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Democratic Energy Media Roundup – March 11, 2015

Can one state lead the way for others in sound, smart energy policy? New York is setting the stage. This week, Mother Jones, and others talked to John about getting what we want from the utility of the future. (Hint: utilities may soon be waiting-in-the-wings!) Read more stories from this week, below.

New York Just Showed Every Other State How to Do Solar Right: “This is as exciting as the Public Service Commission gets.” by Tim McDonnell, Mother Jones

HB2201 Now on Gov. Tomblin’s Desk: Veto Needed

HB2201 is back on Gov. Tomblin’s desk.  He has until Saturday to veto it.  He needs to veto HB2201 a second time.  HB2201 is completely unnecessary, because net metering was protected in HB2001, and all of the contents of HB2201 are already covered in the WV PSC’s net metering rules.

NY Moving Ahead to Stop Wasteful Infrastructure Spending

NY is now leading the nation in promoting the development of microgrid technology.  The result has been a lot of new projects, including ConEd’s demand management project in Brooklyn and Queens that will eliminate the need for a new $1 billion (yup, that’s a “b”) substation.  Here’s what a recent story on Bloomberg said about the project:

Small-Scale Solar Contributes 13% of New Power Plant Capacity in 2014

placeholderThe growth of solar has continued at a furious pace, with a new record of 6.2 gigawatts installed in the United States in 2014.

Wellinghoff Nails Net Metering Cross-Subsidization Fallacy

When Jon Wellinghoff was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, he advocated simply horrible policies concerning electric transmission.  Here is just one example.  Since he resigned from FERC, however, Mr. Wellinghoff has become an outspoken champion of sensible electrical policy in the area of new decentralized power.

Exelon, FirstEnergy Fleeing “Free Market”

During the HB2201 fight, we have heard a lot of WV legislators and power company lobbyists bloviating about “the free market.” In the electrical industry right now, no power companies support free markets.  They are all pushing as many of their assets into state regulated monopolies as possible to protect their shareholders from new competition from innovation and decentralization.

Mon Power Down Again

I’m sitting here in my office pondering a conundrum.  Back in 2013, the WV PSC granted Ohio-based power company holding companies AEP and FirstEnergy the right to add significant new charges to WV electric bills to cover the costs of a new right-of-way maintenance program that would reduce the regular blackouts that hit West Virginians.

Solar Parity Coming Faster Than Expected

Back in 2012, ILSR released a pair of reports on the solar Rooftop Revolution, noting that one-third of Americans would live in a metropolitan area where the cost of solar energy from their roof would be less than the cost of power from the utility by 2021. When combined with our analysis of non-residential property, we estimated that 287 gigawatts of solar would be at price parity with grid electricity across the country by 2021.

New York Just Showed Every Other State How to Do Solar Right

Mother Jones, March 6, 2015

New York wants to get serious about solar power. The state has a goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and it’s already among the nation’s solar leaders. New York ranks ninth overall for total installed solar, and in 2013 alone it added enough to power more than 10,000 homes.

Where Did the Term “Cross-Subsidization” Come From?

Here is a key amendment that AEP and FirstEnergy, with help from Del. Folk of Berkeley County, inserted into HB2201:

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