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Power Grid Down November 2013

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Author Topic: Power Grid Down November 2013  (Read 950 times)
Christian40
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« on: November 13, 2013, 03:32:31 am »

"Vulnerabilities in the power grid are finally garnering more than a little attention by the government.

A “power down” drill planned for November will be conducted in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Utility workers, government agencies, FBI agents, anti- terrorism experts and private businesses are involved.

The drill will mainly focus on electromagnetic pulses (EMP’s) physical and cyber attacks. The geriatric electrical system in the United States has been one of the most neglected pieces of integral infrastructure.

In 2008 Congress created the EMP Commission released a report demanding increased testing and planning, and called for the stockpiling of necessary items.

The Shield Act which is currently stalled in Congress, is the first piece of legislation in years to attempt to seriously address the vulnerabilities of the power grid. A report by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the United States power grid a D+, after considering the public services and infrastructure in the US.

This disaster drill is being described as a crisis practice unlike anything the real power grid has ever experienced. The GridXII drill scheduled for November 13-14 2013, will focus on how local, state and national governments will react if the electrical grid fails and the food supply chain collapses as a consequence.

American utility companies are responsible for running approximately 5,800 power plants and over 450,000 high-voltage transmission lines, which are controlled by devices that were put into place decades ago. Utility companies which oversee the power grid reportedly use “antique computer protocols” which are “probably” safe from cyber hackers,” The New York Times reported.

The Times said experts call the power grid the nation’s “glass jaw.” Even the military gets 99 percent of its power the same way citizens get it – from commercially run companies.

“If an adversary lands a knockout blow, [experts] fear, it could black out vast areas of the continent for weeks; interrupt supplies of water, gasoline, diesel fuel and fresh food; shut down communications; and create disruptions of a scale that was only hinted at by Hurricane Sandy and the attacks of Sept. 11,” The Times said.

Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Curt Hebert stated that if the nation fails at electricity, “we’re going to fail miserably” at everything else.

Hebert noted that during prior power grid drills, the scenario assumed the system would be up and running again relatively quickly after an attack. This drill will assume it’s out much longer.

If the power grid were to fail, a lack of food delivery and electricity are only the first wave of troubles facing the people. Police will face major problems of civil unrest. And due to the fact there also would not be any electric heating or cooling, there could easily be many deaths depending on the season.

A 2012 report by the National Academy of Science said terrorists could cripple the nation by destroying hard-to-replace components, many of which aren’t even made in the United States.

“Of particular concern are giant custom-built transformers that increase the voltage of electricity to levels suited for bulk transmission and then reduce voltage for distribution to customers,” The Times said in a summary of the report. “… Replacing them can take many months.”

Clark W. Gellings, a researcher at the Electric Power Research Institute, said “I don’t think we pay quite enough attention to the technology fixes that would allow us to make the power system more resilient.”

http://www.survivetheapocalypse.net/2013/08/29/power-grid-down-november-2013/
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Kilika
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2013, 04:32:29 am »

Quote
Utility companies which oversee the power grid reportedly use “antique computer protocols” which are “probably” safe from cyber hackers,” The New York Times reported.

Not sure how much the power companies have upgraded their control systems, but the old way before the internet worked fine. The system itself is rather basic technology. If it works why fix it? I think the problem with the electrical grid is that it's too tied together and interlinked over too wide an area. They have lines running all over the place so they can add energy where it's needed, or transfer it to paying power companies, which is really the reason for the interconnections, so they can buy and sell power between each other. For instance, Arizona provides 25% of LA's power, while Arizona residents are charged high prices, as if there is some kind of shortage. Arizona has the largest nuclear power plant in the nation, yet residents are getting ripped off with high power bills.

And then there is the new move by power utilities to charge solar power customers a fee for their "wear and tear" on the power grid!

Not sure who started this outright lie, but Edison Electric has been running ads here complaining that solar customers aren't paying their share of the costs like normal customers, so they want to charge them an extra fee. Well, here in Arizona, that is exactly what APS is having a hearing about; to charge solar customers an extra fee! Less than a year ago, both APS and SRP reduced their solar power credits to customers.

