Author Topic: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power  (Read 14851 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« on: March 09, 2016, 05:00:01 PM »
JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power



Not even a month ago Nevada’s public power company, NV energy, dropped its net metering credit for solar generated electricity in the state. The net metering credit is how homes with solar panels get paid back for the excess electricity they produce. Soon after NV Energy changed its net metering credit the two largest solar installation companies, SolarCity and SunRun evacuated from the state. They shuttered operations, closing their offices, and laying off 6,000 employees who devoted their careers to the solar industry in its infancy.  JEA is learning from the kill operation in Nevada.

Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2016-mar-jea-is-trying-to-stop-rooftop-solar-power

brainstormer

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2016, 07:21:01 PM »
This is really sad. I would agree that this plan is more about them not having competition in the future than it is about making money from current solar users. I don't understand why a public utility feels the need to behave this way. The Nevada situation is a perfect example. NV Energy chose to kill 6,000 jobs just so they could ensure greater profits. I wish our local politicians would stand up to JEA.

Does anyone know how the proposed solar amendments would impact decisions like this?

spuwho

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2016, 08:07:32 PM »
In this case it is really up to the voters to decide.

Hawaii Power tried and failed to do the same thing, but voters won the day.

Clearly the general power lobby saw this coming with the reduced prices for solar panels (and more coming) and they have ramped up the political pressure in return.

The economics of power generation right now favor fossil fuel sources. Centralized generation with a distribution grid is the cheapest way to make it available to everyone.

The grid was never designed for distributed energy production. That is why the regional grid operators have few interconnect points.

Wait until Tesla's in home batteries and their competitors come out. This is just the beginning of seeing how powerful the power lobby really is.

Inbother words, you havent seen anything yet.


mbwright

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2016, 09:13:54 AM »
The power lobbies are huge.  Rather than working efficiently, they continue to maximize profits, and stifle any sort of change. They can always bill the customer for their failure.   Especially for a 'city' utility, not a for profit, like Duke, FPL, etc., Solar should be encouraged.  It's just like when they want you to conserve, but due to loss of revenue, jack your rates. 

Kerry

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2016, 10:56:05 AM »
Oklahoma Gas and Electric recently killed solar power in Oklahoma as well by charging solar users/producers fees they don't charge anyone else, which essentially erased the financial benefit of homeowners producing their own electricity.

http://m.newsok.com/article/5441429
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spuwho

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2016, 12:22:19 PM »
The power lobbies are huge.  Rather than working efficiently, they continue to maximize profits, and stifle any sort of change. They can always bill the customer for their failure.   Especially for a 'city' utility, not a for profit, like Duke, FPL, etc., Solar should be encouraged.  It's just like when they want you to conserve, but due to loss of revenue, jack your rates.

I wish it was something this simple.

Since utilities are regulated, there is a high level of relationship between what they are allowed to pass to the customer and what they cant.

They used to bury their fuel costs in the general rate, but due to nuclear and environmental costs, they have decided to break more of those costs out.

Ratepayers have been demanding more transparency in the rate structure becuase they wanted to see if and where those poor decisions were showing up in the rate structure.

This came to a head when several nuclear projects were either cancelled or deferred in the late 70's. The utilities attempted to recover their costs of these cancelled projects.

Ratepayers objected to paying for poor planning by the utility CEO's.

One utility decided it was better to finish a long delayed plant even though they didnt need it right away so they could get it added to the rate base.  It ran at 10% for several years until another plant reached retirement.

Building power plants is hugely expensive and requires a defined cash flow to support those 30 year bonds. That means they have to forecast ratepayer demand.

If ratepayers start leaving or reducing their use of the grid, then the utilities will only have 2 choices, raise rates to compensate or defer investment.  Deferring investment in maintenance or capital inprovements causes more outages or longer times to recover after a natural event.

JPalmer

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2016, 12:42:35 PM »
Maybe it's time to extend the protections of the Solar Rights Act, though if JEA is receiving any federal money they should not be able to make restrictive policies.


http://energy.gov/savings/solar-rights-act

Kerry

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2016, 03:20:07 PM »
The power lobbies are huge.  Rather than working efficiently, they continue to maximize profits, and stifle any sort of change. They can always bill the customer for their failure.   Especially for a 'city' utility, not a for profit, like Duke, FPL, etc., Solar should be encouraged.  It's just like when they want you to conserve, but due to loss of revenue, jack your rates.

If ratepayers start leaving or reducing their use of the grid, then the utilities will only have 2 choices, raise rates to compensate or defer investment.  Deferring investment in maintenance or capital inprovements causes more outages or longer times to recover after a natural event.

Just two choices?  I think the have a few more options than that.
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Tacachale

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2016, 04:54:50 PM »
^Lol, that's not what the article says. Not even Folio makes that leap.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

MusicMan

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2016, 08:56:25 PM »
Reading the Folio link, this is so sad and pathetic. You have to be a long time crack smoker to buy into what JEA is saying. The solar user spends a mountain of money to get started, and JEA shares none of that expense.

They then recieve a small dividend over several years to get their money back, all the while actually using the grid less. WOW.




mbwright

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2016, 07:54:28 AM »
"JEA is also planning to offer customers solar power through a new program, SolarSmart. JEA will buy solar from large solar gardens or farms and sell it to customers in the same way it sells electric. Customers will be able to choose what percentage of their power comes from solar, up to 100 percent. Boyce described it as an option for an apartment dweller who can’t install their own solar system. The utility plans to charge a higher rate for electricity produced with solar energy."

