Library filed under Energy Policy from Tennessee
The nation's biggest wind generator, NextEra Energy Resources, has bought the Oklahoma portion of the proposed 700-mile-long Plains and Eastern Line to serve Oklahoma and Midwest customers. But for now, plans to bring wind energy from the windy areas of Oklahoma and Texas into the less-windy Tennessee Valley and Southeastern part of the United States are stalled and unlikely to be resurrected for years.
“I am glad Governor Haslam and the General Assembly approved legislation to prohibit the construction of some Tennessee wind farms for one year and instead give the state a chance to study the issue. If there is one thing Tennesseans agree on, it is pride in the natural beauty of our state. We should not allow anyone to destroy the environment in the name of saving it.”
On April 25th, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly (85 to 3) in favor of Bill HB1021. But nothing was official until the Senate gave its stamp of approval. That happened last Thursday when SB1336 was passed with the same thunderous approval in Nashville— with 30 Ayes, 0 Nays and 1 PNV (Present not voting).
The legislation that passed the House by a vote of 85-3 would prohibit the construction of any wind farm until July 1, 2018 in counties that don’t have any regulations related to wind farms in place by July 1, 2017, and create a special joint legislative study to evaluate and make recommendations on the siting of wind farms.
"TVA has concluded that it doesn't need more power for the foreseeable future. Therefore, its board should resist obligating TVA's ratepayers for any new large power contracts, much less contracts for comparatively expensive and unreliable wind power. Instead, TVA should continue to provide low-cost, reliable power to the region that boosts economic development throughout the Tennessee Valley."
The 1889 Institute, an Oklahoma state policy think tank, published this two-page fact sheet discussing how wind energy tax incentives offered by Oklahoma are detrimental to the state’s economy. A portion of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
"I will continue my efforts to get rid of the 20-year-old, multi-billion-dollar subsidy for unreliable, expensive wind energy that stands no chance of powering our nation's 21st century economy." ...Perhaps just as important, Alexander said, wind turbines would scar the mountaintops of Tennessee, the only place in the state where they can work.
“Over the next 10 years, the wind production tax credit will cost the American taxpayers more than $26 billion….In fact, the tax breaks for the five big oil companies we have been debating on the Senate floor this week actually cost less than this one tax credit for Big Wind. The tax breaks for the five big oil companies amount to about $21 billion over 10 years.”
U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) told a forum on renewable electricity choices last week that solar panels, underwater river turbines, and wood chips "are promising for TVA, but Tennessee mountaintops are absolutely the wrong place for wind turbines three times as tall as Neyland Stadium skyboxes, not to mention the transmission lines that come with them."
Former UT quarterback Heath Shuler knows he'll win few points with some colleagues in Congress when he touts window stripping, and improving the insulation in your home.
I was disappointed by your editorial of Sept. 9 titled "Wind power deserves the investment." I expected to find the kind of real cost information on wind power I've been looking for. In the end, I was irritated by its total failure to support the contention implicit in its title.
Gov. Phil Bredesen phoned home from the National Governors Association (NGA) winter conference this week and reported that - no surprise here - the governors couldn't agree on energy policy. The governors of green states wanted to focus on alternative and renewable energy sources while governors from coal states couldn't warm to the idea of restricting the industry that provides power and jobs to their constituents. ...Bredesen acknowledged that, though development of solar and wind resources is important, neither is yet viable. ...While hearing speakers like Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, and Thomas Friedman, author and columnist for The New York Times, Bredesen said the governors came to a common conclusion - coal is going to be the dominant method for producing electrical power for the foreseeable future.
"It's a puny amount of unreliable power at a very high cost," Alexander said in an interview Thursday with The Tennessean. And then there's the appearance. "We have 10 million people a year come to the Great Smoky Mountains," he said. "They don't come down to see white towers as big as football fields with flashing lights. They come to see the Smokies."
Ratepayers would save money if TVA paid the penalty - estimated at $410 million a year by 2020 - rather than meet a goal of finding 15 percent new energy sources, said U.S. Sen Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. ...The agency's alternative green energy program - of which a wind farm on Buffalo Mountain in East Tennessee is a large part - provides less than one half of 1 percent, and customers have to pay extra to support it.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - An industry-sponsored poll suggests most Tennesseans support renewable wind energy, but don't count U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander among them. "I am all for renewable fuels. I am all for clean air and carbon-free electricity," the Tennessee Republican said Tuesday in a conference call from Washington, where the Senate is getting ready to debate an energy bill that could come with renewable energy mandates. But Alexander has no love for windmills. Wind power, he said, "is expensive and disfigures the landscape. It produces a puny amount of power, and it doesn't fit Tennessee."
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.