Remember to thank Harry as you shell out more greenbacks for his ‘green’ pals

Take a close look at your most recent power bill. Look down to the itemized portion and find “Net electric.” Scroll to the right and you’ll see a number and KWH  X .1185000 or some similar figure. That is the basic power price of 11.85 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Mine actually went down a couple of hundredths of a cent during the billing cycle, probably due to continued decline in the price of natural gas due to the supply glut due to the use of fracking to recover previously unrecoverable shale gas.

Sen. Harry Reid, left, pats NV Energy CEO Michael Yackira on the back after a press conference at the gas-fired Harry Allen power plant near Apex in 2010. Yackira should check for knife. (Sun photo)

Now, write that 11.85 cents or whatever the figure is on your calendar, because it will be going up in the coming years. When it does, write a thank you note to Harry Reid and your state legislators.

Harry “Coal Makes Us Sick” Reid was one the chief opponents of a couple of coal-fired power plants that NV Energy planned to build near Ely, but backed off in the face of opposition from Harry and the environmentalists.

Instead, NV Energy is buying “green” energy from wind, solar and geothermal power plants at a cost double and triple or more the price of power from a coal- or natural gas-fired plants.

But even that isn’t good enough for Harry. A couple of weeks ago on Nevada Newsmakers he chastised NV Energy for not doing enough:

“I don’t think NV Energy has done enough to allow renewable energy to thrive. I think a lot of the things they blame, not having the purchase-power agreements, has been based on what they say the Public Utilities Commission won’t do. It is simply not true. I have spoken to commissioners myself, and I think that if NV Energy wanted to do more with renewable energy, they could.”

NV Energy replied that it already has contracted for enough “green” juice to meet the legislatively mandated renewable portfolio standard through the year 2020 — by 2025 state law dictates 25 percent of the state’s electricity must come from “green” energy sources. This year alone the company will have 300 megawatts of new renewables coming on line.

In fact, this past week it was announced that SunEdison has hired a contractor to build a 25 megawatt photovoltaic panel solar farm on 154 acres of private land at the Apex Industrial Park north of Las Vegas. The company expects to begin delivering power during the second quarter of this year.

NV Energy’s 25-year contract with SunEdison has a wholesale price of 12.85 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Let’s see, we are currently paying 11.85 cents for retail and NV Energy will be paying a penny more wholesale. They must make it up in volume, right?

As the Institute for Energy Research points out in a recent report titled “Hard Facts,” the price of power from renewables far exceeds the price of fossil fuel generated power and will be for the foreseeable future. Actually, when you look at what IER says solar costs, it looks like NV Energy drove a pretty hard bargain.

As Tom Gray points out in today’s Investor’s Business Daily, innovators are trying to find ways for renewables to reach cost parity with fossil fuels, but it is still “somewhere beyond the range of current technology. The debate lies in how far out of reach it really is, and when or if it ever will be reached.”

The problem is that, despite the cost disparity, states are demanding that “green” power plants with 20- to 30-year power purchase contracts be built here and now, using tax beaks and subsidies — meaning the cost is absorbed in both rates and taxes, money that is sucked out of an already anemic economy.

And those subsidies are on the decline. Just this past month, the House of Representatives refused to extend production tax credits that have meant the difference between profit and loss for many commercial wind power projects.

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission has a chart showing renewable power projects currently in the works, many with contracts to sell power to NV Energy. The total is more than 900 megawatts that we ratepayers will be paying for one way or the other.

By the way, if you look up the data at the Federal Election Commission website, you’ll find a number of SunEdison executives are contributors to the Solar Energy Industries Association PAC, which has given $9,500 to Harry Reid’s election campaign.

Download the pdf here. PROPOSED GENERATION PLANTS IN NEVADA

The PUC today released the following prices for renewable power for the first year of the contracts with NV Energy. The contracts allow an annual increase of 1 percent per year.