Somebody is actively attacking solar power with an agenda to shut it down apparently. I suspect fossil fuel money.

I mean just how insane can these people be to say solar customers aren't paying their share? Really? Even after a solar customer has to foot the whole bill to install the equipment, pay the power company for an inspection of the solar system before it's grid-tied, then the power company gives the solar customer credit in their bill for any power above what they use from the grid, at a reduced rate of what they are charged normally for grid power, and in the end, add clean natural power to the grid system at zero expense to other customers because the solar customer installed all equipment themselves by a licensed and approved solar contractor as required by the power company for any grid tied solar.

Think about all those companies that installed massive solar systems in association with the power companies. You occasionally see news stories where some big company just installed panels on their warehouse to reduce energy usage, etc. So to me, with this latest fake gripe, it looks like the power companies just told those corporate customers that the power company gave them a raw deal in the first place, and now they want to make the deal even worse! But then, I wouldn't be surprised if there is some corporate exemption involved.
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Kilika
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2013, 04:51:45 am »

APS in Arizona is trying to do the exact same thing.

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/08/21/utility-customers-outraged-over-possible-fee-to-cope-with-revenue-loss-from-popular-solar-panels/

Quote
Utility Customers Outraged Over Possible Fee To Cope With Revenue Loss From Popular Solar Panels

August 21, 2013 11:43 PM

SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — Some Southern California residents are outraged by a state bill that would allow three utility companies to charge customers up to $10 a month to cope with the loss of revenue due to the popularity of solar panels.

The fixed fee would hit customers of Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric—whether they’ve installed solar panels or not.

Protestors like Aura Vasquez of the Sierra Club took their opposing message to the SoCal Edison headquarters in Rosemead.

Vasquez said the fee, which could be up to $120 a year, doesn’t make sense for the environment or for peoples’ pocketbooks.

“It flattens the way we pay our bills; whether you use a little electricity or a lot of electricity, it will be the same,” she said.

The protest comes on the heels of consumer groups releasing a video called “Edison Hates Solar Rooftops,” and Edison responding with a cease-and-desist letter.

Edison told KCAL9 they are proud of their renewable energy record and the charge is necessary as more people install solar panels, which use the grid’s infrastructure.

“All this would do is reallocate some of what’s currently being charged on a cents per kilowatt-hour basis to a fixed charge,” said SCE’s Mark Nelson.

Scott Freeman went for solar at his business, but thinks a fee for non-solar homes isn’t fair.

“The $10 fee is going to be for everybody, so whether or not you have it or not, it’s not going to make a difference,” he said.

Mark Smith, the CEO of Solar Forward, installs solar panels in the greater L.A.-area.

“I don’t think it’s gonna have a huge effect initially, but I think it’s going to raise awareness. I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot. I think people are going to become more aware of what their alternatives are,” he said.

The bill still has to make it out of the state Legislature.

This from APS in Arizona...(just look at the reasoning they give! This blows my mind they have the nerve to say such things that aren't even true.)

https://www.aps.com/en/ourcompany/news/latestnews/Pages/aps-plan-offers-sustainable-fair-solar-choice-for-arizona.aspx

Quote
aps plan offers sustainable, fair solar choice for arizona

APS will submit a plan tomorrow at the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) that, if adopted, will foster a sustainable, fair and broad-based solar energy future for Arizona.
 
The plan is built around two options, either of which would ensure that APS customers who choose rooftop solar in the future will be compensated fairly for the electricity they generate and pay a fair price for their use of the electricity grid.
 

    Under the “Net Metering” option, future rooftop solar customers would be compensated through the current “net metering” structure, and would pay a charge for their use of the grid, based on how much electricity they use.

    Under the “Bill Credit” option, net metering would be replaced by a bill credit given to solar customers for the energy they generate, at a price set by the ACC and based on the market rates APS pays other generators for power.

    The plan applies only to residential customers, because business customer rates already are designed to fairly reflect their use of the grid.
    APS also supports increasing the up-front cash incentives for customers who choose solar, enabling rooftop solar to continue thriving in Arizona.

