Net metering a victim of its own success for some rural utilities

first_imgby Andrew Stein June 12, 2013 vtdigger.org The success of a subsidy for small renewable energy projects is proving costly for some Vermont utilities.Two of the state’s smallest electric utilities have surpassed a threshold that no longer compels them to subsidize power generated by renewable energy systems. While the Washington Electric Cooperative is still subsidizing what are known as ‘net metering systems,’Hardwick Electric Department has stopped accepting new projects.Butterworks Farm wind turbine in Westfield (Orleans County).Leadership at both utilities said they are concerned about the financial viability of the state’s current law, as the subsidies undercut the fixed costs of maintaining the grid in these rural regions.Washington Electric Co-op General Manager Avram Patt. VTD/Josh Larkin‘We aren’t anxious to pull the plug,’said Avram Patt, general manager of Washington Electric, who is a strong proponent of renewable energy. ‘But if nothing happens, we will either do that or do what some other utilities (in other states) are doing, which is we could come up with a tariff on any new applications, since we are not required to accept them.’Top energy lawmakers say that the situation shows the success of the state’s renewable energy proliferation in recent years, but they acknowledge that the financial sustainability of the net metering program must be dealt with.‘We have to address this immediately,’said Rep. Tony Klein, who chairs the House Natural Resources and Energy Commission. ‘When you grow at this rate, you run into problems that maybe you hadn’t anticipated. I think that’s what’s happening now, and I don’t think they are insurmountable.’Rep. Tony Klein. Photo by Roger CrowleyKlein said utilities could expect remedial legislation next session.Net metering, subsidies and how they affect different utilitiesNet metering is defined by Vermont law as the difference between the electricity supplied to a customer and the electricity that a customer’s renewable energy system feeds back to the grid.In 2011, Klein spearheaded a bill that expanded the state’s net metering programs. The way net metering in Vermont works is that for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) a customer produces, the utility must provide the customer with a 20-cent credit, minus the utility’s highest residential rate per kWh. For example, if a utility’s power rate is 14 cents per kWh, then the net credit to the customer would be 6 cents. The law also increased the maximum capacity of net metering projects to 500 kilowatts (kW).Under the law, utilities are required to take on net metering customers until the total capacity of those systems equals 4 percent of the utility’s peak demand during 1996 or the previous calendar year. Due to the intermittent nature of renewable energy, such as with solar and wind-based systems, the actual energy output of a given system is a fraction of its capacity.Washington Electric and its more than 10,500 customers surpassed the 4 percent cap at the end of 2012, with 138 net metering installations, totaling 683.4 kW. Four percent of the utility’s 2011 peak was 635 kW, according to a letter Patt sent to the Public Service Board, the quasi-judicial body that regulates Vermont utilities.In recent months, Hardwick Electric and its roughly 4,200 customers hit the 4-percent mark on the utility’s 2012 peak, with a total of 258 kW in net metering.Both utilities have low system peaks, when compared to many other utilities across the state. Eric Werner, general manager of Hardwick Electric, explained why this puts his utility at a disadvantage.‘Stowe has the same number of customers, but a peak that is twice as high,’Werner said. ‘They have twice as much opportunity. Retail customers are taking on solar units because their commercial, industrial customers are subsidizing a lot of it. We reached the peak a lot sooner than many of these other utilities.’In his letter to the board, Patt hinted that a one-size-fits-all policy for net metering might not be the most effective solution for the state.