If Harry Reid had his way our electricity bills would necessarily skyrocket

Harry Reid, right, at groundbreaking for First Solar project on Moapa reservation. (Energy Department photo)

Predictably Harry Reid, D-Green Energy Cronies, launched into full pouting mode after the Nevada Public Utilities Commission killed a proposal by NV Energy to build a $438 million, 200-megawatt photovoltaic solar power plant on the Moapa River Paiute Indian Reservation.

“This solar project would have provided hundreds of good paying jobs for Nevadans as well as economic and health benefits for the Moapa Band of Paiutes, who have been subjected to nearly five decades of pollution from the Reid-Gardner plant,” Reid’s statement reads. “With Nevada’s economy on the upswing, more power from clean energy sources is needed to feed the grid and fuel job creation. What more fitting then a solar plant on the Moapa Band of Paiute’s reservation?”

Though the coal-fired Reid Gardner Generating Station had undergone extensive technology improvements and was among the cleanest coal facilities in the nation, Harry “Coal Makes Us Sick” Reid managed to twist enough arms in the 2013 Legislature to garner passage of Senate Bill 123, which mandates closing the plant — with ratepayers picking up every last dime of expense rather than the shareholders of NV Energy — and replacing its 557 megawatt capacity with brand new natural gas-fired and renewable energy plants.

Of course, Sen. Reid neglects to mention that the customers of NV Energy don’t need 200 megawatts of power, but only 54 megawatts, and even that can be delayed awhile. Nor does he mention that those 54 megawatts, when and if it is needed, could be provided by spending $85 million on standard combustion turbine technology, not $438 million.

The Moapa Project, as proposed, would have been added to the total equity of billionaire owner Warren Buffett’s NV Energy. The PUC currently allows a return on equity of a little more than 10 percent, though the power company has asked for 15 percent for some recent project. The more equity, the more profits. Do the math: 10 percent of $438 million.

PUC documents indicate that approval of the Moapa plant would have cost ratepayers $50 million in 2017 alone, which “may have a significant effect on the creation of jobs in Nevada.” Possibly permanently negating Reid’s “hundreds of good paying (temporary) jobs?”

Add to this the fact that solar power costs about three to four times as much per kilowatt-hour as power from coal- or natural gas-fired plants.

Nor does the power company need the Moapa plant to meet its legislatively and arbitrarily established renewable power requirement. Even without this project NV Energy has enough renewables to satisfy the law through 2027.

All of the added expense for NV Energy would be propagated across the grid and affect the rates of power uses throughout the region, whether customers of NV Energy or not.

Additionally, the utilities commissioners were concerned that the power company had not opened the proposal to competitive bidding, which might help assure the lowest possible price for ratepayers.

Power users across Nevada should be grateful someone is looking out for us when it comes to our power bills, because it sure isn’t Harry Reid or our state lawmakers. Paying higher power bills makes us sick, Harry.






20 comments on “If Harry Reid had his way our electricity bills would necessarily skyrocket

  1. Athos says:

    Victor Davis Hanson has an excellent take on the last election (it was featured in today’s RJ). Basically, his question was “Why didn’t the Democrats run on Pinocchio’s record, and promise more of it, it elected? (because that’s the way Democrats work)

    The real marvel isn’t that the country turned from blue to red, but how did ANY Democrat win in this election?

    As to that CROOK, and his solar panel energy boondoggle, is one of his sons a lobby-est for the builders? (what a redundant question, eh?)

    If this is such a good deal for the people of Nevada, why didn’t the Democrats promote this in their campaign literature they mailed to my house? Hmmm?

  2. Athos says:

    Winston, your article is sending me on a rant! What is wrong with our Christian leaders? Gutless? At least this Bishop knows that he answers to a considerably Higher Authority than Harry Reid!

  3. Winston Smith says:

    A: 501C3

  4. Anonymous says:

    China disagrees with your analysis of the possibilities for renewable energy: “… As of 2014, China leads the world in the production and use of wind power, solar photovoltaic power and smart grid technologies…”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_China

    Crazy Chinese. Why would they invest in these ridiculously inefficient technologies…unless, just maybe, the Chinese can gauge true costs because they aren’t ignoring the costs of subsidizing their fossil fuel industry like we do. Food for thought.

  5. This from a country that continues to build coal-fired plants and dump toxins in the water? They just want to sell the stuff to gullible “greens” in Europe and the U.S.

  6. […] voted for the bill that forces NV Energy to close its coal-fired plants and replace the power with expensive new plants, including overpriced renewables. Duncan voted […]

  7. Athos says:

    petey, are you blogging under anonymous? Did Plouffe fire you or something?

