Library filed under Impact on Economy from Virginia
A second round of bids to build two wind turbines off the Virginia Beach coast appears to have lowered the price, but Dominion Virginia Power officials haven’t decided yet whether to green-light the demonstration project. “We are optimistic, but it is a fairly hefty cost to deploy these turbines,” Mark Mitchell, a Dominion vice president, said in an interview Wednesday.
Appalachian, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, had requested commission approval for contracts to purchase electricity generated by two separate wind farms -- Beech Ridge in West Virginia and Grand Ridge in Illinois. Appalachian relies primarily on coal-fired power plants to generate the electricity it sells.
Apparently hoping that a proposed agreement between the staff of the West Virginia Public Service Commission and Allegheny Energy would put a better face on the utility's proposed Trans-Allegheny Interstate Power Line project, the Hampshire County Commission received an e-mail request to reverse its opposition to the project. Commissioners Don Cookman, Steve Slonaker and Robert Hott, however, all agreed that would not happen.
The 15-story towers and crackling cables that are planned to cut across the Northern Virginia countryside are just red lines on a map, a paper illustration of what could come. But for Cameron Eaton, who learned shortly after Thanksgiving that one of the proposed routes for a new high-voltage power line slices across her Fauquier County property, they have already brought the specter of financial ruin. She bought her 100-acre Delaplane farm last year, when it was an overgrown slice of land anchored by a rundown old farmhouse just off Interstate 66. She plowed all her savings into it. To pay down her $1 million mortgage and build up her horse business, she planned to sell a five-acre chunk within a couple of years. Then came what her neighbors have come to regard as “the black cloud.”
If supervisors believe a tourist trail can be successful despite an wind plant along its path, they surely must be confident they can make that argument in court, or during the SCC’s review. Delaying a decision simply because of the fear it will be used against them makes little sense on the face of it. The board should take up this request again soon, before Highland earns a reputation for being closed to regional efforts. This county cannot afford to work alone and miss these kinds of opportunities.
MONTEREY — “Now is not the time,” said Highland County supervisor Jerry Rexrode in response to a request for money and a letter of support for a feasibility study to establish a tourist trail in the Alleghany Highlands. “Maybe six months from now and I would support it,” he said. At Tuesday night’s supervisors’ meeting, the trail idea concerned officials because of pending litigation faced by the county. Rexrode said he does not oppose tourism or money spent to enhance tourism in Highland, but repeated it was the wrong time to commit to the project.
Q. Please state your name and position. A. My name is Charles Simmons and I have been retained to provide assistance to Highland Citizens in regard to the application of Highland New Wind Development, LLC to construct a wind generation facility in Highland County. Editor's Note:This testimony provides an excellent description of how a grid works- particularly the role of 'economic dispatch' and 'spinning reserves'. It also addresses the methodology for estimating emissions savings and numerous other topics of interest.
MONTEREY — Bleachers and basketball nets notwithstanding, Highland’s elementary school gym played host this week to perhaps the most important debate in county history.
Take us up on this offer and we believe you will come to understand why most Highlanders have reached the conclusion this proposal is more about profit for a very few people at taxpayers’ expense than a viable source of new energy, and that it will destroy much more than the views we now enjoy. It will lead to the destruction of our natural heritage which, as outlined in our comprehensive land use plans, is the foundation of our promising future.
We hope other Virginia localities watching these proceedings will profit from learning that currently unreliable wind power is green only for those who are allowed to siphon off government money at taxpayers’ expense and that as this high-cost energy is fed back into the grid, it will result in higher, not lower, electric bills for users. And we hope the cumulative anguish of Highlanders expressed during the hearings will give other decision-makers pause when they consider the real costs of wrongly-sited wind power.
This page [author's website] is dedicated to economic information that applies to wind-power projects anywhere in the United States and specifically applies to the Highland New Wind Development project proposed for the northwestern corner of Highland County, VA. Let me say right up front that I am not an economist or tax accountant. I will try to compile factual information on the economics of wind power along with the opinions of recognized experts in this field. Editor's Note: This provides a good overview of the production tax credit, capacity factor, renewable portfolio standards, renewable energy certificates. and accelerated depreciation. Readers are encouraged to visit the author's site via the link below for the most current version, e.g. the author is planning to update the production tax credit information to the current prevailing rate of 1.9 cents per kWh.