“In the first year alone, the [Pueblo County School] District saved $35,000. Over the life of the [community solar] program, those savings will exceed $2 million. That’s enough to buy a Chromebook for 7 out of ten kids in the District. It’s enough to pay all 32 employees at Prairie Winds Elementary for a year.”
– U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., in an op-ed extolling the virtues of community solar programs. Bennet has introduced legislation in Congress to make permanent a Department of Energy program to promote community solar, especially in low-income communities.
“Solar reduces the cost of home ownership, it makes houses sell faster, it returns more to a builder, it makes local jobs, and most importantly, it reduces carbon emissions today to help our children and grandchildren have a better future tomorrow.”
— South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, whose monthly electric bill is about $10, after the city passed a measure requiring new houses to install solar panels.
The Mississippi Pubic Service Commission requests a “solution that eliminates ratepayer risk for unproven technology and assures no rate increase.”
– Mississippi Public Service Commission in a news release directed at Southern Co. subsidiary Mississippi Power, in which it gave the utility 45 days to abandon its beleaguered and massively over-budget seven-year, $7.5 billion effort to construct a carbon-capture-and-storage coal-burning power plant.
“The whole utility paradigm has shifted. We really are doing our ratepayers a disservice by not considering all viable options.”
– Reiko Kerr, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s senior assistant general manager of power systems, regarding a decision by the utility to put a hold on a $2.2 billion plan to rebuild several old natural gas power plants while it studies clean energy alternatives.
“It’s the least cost renewable we can add to our system by far.”
– Stefan Bird, CEO of Pacific Power, whose parent company plans to build a major wind farm in Wyoming, one of several massive wind projects planned in the state to serve growing demand for clean energy on the West Coast.
“Market prices were kept low and highly competitive by improved hydro-electric conditions, moderate loads and the addition of about 2,300 megawatts of summer capacity — consisting mostly of solar generation.”
– From a market report by California’s grid operator showing that wholesale power prices fell 9 percent in 2016, spurred by a decline in natural gas prices, improved hydropower conditions and about 1,900 megawatts of new peak summer generating capacity from solar resources,
“Our statutory duty is to produce electricity at the lowest feasible rate. … We weren’t trying to comply with the Clean Power Plan or anything else. What’s the cheapest way to serve the customer? It turned out to be retiring those coal plants.”
– Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson on how little Donald Trump’s pro-coal policies are likely to affect his utility’s plans. TVA is on track to retire five of its original 11 coal-fired power plants by the end of 2018.
New wind turbines are “the most cost-effective way to meet our anticipated energy needs of our own customers.”
– PacifiCorp spokesman Bob Gravely on his company’s plans to spend $3.5 billion on 2,000 megawatts of new and upgraded wind turbines, mostly in Wyoming, over the next 20 years.
“We’re doing it primarily because it’s the cheapest energy resource we can buy now, even lower than our coal generation.”
– Xcel Energy spokesman Wes Reeves, explaining the utility’s decision to invest $1.6 billion to build two large wind farms in eastern New Mexico and West Texas over the next three years, which will lower costs and save customers in those states about $2.8 billion over the next three decades.
“This would save us money, and that will eventually hit our ratepayers’ pocketbooks in a good way.”
– Hannibal, Missouri public works manager Robert Stevenson on the city’s approval of a contract to meet up to 20 percent of its annual electricity needs with wind energy, saving the city $720,000 a year in energy costs. The deal is predicated on the completion of the Grain Belt transmission line, which would carry wind from Kansas eastward.