Tag Archives: wind

Farm Bureau pipeline and solar power policies 2018

Pipelines and rivers run through and by farms, and many farmers have solar panels, so it’s interesting to see what Farm Bureau has for energy policies.

Farm Bureau is for fixing FERC by revising the laws that let the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reimburse Congress from fees and charges on the companies it supposedly regulates. Many of Farm Bureau’s pipeline policies are good and sound like it listened to Randy Dowdy. It gets hardcore about eminent domain. There are even a couple of items that, if law, would have been very useful in the recent and upcoming Sabal Trail eminent domain jury trials.

It has some very good solar energy policies, and it is for renewable energy, including incentives; even an electric car policy.

Not all is good. Farm Bureau is for “clean coal”, fracking, nuclear power, and oil and gas exploration everywhere. It never mentions wind power without mixing it with dirtier energy sources.

Title, Policy Book

This is all from FARM BUREAU® POLICIES FOR 2018: Resolutions on National Issues Adopted by the Voting Delegates of the Member State Farm Bureaus to the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation®, Nashville, TN, January 2018.

Some of the policies are weirdly categorized: Continue reading

Powelson leaves FERC with a split board as Sabal Trail loses legal cases 2018-07-02

Just one day before FERC admitted Sierra Club won in D.C. District Court, and a week after Sabal Trail Sabal Trail lost a jury trial in the U.S. Middle District of Georgia in Valdosta, something else at FERC put pause to further pipeline and LNG export rubberstamps.

Ellen M. Gilmer, Rod Kuckro and Sam Mintz, E&& News, 2 July 2018, Powelson’s departure means fallout for pipelines, policies,

Robert F. Powelson by FERC
Photo: FERC, of Robert F. Powelson, via E&E News

Robert Powelson’s decision to exit the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission less than a year into his term could leave natural gas pipeline developers in the lurch and policy critics scrambling for how to approach the commission’s coming 2-2 partisan split.

That’s the consensus among Continue reading

Fossil fuels are a far bigger threat than the Russians

Leaks of hazardous materials, explosions, land takings, sinkholes, frac-outs: these are far bigger threats than Texas Rep. Lamar Smith’s Committee report “that states Russian agents were attempting to disrupt U.S. energy markets and using social media to purportedly stir up protests against pipelines such as Sabal Trail,” as a reporter asked me about recently. Smith’s report doesn’t mention that solar and wind power are growing far faster than his favorite, fracked methane gas.

Energy source growth by sector
Business Council for Sustainable Energy by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, February 2018, 2018 Sustainable Energy in America.

Elsewhere I already looked behind Lamar Smith’s fossil fuel smoke and mirrors, and found I post more on social media than the tiny Russian numbers that horrify him.

His actual examples are seriously rolling-on-the-floor laughable, such as this: Continue reading

FERC inadvertently clears path for renewable energy via storage 2018-02-15

FERC just let slip the wolves of sun and wind by enabling the storage that those sunny twenty-first-century “aggregated distributed energy resources” (DER) will use to blow down the straw houses of traditional twentieth-century so-called baseload capacity coal, oil, and nuclear power plants.

FERC Commissioner Robert F. Powelson called out the “participation model” Thursday’s twin orders enable, bypassing many traditional charges by accounting for physical characteristics that do not change over time, recognizing that batteries, sun, and wind power are basically different from old-style dinosaur power plants. Commissioner Neil Chatterjee named Senators Ed Markey and Sheldon Whitehouse as proponents of these new rules, which is very interesting since both have long been proponents of renewable energy, and Sen. Whitehouse called out FERC for failing to implement the DC Circuit Court’s Order on greenhouse gases. Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur said “Electric storage is like a ‘Swiss army knife’”. Maybe more like the South Australian storage utility player that has already out-responded natural gas during coal plant outages. Commissioner Richard Glick says sun and wind power “no less than energy storage, have the potential to play a leading role in the electric grid of the future”. None of the Commissioners could bring themselves to say what they all know: sun, wind, water power with storage will be the electric grid of the future. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff and I were right in 2013: solar power will provide more U.S. electricity than any other source by 2023, on the way to complete conversion of everything to sun, wind, water, and storage by 2050.

Frequency response of Tesla South Australian battery
Giles Parkinson, Reneweconomy, 23 January 2018, Tesla big battery moves from show-boating to money-making.

Gavin Bade, UtilityDive, Feb. 15, 2018, FERC issues storage, reliability orders, calls conference on aggregated DERs, Continue reading

FERC cry of wolf delays mandate from DC Circuit Court 2018-01-07 2018-02-07

Court mandate delayed because of FERC crying wolf, even though Sabal Trail has been shut down most of the past six, now seven weeks. So the three little pigs get a temporary reprieve from the Big Bad Wolf of sun and wind power.

Gavin Bade, E&E News, Feb. 8, 2018, Court filings stave off Sabal Trail pipeline shutdown, for now,

But Wednesday came and went this week with no word from the court.

E&E reports that may be because judges need time to consider some last-minute filings in the case.

What are FERC and Sabal Trail so scared of? The wind and the sun:

‘Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in.’

So he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew his house in, and ate up the little pig.

