Thursday, December 27, 2012

Progress, Duke want to slash payments for green energy

Utilities arguing for lower payments for 'green' energy in North Carolina are including the argument that new peaker supply is cheap to build.
I criticized a Conference Board of Canada report massively inflating expected investment in the electricity sector partially because of some ridiculous assumptions on life expectancy of new plants.
I'm familiar with the argument that additial peaking supply is not nearly as expensive as the "negawatt" industry pretends.  On the other hand ... some groups are starting to warn pipeline capacity is insufficient to provide existing heating fuels and increased electricity generation in some regions of the US (particularly the northeast).  
Anywhere the natural gas resource is available, particularly on existing generation sites, peaking capacity is likely far cheaper to build than generally claimed.

Progress, Duke want to slash payments for green energy - Business -
The utilities’ requests for lower rates are based on two factors. One factor – historically low natural gas prices – is indisputable. The other factor is anything but: Progress and Duke say that building power plants is becoming cheaper because modern plants are more efficient and last longer.
Those claims will be scrutinized by experts hired by renewables producers and by the staff of the N.C. Public Staff, the state’s consumer advocacy agency.
“They’re not actually using the cost of a power plant they’re building,” said Gisele Rankin, a senior lawyer at the Public Staff. “They’re using a hypothetical one that a consultant came up with.”
The entire article may be read at

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