“As a national leader in utility-scale solar, we believe APS can help make Arizona the solar capital of America,” said APS Chairman and CEO Don Brandt. “One of our responsibilities is to make sure the infrastructure is in place to support a future of rapidly increasing solar adoption.”
 
Today’s rooftop solar customers benefit from a reliable electricity grid that ensures they have the power they need, whenever they need it – at night, in the rain, or when it is so hot they need additional power to run their air conditioners. These customers also use the grid to sell power back into the system when they have more than they can use.
 
Under current rules, rooftop solar customers are allowed to use the grid essentially for free. As a result, customers who can’t afford solar panels, don’t have a suitable place to put them, or simply don’t want rooftop solar end up paying higher rates. As the number of customers installing solar goes up, it drives rates even higher for non-solar customers, making the problem more difficult to solve.


“As more customers install solar on their homes, it becomes even more important that everyone who uses the grid shares in the cost of keeping it operating reliably for the future,” said Brandt.
 
Customers who already have installed rooftop solar, along with those who have submitted an application to interconnect a system by mid-October, would be given a 20-year grace period before the new policy takes effect. This grandfathering provision will help protect their long-term commitment to solar.
 
APS also is supporting an increase in the up-front cash incentive that makes rooftop solar a more affordable option for customers who want to “go solar.”

“We support an incentive program for rooftop solar that is transparent, reviewed frequently by the ACC, and shared fairly among customers,” said Mark Schiavoni, APS executive vice president of Operations.
 
“Either of the options we have proposed, together with the up-front incentives, preserves the choice for customers to install solar and makes rooftop solar an ongoing sustainable resource, which is not the case today,” said Schiavoni. “Solar customers will be compensated fairly for their solar energy while paying their fair share of the cost of the grid. The result is a system that allows all customers to benefit from solar energy in Arizona.”
 
Arizona is a national leader in solar development, ranking first nationally in solar power per capita and second in total solar installations. APS ranked fourth among all U.S. utilities for solar installed in 2012. By the end of 2013, APS will have more than 700 megawatts of solar, enough to serve 175,000 customers.
 
APS also has developed the Community Power Project in Flagstaff, an innovative research pilot studying the effects of large concentrations of rooftop solar in neighborhoods.

“We know solar power is going to play a big part in meeting Arizona’s future energy needs,” said Brandt. “We’re doing our part to help make that happen.”
 
APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).

The way a solar customer is forced to accept credits from the power company for any extra solar power sold, I cannot see how the power company can say they aren't paying their share! That is SO untrue, it's crazy. Solar customers pay a bill every month just like everyone else, some months they may receive credit on their bill, but in the end, they are paying, even through power sold back to the utility, because solar customers are forced to accept a wholesale price for the power credit on their bill, while the solar customer still pays normal price for any grid power used. And as expected, businesses are exempt!

This is one of the craziest scam jobs I've ever seen.
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Kilika
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2013, 02:20:48 am »

Well, California's governor signed the bill back in October. Sorry California, you just got bent over, again.

And the same type deal was approved by the ACC in Arizona, allowing for a $5.00/month fee.

I just don't understand how people aren't seeing the problem with the electric utilities claims. Solar customers pay for the power they use from the grid, period.

And they give the power company, as required by the power company, electricity they produce for a wholesale rate, and the power companies are trying to reduce that too! The lower price the utility pays the solar customer is to offset expenses. That's how any business does it, but somehow, the power companies don't see it that way.

Power companies don't like individual solar customers because they are too grid independent, and the government wants everybody tied to the grid.

Besides, if your generating power from solar, that means you not paying the full grid price for power from the utilities, and they don't like that either.

Like I said, I can't believe from what I've read so far from comments to articles, either the comments are being deleted, or people are just not calling out the power companies false claims that solar customers aren't paying their share of the grid expenses.

In part, I think it's because the way solar systems work, and how credit is calculated, etc., people are really confused and don't have a clue what's really going on because they don't understand the technology, or the way utilities work deals with solar customers.

