Skip to comments.Feds say Idaho Power must buy wind power [as predicted, it's not just healthcare]
Posted on 09/23/2012 11:11:31 AM PDT by matt1234Edited on 09/23/2012 2:23:41 PM PDT by Sidebar Moderator. [history]
BOISE -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says Idaho Power's long-term purchase agreement with wind farms means that it must buy electricity from the farms even when demand for power is low.
The commission's decision, reached Thursday, is good news for Idaho wind farms but a loss for the state's largest utility.
(Excerpt) Read more at nwcn.com ...
It's unclear if this is a simple contract issue. Different stories say different things. Some mention "contract." Others mention "rules." Some mention both.
Well, this is good news for those struggling family-owned wind farms. Without being able to sell the product they produce, which is immediately perishable, all those poor farmer families could starve or lose their farms.
How is any of this a Federal purview? No interstate commerce, no human or civil rights violations (i.e., some black guy isn’t happy about his work environment), no Federal issue at all in my book.
If I were the Idaho companies, I’d require the ‘energy producers’ to have constantly renewing EPA certification that no local floral and fauna have been harmed in generation and transfer of this “safe power” to the company. I’d further require that, the energy supplied meet the Buy-America First law, as well as federal guidelines for minority participation...I’d have my lawyers up their federal ass using their own regulations against them....the lawyers are on their payroll anyway, make them work for their retainers. Think outside the box.
OK... who are the resident FR photoshoppers??
I want a pic of poor Depression area farmers with wind farms. lol.
“The federal regulatory commission found the rules don’t allow for unilateral curtailment, and that any associated costs were taken into consideration when the long-term agreements were created.”
So now the Federal Government is helping to enforce Long Term Contracts that Idaho Power signed without taking into consideration possible long term market factors?
What is the world coming to when a party to a contact is not permitted to break the contract when market factors change?
They force the power companies in WA State to buy wind energy, also, even though we have more than enough hydro-power to supply our energy needs. The reason is that the excess power all goes to California, where the voters don’t want any type of power plants in their own state.
I read a newspaper this summer, from San Luis Obispo, that ran article about the fact that the Marin County Sierra Club was refusing to endorse a long time supporter of the Sierra Club for re-election because he had supported the construction of a solar power plant in Marin County. Marin County has also scrapped plans for a de-salinization plant, saying that conservation is a better way to go.
All private power production (over a certain size) in the U.S. is regulated by FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commision). Has been for a long time.
This was an interesting article today about the utter impraticality of solar/wind/gerbal/squirrel power..
How is this??
Then how do “wind” energy producers come under FERC if they aren’t above that size limit? Regardless, the real energy producers could get more creative in their resistance to bad government interdiction in their private endeavors, regardless of the FERC....
For whatever reason Idaho Power signed a long term contact with the wind power producers and now wants the terms of the contract changed due to various market conditions.
However, the purpose of a contract is to hold the parties to an agreement over a specific time period despite any market changes that make take place.
Idaho Power should have specified in their contract that their obligation to buy electricity from the wind power would change if demand decreased or if the cost of natural gas fell.
Are you of the belief that any party to any contract should be able to change the terms of a contract when market conditions change?
For example, would you advocate the company that holds your fixed rate mortgage change the interest rate you pay from 3.75% to 18.6% simply because interest rates increase in five years?
The problem with wind energy is still the same as it always was, the energy is only produced when the wind blows and that is highest at night, when energy usage is lowest. In WA State the wind producers sued because the hydro power companies didn’t have the line capacity to add the wind energy to California at the time it was produced, so the tax payers in WA were forced to pay for added transmission lines to send power to CA.
Read about the Shepherd Flats Wind Farm in Oregon, that was built by GE, with just about 100% government subsidies and loans (like Solyndra).
Power contracts are all politically motivated. What looks good under one administration, often doesn’t sit so well as power structures change and elections approach, and government subsidies expire.
What did the power customers have to say about the Wind contracts? The customers can force a change in the contracts by claiming that the contracts were signed without fully informing the customers.
I guess I could tell you that being forced into a contract in the first place because of government intervention or requirement is not “free business”....
Let’s face it, these companies would not have entered into the original agreements unless they were forced to.
And don’t drag the mortgage canard into it. It isn’t relevant.
Re: “They force the power companies in WA State to buy wind energy, even though we have more than enough hydro-power.”
It’s even worse than that.
The Feds and local Greens are systematically tearing down our dams, which produce the cleanest and cheapest electricity in America.
Great news for salmon.
Not so great for consumers.
If that is the case, Idaho Power should have specified such possibilities in the contract with the wind power producers.