. Harold Schoeffler, of Lafayette and W.E.S.T. partner , said the group left the meeting with more questions then answers. ...Schoeffler said the Public Service Commission has transferred renewable energy to the state Department of Natural Resources.
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.
The company sees the effort as a way to bolster its green credentials while allowing ecology-minded ratepayers who can afford to do so the chance to contribute to a burgeoning renewable energy industry. Critics contend the voluntary program is little more than a token measure that does little locally to reduce carbon emissions or fossil fuel use and won't ensure residents are actually getting any of their power from renewable sources. "If you decide to sign up for it, what we would do is buy a credit from a company that creates power from a renewable source," ENO spokesman Morgan Stewart said.
A metal fabricator said to be one of the country's largest manufacturers of wind turbines has unexpectedly shut down in the midst of what was described as a severe cash-flow crunch. Beaird Co. Ltd., Shreveport, La., closed its doors and laid off 427 workers as executives seek new investors as well as possible state assistance to pump in money to keep the company afloat. It was unclear when the company might reopen. ..."The company just came out of a very difficult contract that ate up a lot of cash," Gerald Landry, Beaird's president, told the Shreveport Times. "We need to rapidly reduce costs."
Measures that will affect 2008 tax returns:......... • An income tax credit of up to $12,500 to offset the cost of buying and installing systems that produce electricity from solar or wind energy.