Like I said, what a scam by the electric utilities!
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Kilika
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2013, 02:53:28 am »

All the talk for years now of "alternative energy", and people being told of the evils of fossil fuels, and the government jumping on the bandwagon, handing out billions in cash for energy projects, like Solendra (we know how that went!), but the reality is that there is a concerted effort by the fossil fuel industry to stop any alternative energy, from solar to ethanol...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/15/us-usa-ethanol-idUSBRE9AE12F20131115

Quote
In win for Big Oil, U.S. proposes biofuel mandate cut

By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:09pm EST


(Reuters) - The Obama administration proposed on Friday slashing federal requirements for U.S. biofuel use in 2014, bowing to pressure from the petroleum industry and attempting to prevent a potential fuel crunch next year.

It was the first cut to renewable fuel targets written into a 2007 law, and seen as a clear win for oil refiners and a loss for biofuel producers. It followed a prolonged lobbying blitz on both sides of the issue.

The plan follows the Environmental Protection Agency's warnings that the country was approaching a point where the so-called Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) would require the use of more ethanol than can be blended into gasoline at the 10 percent level that dominates the U.S. fueling infrastructure.

Refiners have said this "blend wall," if left in place, would force them to export more fuel or produce less gasoline, leading to shortages and higher prices at the pump.

In response, the EPA proposed to cut overall use of renewable fuels, made mostly from U.S. corn and to a lesser extent from soybeans, grasses, crop waste and Brazilian sugarcane, to a range of 15 billion to 15.52 billion gallons.

Within that range, the agency proposed a specific goal of 15.21 billion gallons, which is more than 16 percent less than the 18.15 billion gallons contained in the law that governs the RFS, and below this year's 16.55 billion gallons.

The proposed goal matches the number contained in a draft that was leaked and circulated in October.

U.S. gasoline demand had been expected to rise every year when Congress passed the law in 2007, but it peaked in 2008 and has been anemic since, partly because fuel efficiency of U.S. cars and light trucks has risen steadily.

"This unanticipated reduction in fuel consumption brings us to the point where the realities of the fuel market must be addressed to properly implement the program," a senior administration official told reporters in a teleconference about the proposal.

The impending blend wall problem had led to a surge in prices for ethanol credits, known as renewable identification numbers or RINs, from a few cents a year ago to almost $1.50 at midyear.

The surge had threatened to push up gasoline prices as the extra RINS costs for refiners would have been passed on to consumers.

RINS prices have subsided in recent months, propelled lower in part by confidence that the 2014 mandate would be tweaked. After the EPA proposal on Friday, RINs prices fell about 7 cents to 18 cents.

The proposal still falls short of a request from two major oil and gas trade groups to lower the 2014 renewable fuel use target to 14.8 billion gallons.

The plan cuts the 2014 use of advanced biofuel, including biodiesel made from soybeans and Brazilian ethanol from sugarcane, to a range of 2.0 billion to 2.51 billion gallons.

The agency did not propose a specific 2014 volume for ethanol made from corn.

But the proposed change in advanced biofuels implies a corn ethanol mandate of 12.7 billion to 13.2 billion gallons, down from the previous 2014 mandate of 14.4 billion gallons.

"We are astounded by the proposal released by the Administration today. It reflects an 'all of the above, except biofuels' energy strategy," said Fuels America, a coalition of alternative energy producers.

The group termed the blend wall a fictional narrative, "created by the oil industry to stifle competition."

Their view was echoed by Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, who said in a statement that the new biofuel targets would "mean less competition at the pump."

The EPA expects to release a final rule next spring after a 60-day public comment period. After that ethanol backers could unleash legal challenges to soften or reverse the changes.

"These groups will likely argue that EPA may not lower the standards if it can be shown that renewable fuel producers can produce enough renewable fuel to meet the mandates," said analysts at the law firm Sutherland Asbill and Brennan LLP.

CORN FALLS TO NEW LOWS

Biofuels stocks were mixed following the announcement. The shares of ethanol maker Pacific Ethanol Inc, closed up 14.4 percent at $2.78, and isobutanol maker GEVO Inc, up 26 percent at $1.74, were among the gainers.

Biodiesel maker Renewable Energy Group Inc's stock was down 6 percent at $13.38, while ethanol producer Green Plains Renewable Energy closed down 1 percent at $15.81.