‘This raises equity issues between utilities, potentially causing differences in net metering opportunities for ratepayers based on how rural their utility is,’Patt wrote.Green Mountain Power (GMP), the state’s largest utility, currently has a net metering capacity of 16.4 megawatts. That accounts for roughly 2 percent of the utility’s peak energy load and is more than 63 times higher than Hardwick’s cap.GMP spokeswoman Dotty Schnure said her company has not encountered any financial issues related to the net metering program, but GMP is part of this discussion.‘Everyone is looking at how can we have good incentives to build renewable energy, but to do it in a way that does not have a negative effect on those customers who cannot afford those installations,’she said. ‘That’s a constant battle, particularly as net metering increases.’The problems and the possible solutionsOne of the advantages of net metering for many utilities is that it helps them cushion summer peaks in energy demand because many net metering systems are solar.When the sun is at its height in the summer, and air conditioners are blasting, many utilities experience peak demand, and many solar systems are pumping out high rates of power. Schnure said net metering helps cut into GMP’s summer peak by 1 percent to 1.5 percent.But Washington Electric and Hardwick Electric serve mainly residential customers, and their peak demand times are winter evenings when their customers are at home.‘The solar units are shut down on December nights when we peak,’Werner said. ‘The credits we give for solar units on the other hours of the day don’t contribute to reducing our peak as much as other utilities â ¦ It doesn’t contribute when we need it the most, which is Sunday night at 6 p.m. when it’s pitch black.’The other issue for Werner, Patt and others is that net-metering customers can use their credits to pay off efficiency and customer charges. Efficiency charges are leveraged by volume and fund the state’s energy efficiency utility program, Efficiency Vermont. Customer charges pay for a utility’s fixed costs, such as infrastructure and administration. Regardless of how much power a customer uses, a utility must have infrastructure in place to supply the customer’s needs.‘The success of renewable energy, both small scale on this level and on a large scale, depends on having a robust and sufficient grid system,’Patt said. ‘If people who are net metering aren’t paying their fair share of that cost, then they’re really kind of taking advantage of the system without contributing.’Werner estimates that an extra 1 percent of Hardwick’s overall rate is passed on from net metering customers, who don’t pay these charges. He said that amounts to about $50,000 a year.Klein said that an easy remedy to the problem would be to use net metering to zero out a customer’s kilowatt usage, but still require him or her to pay the customer and efficiency charges.‘We expanded (the net metering law) to cover customer charge and efficiency charges, and I think that we did that at the time to really encourage more and more people to get into net metering,’he said. ‘I now think maybe we went a little too far, too fast.’Chris Recchia, commissioner of the Public Service Department, said these issues should be addressed, but that net-metering systems should continue to proliferate. He argues that having more energy generators closer to where energy is used is making the grid more efficient, reliable and could bring down the cost of grid maintenance in the future.‘There are different options that we should evaluate and consider, but our goal would be to continue to encourage net metering. It’s having tremendous benefits to grid reliability,’Recchia said. ‘It’s enabling us to make better use of the lines and poles we have. But as we become more efficient and more distributed, we need to figure out a different financial model to support the infrastructure we have.’last_img read more