Tuscarora Geothermal: 8.8 cents/KWh

Waste Management Lockwood: 8.1 cents/KWh

San Emidio Geothermal: 8.975 cents/KWh

Enel Stillwater Solar: 6.9 cents/KWh

Silver State Solar North: 13.2 cents/KWh

Apex Solar: 12.85 cents/KWh

Spring Valley Wind: 9.8 cents/KWh

McGinness Hills Geothermal: 8.6 cents/KWh

Spectrum Solar: 11.1 cents/KWh

Crescent Dunes Solar: 13.495 cents/KWh

Mountain View Solar: 11.605 cents/KWh

Clayton Valley Geothermal: 9.8 cents or 10.3 cents/KWh (Depending on whether the plant qualifies for a production tax credit.)

Dixie Meadows Geothermal: 9.2 cents/KWh

17 comments on “Remember to thank Harry as you shell out more greenbacks for his ‘green’ pals

  1. Steve says:

    The environmentalists will tell you we are not including the costs of “externalities” in the price of fossil fuel power generation. This begs the question, will I be able to pay the cost difference with my ready supply of “externalities”?

  2. Athos says:

    What?!? No petey to defend the green miracle of Harry THE CROOK Reid?

    Tom, we’ve got to get a better class of libots on this blog!

    Harry, YOU CROOK! I hope you have some minion reading this (far better than JUNK MAIL!) Defend your screwing Nevadans with your green energy scheme! The only green I SEE is going from MY POCKET to YOU AND YOUR BUDDIES!

    What a truly odious creature is Harry “PINKY” Reid.

  3. You know the old label, Athos: Watermelon. Green on the outside and red on the inside.

    ________________________________

  4. […] example, NV Energy has a contract to buy wind energy from Spring Valley Wind near Ely for 9.8 cents per kilowatt-hour plus a 1 […]

  5. […] Not a single reporter thought it worthy of mention. That 25-year contract calls for NV Energy to pay 13.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the power plus a 1 percent per year escalator clause, which will help the power compnay meet […]

  6. […] I cited the public records law chapter and verse. I cited court case rulings. I argued the public’s right to know how such contracts would impact their future power bills. I thumped the table: My understanding is that at the time the contract was approved by the commission Nevada Power requested confidential treatment of the pricing information on the grounds the release would undermine future negotiations of renewable contracts. This argument would appear to be now invalid since the commission has subsequently disallowed confidentiality for pricing information in numerous renewable contracts. (See a few examples here.) […]

  7. […] note of the phrase “especially price.” Price is no object to Harry and his “green” energy cronies and campaign contributors. After all, we pay the price. Sen. Harry Reid, left, pats NV Energy CEO Michael Yackira on the back […]

  8. […] portfolio from such propped up firms, no matter how much more it costs. And, believe me, it costs a lot more. There is no choice for the consumer. It is all take-it, because there is no […]

  9. […] plants with taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies and then rake in exorbitant rates for decades to come (see examples here). Obama at solar panels near Boulder City. (White House […]

  10. […] mind that the current NV Energy contracts with renewables cost 7 to 13.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, at least double the cost of coal- and […]

  11. […] million per job. And that’s not counting higher power bills due to the fact “green” energy costs two to four times as much as fossil fuel-produced energy or that wind and solar are intermittent and most be backed up by […]

  12. […] example, the PUC in April 2012 released the following prices for renewable power for the first year of the contracts with NV Energy. The contracts allow an annual increase of 1 […]

  13. […] even with grants and tax breaks is costly. For example, the PUC in April released the following prices for renewable power for the first year of the contracts with NV Energy. The contracts allow an annual increase of 1 […]

  14. […] million per job. And that’s not counting higher power bills due to the fact “green” energy costs two to four times as much as fossil fuel-produced energy or that wind and solar are intermittent and must be backed up by […]

  15. […] July 7 story said this past year the utility was paying 13.77 cents a kilowatt-hour for renewable energy. That would be the price for power from the Crescent Dunes […]

  16. […] loan guarantee. Reid neglected to mention the plant has a contract with NV Energy to sell its wholesale power at 13.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, though current residential retail power is 11.6 cents per […]

  17. […] years ago the PUC released the following prices for renewable power for the first year of the contracts with NV Energy. The contracts allow an […]

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