Posts Tagged ‘Public Utility Commission’

3 September

Duke Energy Is Shifting From Nuclear To Solar!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Below is a re-post from our sister publication, Windermere Sun.

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

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Solar Panels (photo by Neville Mecallef, presented at WindermereSun.com)

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

What fantastic news for solar enthusiasts, climate scientists, and environmentalists! On Tuesday of this week, Duke Energy of Florida announced a settlement with Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC), equivalent to other states’ Public Utility Commission (PUC), to stop plans to build a nuclear power plant in western Florida. The utility, with the blessing from PSC, will instead invest $6 billion in solar panels, grid-tied batteries, grid modernization projects, and electric vehicle charging stations. This new investment plan will involve the installation of 700 MW of solar capacity over four year period in the western Florida region.

Duke Energy Florida may not have started building the Levy nuclear power plant, but it did have plans to order two AP1000 reactors from Westinghouse. But now, with the dramatic decrease in cost of solar and increase in battery storage technology, Florida utility concluded that it is much more cost effective to invest in solar rather than nuclear. Last week, Duke told its PSC that it would have to increase rates by more than 8% due to increased fossil fuel (coal and natural gas) costs. But with the new investment plan directing the utility toward solar and storage, that rate hike will be  4.6% instead of 8%.


 


Even though the preparatory expenditure on Levy are now sunk costs, this new plan will save residential customers future nuclear related rate increases. Customers will see a cost reduction of $2.50 per MWh (megawatt-hour) through the removal of unrecovered Levy Nuclear Project costs, according to the utility. The 700 MW of solar may not cover the 2.2 GW (gigawatt) capacity of the Levy plant, but it does indicate the dramatic shift from nuclear power to more solar power.

Duke Energy of Florida serves 1.8 million Floridians and had been relying heavily on natural gas. This week Duke said it wants to raise its solar power capacity to 8% generating power in the next four years.

The parent company of Duke Energy Florida, Duke Energy, also pulled the plug on another planned nuclear power plant in North Carolina last week, according to GreenTechMedia. With continuing drop in solar cost and  improved battery storage technology, it is conceivable that Duke would choose the best option of increasing solar for its customers.


It is a turning point in the history of energy use, when utility and PSC are able to be weaned from  nuclear and move onto solar. Thanks to those who have worked tirelessly in researching, developing, and improving battery storage technology. For this is necessary in order for solar to be promoted from intermittent to reliable source of power.

Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker

~have a bright and sunny day~

Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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30 January

Time To Evolve Energy Policy For Nevada

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on energy after a tour of a Solar Panel Field at the Copper Mountain Solar 1 Facility, the largest photovoltaic plant operating in the country with nearly one million solar panels powering 17,000 homes, in Boulder City, Nevada, March 21, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on energy after a tour of a Solar Panel Field at the Copper Mountain Solar 1 Facility, the largest photovoltaic plant operating in the country with nearly one million solar panels powering 17,000 homes, in Boulder City, Nevada, March 21, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

(Please click on red for more, below)

Yes, I’m well aware of what’s been happening in Nevada and can fully appreciate the frustration of solar folks out there. But I waited because I wanted to see the reaction of people from Nevada. I trust that there are sufficient number of people all over the country now who are in support of a clean environment and renewable future that there would be plenty of reactions about the recent decision of Nevada PUC (Public Utility Commission, the regulatory body that sets rules for the state’s electricity, gas, and water utilities). What I do not understand is how Nevada PUC reached the decision to cut net metering rates and increase the residential PV owner rate ($40 per month) payable to the state utility, NV Energy. Does Nevada PUC realize that such an attempt to stifle solar energy industry in the short term may actually speed up the rate of destruction of NV Energy in the long run? Or perhaps Nevada PUC simply does not understand sufficiently the overall changing landscape of energy use to propose more effective measures to adapt to the changing need.

The signs and shouts of “Don’t tax the sun!”, “Sandoval stole my sunshine!“,”Solar lives matter!” of hundreds of residents of Las Vegas were heard throughout the country! Those angry protestors outside of the Nevada’s PUC were led by celebrity actor Mark Ruffalo, who shouted, “Let’s make life uncomfortable for them, for the Governor, for the PUC. Because they’re wrong!”

Here is the response from one of the Nevada residents to Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada PUC about the recent Nevada Solar ruling, below:

The new fee of $40 per month won’t only apply to new solar customers, but also to the 12,000 or so people who already own solar panels. As a result of this  new decision, selling solar in Nevada will no longer make economic sense for solar installer such as Solar City, cutting 550 jobs from Nevada to be relocated to more solar-friendly states during the first week of January this year. Other solar installers such as Vivint Solar have similar plans, which will translate into loss of thousands of jobs from state of Nevada if such a poor decision is not remedied or reversed. Sunrun even filed an open records request for communication between NV Energy employees, lobbyists, Gov. Sandoval and his staff, and current PUC Chairman Paul Thomsen.  After Sunrun’s request was refused, Sunrun sued Sandoval.

 I believe in order for all of us, the energy consumers as well as the power generators, to evolve during this period of transition, we all need to learn, collaborate effectively, and be willing to evolve to the next stage of human history. I believe what we need is better understanding of feed-in-tariff at Value of Solar. In order to be able to step into the next stage of the game and be fair to all parties involved and/or be able to establish stability in our grid or potential future microgrids, I’d like to offer some information and words of wisdom by those who have already put much time and energy into studying the energy generation and management issues. Please allow me to share what Karl Rabago and Toby D. Couture have concluded,  below:

    1. Discussion of the Importance of Value of Solar with Karl Rabago

    1. Expanded Discussion on Value of Solar
    2. Words of Wisdom/Reminder From Our Value of Solar Friend, Karl Rabago
    3. In-Depth Analysis of Renewable Energy Policy With Toby D. Couture

Much remains to be seen and learned before Nevada PUC regulators’ next hearing on February 8, 2016. I hope they will make attempt in consulting Karl Rabago and/or Toby D. Couture before the next hearing.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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