I see this program really taking off.  I'm sure lots of folks will want to pay more for their power, just because it came from a solar source. 

I'm surprised they are not banning any use of natural gas by electric customers, since that too takes away from their profit.

Koch is dangerous to America, unless you are rich and don't care about anything other than profit.

NIMBY

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2016, 09:20:39 AM »
“Previously JEA only paid solar producers equal to the cost of purchasing a kilowatt-hour at $0.104, but is now proposing to drop the payment to solar producers from $0.104 to $0.075 per kilowatt-hour. This means if you were producing solar power, for every kilowatt of energy you produced, JEA would make a $0.029, or 27.88% profit off of the energy you produce, and likely increase the time needed to return your investment on your new solar panels by 6 years from 18.69 years to 24.76 years.”

This calculation assumes there is no additional cost to the utility to accept and redistribute this power to the grid, which I think is a flawed assumption.  Until very recently, power grids were basically designed around a small number of large scale energy generation points and transmission and distribution systems sprawling outward.  Solar is great and will get even better but to ignore cost to make changes to the grid to accommodate residential solar isn’t arguing fairly.  Should non-solar households subsidize these changes along with solar households?  That is fair policy question.  We subsidize lots of things.  So far the rate system has spread those costs to everyone but the new policy would not.

If the Koch bros scare you, check out this report from the MIT Energy Initiative on the future of solar: http://mitei.mit.edu/futureofsolar.  The executive summary has a nice summary of this concept (and chapter 7 goes into much more detail):

“Introducing distributed PV has two effects on distribution system costs. In general, line losses initially decrease as the penetration of distributed PV increases. However, when distributed PV grows to account for a significant share of overall generation, its net effect is to increase distribution costs (and thus local rates). This is because new investments are required to maintain power quality when power also flows from customers back to the network, which current networks were not designed to handle. Electricity storage is a currently expensive alternative to network reinforcements or upgrades to handle increased distributed PV power flows.

In an efficient and equitable distribution system, each customer would pay a share of distribution network costs that reflected his or her responsibility for causing those costs. Instead, most U.S. utilities bundle distribution network costs, electricity costs, and other costs and then charge a uniform per-kWh rate that just covers all these costs. When this rate structure is combined with net metering, which compensates residential PV generators at the retail rate for the electricity they generate, the result is a subsidy to residential and other distributed solar generators that is paid by other customers on the network. This cost shifting has already produced political conflicts in some cities and states — conflicts that can be expected to intensify as residential solar penetration increases.”

JHAT76

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2016, 09:51:57 AM »
in addition to NIMBY's counter argument the article displays a chart which shows peak Solar output at 11:00 (AM) then dropping and being near its minimum levels 3 - 5 PM then dropping to 0.  On a typical hot summer JEA's peak demand will be between 3 - 5 PM right as solar is dropping.  Often the load lingers through 8 - 9 PM with our humid evenings again with no solar to balance.  In short JEA is getting solar at non peak times and will be backing down or holding back generation.  This generation could be coal (est $.018 - $.027 kw/h) or gas (nat gas is currently very inexpensive) generation (est $.018 - $.034 kw/h).

Tacachale

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2016, 11:27:34 AM »
^Lol, that's not what the article says. Not even Folio makes that leap.

Quote
If there’s a corporate conspiracy against rooftop solar, it makes sense to some that the Koch brothers’ fingerprints are all over it. JEA’s rationale for the reduction in what’s called net metering, as presented in February to its board of directors, could have been lifted from model legislation created by a Koch brothers-funded think tank, Americans for Prosperity, which is being pushed in states across the U.S. (See ALEC legislation at bit.ly/1L7mJoJ.)

Poster boys for the New American Oligarchy, Charles and David Koch, multi-gillionaires worth at least $80 billion, are ultra-conservative siblings who’ve budgeted nearly a billion dollars — $899 million — to spend on the 2016 presidential race. The Kochs are also working to change laws in states around the nation to make everything more corporate and profit-friendly, to limit oversight and privatize, privatize, privatize. Through another think tank the Kochs heavily support, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), legislators all over America receive model legislation and talking points on a wide array of topics, including dismantling environmental protection laws, privatizing public schools, reducing individual and corporation taxes, weakening labor unions, and, yes, making solar power less affordable and less viable.

Wilking believes the movement against solar is about keeping power within the control of utilities.

“JEA [is] being extremely proactive limiting rooftop solar by putting in regressive policies. This is stepping on rooftop solar very hard and very early,” he said.

JEA’s staff didn’t notify Antheil or others in the solar power industry about the presentation they were making to the board on reducing the metering rate until the 11th hour. But Antheil said they did notify the Consumer Energy Alliance, a nonprofit vigorously supported by the Kochs that’s described as a front group for the energy industry.

The JEA board is made up of mostly new appointees named by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.

Correct, it doesn't say the board is driving this decision by JEA (or that they're sympathetic with the Koch's). It's JEA staff proposing the change *to* the board.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

spuwho

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Re: JEA is trying to Stop Rooftop Solar Power
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2016, 12:15:41 PM »
If the Kochs own a ton of those 30 year bonds that utilities use to finance their power plants. I could see why they would get involved. From what I have read about them is that they arent against solar proper, they are against the tax credits solar gets from the Feds and states. From their view, solar is an uncompetitive, expensive form of energy.

If there was a more profitable way to integrate solar power, I am guessing they would get involved.

They do have a good side. The Kochs, through their foundations are some of the largest contributors to the United Negro College Fund, are working with the Obama Administration on reforms to the criminal justice system and are considered one of the top donors to the arts in New York.