Three terrorists killed in US military airstrike in Somalia

first_imgUS military airstrike kills thirteen terrorists in Somalia US military strike kills three terrorists in Somalia A military drone. (Getty Images)The United States military said it killed three terrorists in an airstrike targeting an ISIS-Somalia encampment in the Golis Mountains in Somalia on Sunday.The US military says this is the sixth airstrike in the last month against ISIS-Somalia and Al-Shabaab in the Golis Mountains. The airstrikes in the area have so far killed a total of 28 terrorists.AFRICOM notes that the Golis Mountains are a known area for Al-Shabaab camps and ongoing fighting between Al-Shabaab and ISIS-Somalia.AFRICOM said no civilians were killed or injured in the latest airstrike but it would release more details as appropriate as a post-strike analysis continues.“Airstrikes create additional time and space for continued incremental progress in Somalia. The last few days presented opportunities to successfully reduce terrorist influence and activity,” U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Huston, deputy director of operations, U.S. Africa Command, said in a statement on AFRICOM’s website.Somalia has been plagued by terrorism for more than a decade, perpetrated by the Al-Shabaab militant group. The war waged by the terrorists has killed tens of thousands and forced millions to flee their homes.Relatedcenter_img US military airstrike kills three terrorists in Somalialast_img read more

Watch the Reaction Baker Mayfield’s Mom Gives When She Reads a Letter He Wrote Her For Mother’s Day

first_img Related TopicsBaker MayfieldBrownsfeatured Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE. Matt Loedecenter_img With Mother’s Day this weekend (don’t forget it’s Sunday!) ESPN has had some high profile athletes write letters to their mom’s to say what they feel about them. What the athletes don’t realize is that the players’ mom is sitting one room away.Try not to get emotional when you watch Baker Mayfield of the Browns write a letter to his mom telling her how much she means to him in this latest episode from ESPN.We asked @bakermayfield to write a letter to his mom.What he *didn’t* know was that she was listening in the next room … pic.twitter.com/20zxDiXnPw— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 8, 2019last_img read more

Design Elements Every League Should Have

first_img Link to post Design Elements Every League Should Have Forums Home 3 minutes ago, PaperThin said: 3,076 SilverBullet1929 339 Share on other sites Hockey: chest stripe 31,030 posts Posted April 5, 2016 Colts style stripes 0 1 Doesn’t every league already have these things? Thus, this thread feels like it’s implying every team should have them, even though I understand that’s not what he wrote? I may be wrong but I think that’s the confusion here. 2,271 Share this post 376 376 Yeah they mean uniform cliches in each league, not that each team should look like this This thread is for you to post design elements every league of a sport should have. Share this post 5,840 posts 5,026 Sports Logos $1 Cans of PBR Basketball: No Sleeves* Sponsors across all NBA uniforms. Members 327 Followers 0 2,271 Members 5,026 Is there ketchup on that? Location:North of Ogdenville Vertical stripes for every soccer team? So many teams would be up in flames real quick.  2,271 Cujo Members Link to post Pinstripes for every MLB Team? Boston would be up in flames real quick. 1,062 posts Posted April 5, 2016 Link to post 1 You Get Nothing! You Lose! Good Day Sir! SilverBullet1929 Members 339 Members Posted April 5, 2016 Share this post SportsLogos.Net sᴘᴏʀᴛsʙᴀʟʟ ᴄᴏᴍᴍᴇɴᴛᴇʀ Location:Miami, Florida Link to post Pinstripes for every MLB Team? Boston would be up in flames real quick. Link to post Posted April 5, 2016 Share this post 339 By JosiahWVU, April 5, 2016 in Sports Logo News lopernv He said every league, not every team. 2 327 Share this post Favourite Logos:WVU, Pirates, Steelers, Minnesota Wild, West Virginia Blackbears Soccer: vertical stripes 4,212 The Mountaineer, Pirate wait guys i messed up 1 hour ago, Uglybus said: Vertical stripes for every soccer team? So many teams would be up in flames real quick.  PaperThin So… what you got? Pinstripes for every MLB Team? Boston would be up in flames real quick. 0 1,133 posts 376 Forums Home Members Spoiler Sports Logo News Share on other sites Design Elements Every League Should Havecenter_img Location:Almost Heaven-WV, Rocketria, and Western Pa Posted April 5, 2016 Followers 0 909 posts Posted April 5, 2016 Location:San Antonio, Texas Members 12,366 posts Design Elements Every League Should Have Sign in to follow this   Location:St. Petersburg, FL This topic is now closed to further replies. MJWalker45 1 hour ago, PaperThin said: 919 DustDevil61 199 Examples: Football: Sports Logos raysox If a league has one kit supplier there shoulde be a rule that no more than 3 teams have a similar uniform design and they must have different colors. This is more for AFL, MLS and HBCU’s. 0 Location:Denver, Colo. Posted April 5, 2016 Share on other sites Recommended Posts 3,076 DustDevil61 327 Baseball: Pinstripes Members Members Location:Brooklyn 4,212 Share on other sites Favourite Logos:Miami Marlins and too many others to name… Sports Logo News Share this post 4,212 Share on other sites 5,026 Location:The future former home of Paul George SportsLogos.Net Link to post Grand Pooba of Walksylvania Link to post Share this post Share on other sites 2 Posted April 5, 2016 *Sleeves only on jerseys throwing back to a jersey that pre-dates modern basketball uniform conventions, ala the Celtics’ 1946 uniforms. But that’s about it. JosiahWVU I’m tired of the speculation every year. Just get it over with. raysox Link to post All Activity Uglybus 2,238 posts 199 919 199 Go To Topic Listing 1 JosiahWVU Link to post Favourite Logos:Cardinals’ StLUtah Jazz noteHartford Whalers Posted April 6, 2016 Share this post Hockey: Hem Stripes, Shoulder Yokes Share on other sites MJWalker45 2 Share this post 5,786 posts 919 Share on other sites Share on other sites 22,252 posts 3,076 Cujo Uglybus PaperThin lopernv All Activity Sign in to follow this  last_img read more