  8. Rincon says:

    Sorry, anonymous was me in case you hadn’t guessed. Read again, Thomas. “… As of 2014, China leads the world in the production AND USE of wind power, solar photovoltaic power and smart grid technologies…” With air as bad as theirs, I suspect they need some clean energy both to prevent further pollution and to show their people that they are working hard on it.

    I also just read of another interesting Chinese practice in the 9/13 Scientific American: “In southwestern China, where a combination of habitat loss, wanton(pun intended?)use of pesticides, and overharvesting of honey has wiped out bees, workers pollinate apple and pear orchards by hand, transferring pollen from one flower to another with small brushes.”

    No concern over habitat loss, pesticide use or overharvesting. Sounds like a Conservative agenda. Couldn’t happen here though because the damn Liberals wouldn’t allow it. Well, maybe not. From the same article: “…in a span of 120 years, Illinois lost half its wild bee species…” Hmmm…it’s enough to make you question conservative values.

  9. Winston Smith says:

    That’s right, rincon, conservatives want to see all of the wild bee species disappear, by definition. That explains why rural areas which depend on continuing agricultural normalcy are such bastions of liberalism.

    Once again, a liberal is mistaken in thinking that the only way things can get done is by letting some government alphabet agency take them over.

  10. Steve says:

    It IS worth noting, the country didn’t have bee population problems until AFTER the forest service and BLM became the overarching monoliths they have become.

  11. Rincon says:

    By your logic Winston, fishermen should be the guardians of the fisheries, but time and time again, they show a wanton disregard for the long term health of the source of their livelihood, as so many depleted fisheries attest.

    I’ve lived in rural and suburban areas, and from personal experience I can tell you that rural folks around here anyway, are far less concerned about the local environment than suburbanites. Burning refuse for example, is very unpopular with suburbanites, but very popular with the rural folks who live upwind from the city.

    Since bee populations have collapsed to a much greater degree in agricultural areas where almost all of the land is privately owned, the antics of the BLM and forest service seem unlikely to have much to do with it. In Illinois, the chief reason given for the disappearance of many bee species is loss of habitat, which seems logical as Illinois has only about 2000 acres of remaining prairie, about 1/100 of a percent. http://www.life.illinois.edu/ib/335/tallgrass.pdf. That’s due to farming,, not the BLM, which is essentially nonexistent in Illinois. We also crop dust extensively, which kills every flying insect in a dusted area. The street lights don’t even have moths flying around them and my windshield never needs to be cleaned of squashed bugs anymore. Not so many birds either. The local crop dusting service has 5 planes. Plenty of mosquitos though 😦

    The scientists researching bee populations have not implicated the BLM/forest service to my knowledge, although I know you don’t trust scientists.

  12. Steve says:

    Not “scientists”, bureaucrats.

    Those on the front lines and in the labs have the reality and results to back them up, when the bureaucrats politicize the science I no longer trust the releases.

  13. Rincon says:

    Search with Google scholar and you will find that scientists are in substantial agreement with the bureaucrats…unless you think Google is in on the conspiracy.

  14. Athos says:

    Rin, history will show that you greenies are the true tin foil hat wearers. If you are so eager to throw your money away, send it this way (bet on the Bears!)

  15. Steve says:

    I keep saying the bureaucrats are controlling the science!


  16. Rincon says:

    Well, let’s see. The environmentalists cleaned up the air and water in this country. Maybe you guys didn’t live in a suburban area as children, but I clearly remember the smell of the pollution in the mornings on my way to school, holding my breath as the cars and trucks went by. I remember the air in Gary, Indiana being a distinctly orange color. You could smell our local river half a mile away. Today, people fish in it and the eagles are back. They took the lead out of paint and gasoline: ” A 1994 study had indicated that the concentration of lead in the blood of the U.S. population had dropped 78% from 1976 to 1991.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetraethyllead#History_of_controversy_and_phase-out I could go on & on, but you get my drift. All the way, political conservatives dug in their heels resisting. As I see it, they are the tin hat gang.

    You show little evidence of your theory Steve. You merely use it as a cardboard shield against valid information.

  17. […] No need to quibble. Besides the PUC says that shortfall, when it is needed, can be provided by spending on $85 million, not $438 […]

  18. […] fact, the PUC turned down NV Energy’s bid to build a 200-megawatt photovoltaic facility on the Moapa Indian reservation […]

  19. […] more than a month ago the Public Utilities Commission denied NV Energy’s proposal to build a 200-megawatt, $438 million photovoltaic solar power plant on the Moapa Indian […]

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