[Ok-sus] New clean energy tariff

Kelley C Smith smithkc at riskiii.com
Wed Apr 30 02:31:47 UTC 2014


Vicki,

Your coop is different from OG&E or PSO, yes. I am thinking Ozark is a distribution coop…. it does not own any generating units. It probably buys energy from a G&T coop, or somewhere. OG&E and PSO both own generation, transmission, and distribution facilities. Is that right? And, having to sell power on an unpredictable basis is different when there are  a small number of people "dropping in" for emergency power than when a significant portion of customers are doing that. THis is an issue that a distribution coop need not worry about. it's the generator's problem!

The type of generation unit built is determined by the "shape" of the load. That is, if all your customers are oil refineries which have a more or less constant power demand 24/7, you build a unit that can run flat out all year long…. well, no unit can do that, but you would build a "base load" generation station, high capital costs, low variable costs. If you need additional generation  for hot summer afternoons when people turn on air conditioning, then you build a "peaker" unit… usually something with a lower capital cost, and these invariably have higher variable (fuel) costs.  Base load stations simply cannot be run the way peaker units are. THe startup and shutdown is much more complex…..I could go on, but maybe an engineer will chime in here.

Also, on the distribution or power delivery side, there are costs associated with allowing people to sell power back to the utility. For example, say there is a bad storm that knocks some lines down. If the utility is the only party sending any power along the system, they know where to flip switches to make it safe for line crews to restore power. If various houses are selling power back, there are extra controls that have to be installed so that this power can be shut down in the case of repairs. 

Yes, as you point out, there could be a flat rate for all customers to pay for any costs associated with net metering One could argue that everyone would benefit from cleaner air from wind or solar power, and thus all should pay for net metering equipment (net metering is the term for charging a customer for their energy net of what they "trade" back to the utility) as just another little chunk of the customer charge. That would be one way to go about it.

Perhaps I've said more than enough, as I am not sure I have the complete info on the bill anyway. I am not necessarily defending any particular viewpoint, but electricity is a very complicated thing to buy and sell. I think solar and wind power are very interesting, and a lot depends on energy storage technology. Perhaps some affordable type of battery will come along, and the need to maintain an expensive distribution system will not be such a big deal.

I am afraid any bill that was hurried through the legislature sounds suspicious.

Kelley


On Apr 29, 2014, at 9:11 AM, "Vicke Adams" <vicke at vickeadams.com> wrote:

> I don't know how OG&E or PSO operate since I have Ozark Electric which is a cooperative. Ozark does not pay for electricity put back on the grid. They also charge a minimum monthly amount of $25 regardless of how much electricity that you use. That is how they pay for infrastructure for minimal users. There are many summer cabins out here where I'm at. Those people pay $25 per month, every month, even on months they don't come out to their cabin. So, utility companies have already figured out how to provide for their infrastructure.
>  
> But let's look at an analogy to your argument. Toll roads are built and maintained by the people that pay to use them. There aren't different charges based on how much you use the road. They don't charge me if I opt to use the alternate roads for a few months. Would you give the Turnpikes the right to charge those who don't use it since they have to build and maintain it on an unpredictable basis?
>  
> I read somewhere that Governor Fallin's executive order implementing this law basically guts it. I've read the executive order, twice, and I have to admit that I don't understand what it says. If it guts the law, I'm not sure how.
> Vicke
>  
> From: Ok-sus [mailto:ok-sus-bounces at lists.oksustainability.org] On Behalf Of Kelley C Smith
> Sent: Monday, April 28, 2014 4:27 PM
> To: ok-sus at lists.oksustainability.org
> Subject: Re: [Ok-sus] New clean energy tariff
>  
> I'm not sure I understand the bill, and I don't want to be an apologist for the fossil fuel industry… but, I think I should say something or at least ask a question…
>  
> When I looked, I thought the bill was imposing a sort of tax on those who had solar panels, etc. and who wanted to connect to the grid to sell power and to, when necessary, buy power. That is, if there is cloud cover for a few days, and a family's battery back-up is running low, they would want OG&E or PSO or someone to supply them some power for a while. Also, some people want to sell surplus power.
>  
> Asking a utility to be your back-up of last resort is asking quite a lot. How do they plan for this? Why should they build, and maintain generation, transmission, and distribution facilities to sell power on such an unpredictable basis? That's the question society must answer. 
>  
> Maybe I misunderstood, and I am not saying that OGE or PSO should get whatever they want (if indeed that's what this bill does), but we have to think about what it means to change from fossil fuel generation and how we deal with days when the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine.
>  
> Perhaps a more equitable, and maybe more economical solution would be very small-scale portable gasoline or diesel generators. Or, perhaps we should look into every possible milliwatt of energy we can save and just not ask for back-up from the grid. It is a difficult question.
>  
> Kelley
>  
>  
> On Apr 27, 2014, at 5:52 PM, Stephanie Jeffords <buzzardroostranch at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> This bill is a horrible infringement on our freedom and inalienable rights. 
> 
> It might be advantageous to create a petition through change.org to have this bill repealed. 
> 
> The bill obviously creates a double standard and feeds the oil and gas monopoly.  If our legislators can pass this bill to assess fees on our own
> solar and wind power, what else will they try to tax or make a law against, my garden vegetables so that Monsanto can have complete control of all crops?  
> Through despot bills and over taxation our legislators are destroying our small farms and ranches, the backbone of this country.
> 
> We have legislators that are allowing the oil and gas industry to have absolute power or control of our state government. This is despotism and is addressed in the preamble to our 
> Declaration of Independence, which also states that:
> "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." 
> 
> No where does it say that all corporations are created equal with inalienable rights.
> 
> We can not have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, when our legislators engage in discriminatory, self-serving and over taxation to suppress new technology and innovations that would take us off our forced dependency on oil and gas.
> 
> I will sign your petition!!
> 
> Stephanie
>  
>  
>  
> 
> On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 8:15 PM, Vicke Adams <vicke at vickeadams.com> wrote:
> Is anyone else upset about the new fees that are now going to be assessed onOklahomans that have solar or wind energy? This legislature is not in touch with reality. How and why are they penalizing me for trying to be more sustainable, not to mention to have a source of energy when the grid is down? I am located in a very rural area. I spent over $6000 to have a small solar power system that provides electricity to a portion of my cabin, It allows me to keep functioning when the grid is down. Just this week the grid was down in my area for almost four hours. No storms, no explanations.But, now that same utility company will have the right to charge me a monthly fee because I have solar panels on my roof!
> 
> I called my state representative and senator as well as others to ask them not to vote for this bill. I hope others were doing the same. What I fear is that this terrible bill was passed through both houses and signed by the governor today in such a slick, quiet way that most people probably don't even know it has happened. I keep waiting for the outrage but so far, I'm not seeing or hearing any coverage.
> 
> What's up with this? I'm about ready to drive to the capitol and go office to office registering my displeasure with the entire place. Although, I fear that I would end up in jail and then who would be here to milk the goats that night?
> 
> Vicke - One really unhappy Oklahoman
> 
>  
> 
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