Monday Thoughts

first_imgMeans’ next start is scheduled for Friday night in Cleveland. Picking up wins in both starts, Means is now 5-3 on the year, as well as in his major league career. In his first major league season, Means is pitching to a 2.33 ERA in 10 games. John Means had an outstanding homestand this past week. Since ending the drought, Davis is 18 for 59, which is a slash line of .290/.371/.581. He also crushed five homes runs and tallied 15 RBI in that span. Stewart Makes MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week: John is on a Means Streak: DJ Stewart is finally starting to get hot in Triple-A Norfolk, so much so that he made MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week. In his two starts, Means pitched seven innings of one run ball against the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and six innings of one run ball against Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels. center_img The Baltimore Orioles had an interesting week of baseball. Finishing a homestead with a 3-5 run, the O’s will begin a week-long road trip starting in the Bronx and wrapping up in Cleveland. So with that being said, here are our Monday Thoughts! Davis Looking Like His Old Self: On the year, Stewart is batting .259/.390/.500 in 137 plate appearances for the Tides. Please follow and like us: Chris Davis has been swinging the bat ever since ending his record-breaking hitless streak against Boston. In five games this past week, Stewart slashed an impressive .313/.368/1.000. He tallied three home runs and two doubles with 10 RBI. He also scored five times and recorded two walks. Davis is currently batting .189/.287/.379 in 108 plate appearances on the year. And while it is still shy of where Davis wants to be, it is a huge step in getting him back to his old self. last_img read more

Little or no water for some West Dem residents

first_imgGWI blamedThe service of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) is being criticised by residents in La Grange and La Parfaite Harmonie Housing Scheme on the West Bank of Demerara, since residents in those communities are forced to deal with low water pressure or no water at all.The issue have been ongoing for over three weeks, and residents are calling on the relevant authorities to have it addressed.Since August 10, residents in Independence Street and several parts of La Parfaite Harmonie Housing Scheme has been continuously forced to endure low water pressure, and in most cases no water at all. According to the residents, several complaints have been made to the GWI Office at Pouderoyen on the West Bank of Demerara, but to no avail.“We are not getting any water, sometimes for days; and if we do get water, it come around 3am and very slow; so we have to get up early morning to full water to do our work, and it is tough,” Independence Street housewife Veronica said.She added that residents would have made several calls to the GWI office, only to be told that they are working on the issue, with no additional information.“The water does come one-one time, but when it come it is coming slow, and we have to use bowls to full our containers; and it is hard, because it take a long time to full a small bucket, and we need the water to wash clothes and bathe the children to send to school,” Recht Door Zee resident Shafrana Khan told the Guyana Times.Several calls have been made to the GWI office at Pouderoyen, WBD, and this publication was informed that the issue is being worked on, but the employee there was unable to say what exactly the issue is.The Guyana Times made contact last Tuesday with the Public Relations Department of GWI to source additional information, and was told that the sought-after information would be gathered and forwarded to us. However, the information is yet to be forwarded, and several follow up calls have gone unanswered.last_img read more