Letters to the Editor 5/16/19
MORE SOLAR IS NEEDED
Although it is true that market pricing does fluctuate, solar power production is at its highest during mid-day of the summer months with June 21 theoretically being our best-producing day, due to the fact that is the longest day of the year (“CWLP rule would slow Springfield solar,” May 9). Coincidentally, these are also the times of highest demand in CWLP territory by all consumers due to AC loads during the summer. These times are referred to as peak periods and are generally when utility customers recognize their peak demand. Accordingly, solar is actually helping CWLP’s grid with any overproduction being put back on the line during these peak demand times for the next neighbor or business to use.
Additionally, it is a very efficient means of distribution, using existing infrastructure, versus power having to be imported from the nearest substation, which can be miles away. Off-peak rates on the open market generally apply during later evening or early morning hours when folks are sleeping and the sun is not shining. So, the net loss for CWLP is not coming from solar – it is coming from spending excessive amounts of ratepayer funds to maintain an inefficient coal-fired operation. The integrated resource plan that was issued earlier this week by The Energy Authority (an outside independent evaluating entity) recommended the shutdown of three of CWLP’s four plants by 2020. The decision to keep Dallman 4 operational is marginal, based on the price of coal.
In the prior week’s council meeting, council members were asked to approve $900,000 in maintenance upgrades to the coal-fired operation. What does that look like over the course of one year, five years, or 10 years? That $900,000 ask alone could fund installation of a 400kW solar system that would require little to no maintenance for 10 years. Renewables and energy efficiency were also recommendations made for immediate implementation.
It’s time to embrace clean energy integration into the city’s portfolio, not move backwards in discouraging solar development in the capital city.
DON’T REQUIRE POWER BUY BACK
Interesting article (“CWLP rule would slow Springfield solar,” May 9). I do not have solar panels on my roof. Why should I help pay for people who do to make a profit?
Let me pose the following scenario. A person buys tomatoes at the grocery store for $1 a pound. Some lobbyists get a law passed that says the grocery store must buy tomatoes from their customers at $1 a pound. Customers hear about this and begin bringing their tomatoes to the store. The grocery store does not need the extra tomatoes, as they have plenty to sell already and were only paying 50 cents a pound from their wholesale supplier to begin with; however, they are forced to buy the tomatoes at $1. Soon, more people hear they can sell tomatoes to the grocery store. The grocery store owner realizes this is going to be bad business and closes the store.
This is the same concept as you complaining about selling power at retail prices to someone whose cost is less and does not need your power, which has power quality issues such as frequency, power factor and dependability.