Illustration In English Fairy Tales, Jacobs, J., 1895, via Boston Public Library, Three Little Pigs
Illustration for The Story of the Three Little Pigs, in English Fairy Tales, Joseph Jacobs, 1895 New York: Grosset & Dunlap (2nd edition?) Boston Public Library.

For the entire four years since the Sabal Trail pipeline was first announced in 2013, renewable energy has produced more new U.S. energy than natural gas, according to FERC’s own Office of Energy Projects Energy Infrastructure Update For December 2017. Those are the wolves Continue reading

FERC cries wolf for Sabal Trail to DC Circuit Court 2018-01-06 2018-02-06

Update 2018-02-08: FERC cry of wolf delays mandate from DC Circuit Court 2018-01-07 2018-02-07.

Instead of answering Sabal Trail’s Friday cry of wolf by issuing new certificates yesterday, FERC instead took that cry to the DC Circuit Court, asking for a delay of today’s issue of a mandate.

FERC did not issue new certificates yesterday, and the Court did not issue a mandate today. Of course, today was merely the first day the Court could have issued a mandate, so we’ll see.

Don’t listen to FERC and Sabal Trail’s cries of wolf, Court! What’s really eating their pipelines is solar and wind power taking over the market.

Illustration by Francis Barlow Aesop's fable The Boy who Cried Wolf, called by him DE PASTORIS PUERO ET AGRICOLIS, 1687
The illustration by Francis Barlow Aesop’s fable “The Boy who Cried Wolf”, called by him DE PASTORIS PUERO ET AGRICOLIS, 1687

For the fourth year running, renewable energy has produced more new U.S. energy than natural gas, according to FERC’s own Office of Energy Projects Energy Infrastructure Update For December 2017. Four years means ever since the Sabal Trail pipeline was first announced in 2013. Those are the wolves after those poor pipeline Applicants: solar and wind power.

Gavin Bade, Utility Dive, Feb. 6, 2018, FERC asks DC Circuit to delay issuing order to halt Sabal Trail pipeline, Continue reading

Utilities have Opportunity to lead in solar power –Suwannee Riverkeeper in VDT 2017-08-02

They ran the op-ed last week online, and today the Valdosta Daily Times (VDT) put it on top of page 5A:

Point of View, page 5A, VDT

This newspaper op-ed has already resulted in a call about a water issue.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Georgia Power has opportunities to lead in solar power –Suwannee Riverkeeper in VDT 2017-07-28

Op-ed in the Valdosta Daily Times today:

Thanks, VDT, for your Sunday solar story and editorial!

Your editorial’s “buyer beware” would better be directed towards the electric utilities, which set up the price mismatch that caused the problem for the customer in your story. The story says, citing John Kraft of Georgia Power, “The utility company offers to pay the producer only as much as it costs to produce solar power. If a utility company can produce solar energy at a solar farm for 5 cents per unit, it isn’t going to pay a residential producer a higher rate for energy it doesn’t need.”

We dont your coal ash in any landfill in the Suwannee River Basin --Suwannee Riverkeeper

If Georgia Power does not need new energy, why is it building two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle and charging its customers in advance every month? Four years ago Google already bought more sun and wind power than that nuclear boondoggle would produce if it’s ever finished, and for less than the Plant Vogtle cost overruns. Those cost overruns keep going up, and the cost of solar panels keeps going down.

The story says Kraft asks people why they want solar power. Maybe to Continue reading

Stop failed Big Bet on nuclear Plant Vogtle and go solar: WWALS to GA-PSC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, July 27, 2017 — On Monday, WWALS Watershed Coalition asked the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to take Southern Company (SO) CEO Tom Fanning up on his suggestion that the PSC could affect the SO board’s August self-imposed deadline about the two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle: to go ahead despite the bankruptcy of Toshiba, or not. WWALS also asked the PSC, like it did four years ago, to require Georgia Power to buy more solar power.

Legacy --crowd reaction

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman wrote to Georgia PSC: “The Mississippi Public Service Commission in June refused Continue reading

Video: Will you lead to sun and wind power? —John S. Quarterman to Tom Fanning, CEO, at Southern Company stockholder meeting 2017-05-24

Update 2017-07-28: See also VDT op-ed and letter to GA-PSC.

Five years ago I asked Southern Company (SO) CEO Tom Fanning what was his exit plan when the Big Bets on Kemper Coal in Mississippi and the two new Plant Vogtle nuclear units on the Savannah River go bad. This Wednesday SO stopped using coal at Kemper Coal after the MS PSC refused to authorize further cost overruns. Thursday GA PSC staff said Plant Vogtle is no longer economical. It is time for GA PSC to do for Plant Vogtle what MS PSC did for Kemper Coal.

We dont your coal ash in any landfill in the Suwannee River Basin --Suwannee Riverkeeper

As Suwannee Riverkeeper at this year’s meeting in May, I told Fanning we don’t want SO’s coal ash in any landfill on any river in the Suwannee River Basin; I asked him for solar panels at Moody Air Force Base to shut down a natural gas pipeline; and I questioned SO’s acquisition of Pivotal LNG with its deal to ship liquid natural gas in bomb trucks down I-75 and I-10 to Jacksonville, Florida.

I reminded our genial host of my question five years ago, with the handwriting already on the wall since the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had then just referred to Plant Vogtle as a financial quagmire. This time I asked Fanning to lead us all to sun and wind power.

In SO’s own video you can see them Continue reading