If turnips were watches, I'd wear one by my side.
If "if's" and "and's" were pots and pans,
There'd be no work for tinkers' hands.
“I think it’s a great thing,” said Brent Abell, general superintendent of the Palmyra Board of Public Works. “Anything to keep costs down. That’s the ultimate key in the power industry, keeping our costs low enough to keep it affordable. It fills a void where we can get cheaper power.”
The announcement of the agreement was anticipated, according to Abell.
“We’ve heard rumblings that it was coming and it was a group decision to do it,” he said. “I think it’s a great thing if everything pans out the way it’s supposed to pan out. Sometimes things don’t pan out the way they seem, but I’m hoping it does and I think it will.”
Clean Line thinks it's finally found its "good witness" for its reapplication to the MO PSC for approval of eminent domain for its Grain Belt Express project. But the MO PSC isn't easily swayed by bogus press and pots and pans.
Clean Line President Michael Skelly said the new agreement would give Missouri municipal utilities “low-cost access to really the best wind resources in the country.”
“We heard the commission’s concerns loud and clear, and one of them was they wanted to know there were actual Missouri customers for the line, and we’ve now proven that out,” Skelly said.
Clean Line obviously didn't hear the Commission's concerns "loud and clear." Because those weren't the reasons the MO PSC denied Clean Line's first Grain Belt Express application. Here's what the MO PSC actually said:
GBE has not presented adequate evidence to show that the Project is economically feasible.
Staff made credible criticisms of the GBE studies and pointed out the large amount of important information that is not known about the impact of the Project on Missouri. Interconnection studies with SPP, MISO and PJM have not been completed or are inconsistent with the Project’s current design, plans for operations, maintenance or emergency restoration have not yet been developed by GBE, and GBE production modeling studies do not support GBE’s claims that retail electric rates would decrease. In addition, there is a good chance that Project costs would increase beyond what was estimated by GBE due to transmission upgrades, congestion, wind integration and the need for additional ramping capacity.
Dr. Michael Proctor presented credible evidence that Ameren Missouri would have lower-cost alternatives than the Project for meeting its need for capacity and energy, both with and without considering the renewable energy requirements of the Missouri RES. GBE failed to perform adequate studies and present sufficient evidence on this analysis, which the Commission would need to properly evaluate economic feasibility of the Project. Dr. Proctor’s analysis showed that natural gas-fired combined cycle generation is the most cost-effective generation alternative, and that wind energy from areas of MISO or through the purchase of RECs are a lower cost alternative to wind energy generated by the Project. Therefore, the Project is not the least-cost alternative for meeting Missouri’s future needs for either energy and capacity or renewable energy, so it is highly unlikely to meet the Commission’s rule for 1% rate impact limitation from renewable energy.
Since the Commission has concluded that GBE has not met two of the Tartan factors, by that standard GBE cannot show that the Project promotes the public interest.
However, the Commission will also consider further some of the specific public benefits of the Project claimed by GBE.
As Staff witnesses point out, as a result of GBE’s inadequate production modeling studies, GBE’s claims that the Project would lead to lower renewable energy compliance costs, lower wholesale electric prices, lower retail electric rates, and reduce the need to generate electricity from fossil-fueled power plants are not sufficiently supported by the record. Moreover, the Project is not needed to satisfy the Missouri RES requirements. Although GBE argues that the Project will make wind energy more accessible to MISO and PJM customers, the evidence shows that wind energy is already accessible in those regions and, at least in MISO, has more than doubled as a percentage of total energy generated in the last three years. GBE alleges that the Project would result in economic benefits, but its studies are not reliable, as they fail to consider any negative economic impacts resulting from job displacement and energy production. Finally, GBE touts the Project as a way for Missouri to access affordable clean energy as increasing environmental regulations increase costs for coal plants. It is too soon to say what the impact of the proposal will be on Missouri.
In this case the evidence shows that any actual benefits to the general public from the Project are outweighed by the burdens on affected landowners. The Commission concludes that GBE has failed to meet its burden of proof to demonstrate that the Project as described in its application for a certificate of convenience and necessity promotes the public interest.
Skelly acknowledged many landowners will continue to oppose the project but said he’s hopeful the state will consider the line beneficial enough reconsider its stance.
“We’ve had opposition in the past and we may in the future,” Skelly said, “but we think this agreement is a very positive development for the project.”
How flimsy is this purported "contract" with Missouri municipalities anyhow? Where is the contract? Sounds like it's so full of holes you could use it as a sieve.
“From an analysis we have based on the offer they gave us, we believe it’s going to save us about $10 million annually,” said Ewell Lawson, who manages government relations and member services for the Missouri Public Utility Alliance.
“Kind of what we’re seeing in the market right now for wind would bring it to Missouri at about 3 cents per kilowatt hour,” he said.
In 2014, Lawlor told Midwest Energy News the price of energy delivered by Grain Belt Express was between $40 and $45/MWh.
"Lawlor said the line can at current prices deliver wind energy to Missouri at between 4 and 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour."
(Editorial note: 1,000 kWh = 1 MWh, however I am presenting these quoted figures in MWh for uniformity).
And also in 2014 Grain Belt Express witness David Berry, Clean Line's Executive Vice President of Strategy and Finance, told the Missouri Public Service Commission in his sworn testimony that it would cost $15 to $20/MWh to transmit energy via Grain Belt Express.
"The cost of delivered energy is equal to the cost to generate wind energy in western Kansas (2.0-2.5 cents) plus the cost to move power on the Grain Belt Express Project, which we estimate at 1.5-2.0 cents per kWh."
In 2013, Clean Line told MISO that its transmission costs for the Clean Line projects were $20 to $25/MWh.
"Even when a transmission charge of $20/MWh to $25/MWh (based on Clean Line estimates for a 500 mile to 700 mile HVDC facility) is included, the delivered cost of heartland-region wind would be below both in-state wind and in-state solar PV price estimates in the Eastern U.S."
The new contract, which is contingent on Clean Line’s winning approval from Missouri regulators...
About 35 of the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission members are part of the contract now to procure from 50 to 100 megawatts of space, Lawson said. But more of the group’s 67 members can join and reserve space up to the 200 megawatts outlined in the contract.
Clean Line has announced no contracts with any major utilities, either in Missouri or elsewhere. Is a "contract" for a mere 1% of Clean Line's 4000 MW capacity going to financially support the project? No. So the contract must also be contingent on the rest of the capacity being sold to others at higher prices. If it was such a good deal, big utilities would have jumped on it already. Think about that, little Missouri munis, think about that.
And also think about the veracity of Clean Line's current press party.
CLEP has already won approval for Grain Belt Express from commissions in Kansas, Indiana and Illinois. In the Missouri decision, commissioners recognized the transmission system’s value to Kansas and Illinois but argued it would do little other than pass through their state.
CLEP has since added a 500 MW substation in Missouri to allow the line to serve load in the state, upping the system’s potential value.
Yay, you, Clean Line Energy Partners. Offering struggling Missouri municipal electric providers a "contract" you probably have no intention of delivering in order to attempt to use them to secure approvals at the PSC. And you, MoPEP, do you REALLY think you're going to be able to purchase energy over a "clean line" for 3 cents per kilowatt hour? Does that make you feel good when you go to sleep at night? What a shame. Karma's coming...