Chicago corn futures fell to new lows for the day, down 1.1 percent at $4.21-3/4 per bushel, although the impact was muted because Friday's announcement was similar to the leaked proposal from October. Prices this month hit their lowest point in more than three years. The price of soybeans, used to make biodiesel, dropped 2.5 percent.

Biofuels backers were livid at the announcement.

A representative for Archer Daniels Midland Co, one of the largest ethanol producers, said companies had invested in renewable fuel projects "on the basis of firm legislative commitments" and across two presidential administrations, Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

ADM shares fell on news of the mandate, ending down 3.4 percent on the New York Stock Exchange at $40.56.

A lower mandate to produce corn-based ethanol could cost grain growers at the farm gate. Livestock producers, by contrast, were jubilant at the prospect of lower feed prices, but called on lawmakers to do more.

"Congressional action to repeal the RFS remains the most viable pathway to allowing all users of corn to have equal standing in the marketplace," the National Chicken Council said in a statement.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner, Ayesha Rascoe and Valerie Volcovici in Washington, Cezary Podkul in New York, Tom Polansek in Chicago and Nichola Groom in Los Angeles; Editing by Ros Krasny, Andre Grenon and Jim Loney)

"unanticipated"? The federal government has been pushing auto makers to make more fuel efficient vehicles, and has been telling the public to conserve fuel, and they say "unanticipated reduction"? Really? With all the efforts to get people to reduce their consumption, how can they say unanticipated?  Roll Eyes
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Kilika
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 04:10:19 am »

(CORRECTION: I said in an above post that the customer gets a "wholesale" price for the power they sell, but apparently the utilities are claiming it's retail price, so I may be wrong on that, but initially, without doing the math using their pricing formulas, I'm not exactly sure what the difference is, but I don't expect it to be an exact "push". I do think it will show the power companies are in fact paying less for solar than what the solar customer pays for power retail from the grid.)

The attack on solar customers continues.

This article makes it more clear what exactly these people are claiming. They claim that solar customers get full retail price for the power they sell back to the utilities, and they say that's not fair because other sources the utilities buy power from they buy at a wholesale price. Where else would they be able to buy power from? Other power utilities!

So as I now better understand it, their claim seems to make sense, sort of, but the truth is that the power companies are playing games with the numbers. They are being deceptive in trying to claim that solar customers don't pay their fair share of expenses from using the grid system. That simply is not true.

A solar customer pays full retail price for power like any other customer, period. That is a fact. And they pay that price right up to the point equal to their power usage. ALL of it is charged as if the customer had no solar panels. Once the customer has used all the power they need, any power produced after that point, the power utility must buy from the solar customer. It's not a "buy back", as the utility never owned the solar power produced in the first place!

So the argument falls on exactly how the utility prices the credits for solar power they buy from customers, versus what the customer gets charged by the power company. But here's the deal; any solar power produced gets dumped into the power grid and at that point, it "mixes" with existing power in the grid so that one cannot tell how much power they use is solar, and how much is from the utility plants. At that point, the solar customer is paying full retail price for all power taken from the grid, including the power they just sold to the utility, at retail price. I'm no math major, but that seems to add up as a "push" for any solar power the utility buys from solar customers, but I see zero loss, just not the profit margin they want.

Solar panels also provide power even when a power utility says there is a "power outage" and non-solar customers have no electricity. Certain people do not like the public being "off-grid".

All these people who scream "Save energy!", and the power companies even telling people to conserve, so people get solar panels, which clearly save energy, and they get attacked and penalized! Thugs and hypocrites.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/power-play-utilities-want-solar-162556477.html

Quote
Power play: Utilities want solar users to pay up

CNBC
By Mark Koba 17 hours ago

 Solar energy use is exploding in the U.S. In fact, a new rooftop system was installed every four minutes in 2013, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

But the growth has utility companies pushing in several states to scale back what they call unfair rate advantages that solar users have long received.

"The principal issue is making sure everyone is paying a fair price for what they use," said Ted Carver, CEO and chairman of Edison International, the parent company of utility Southern California Edison.

The debate centers on net metering, which requires utility companies to credit customers for solar energy that they generate in excess of their own usage. The credits were part of financial incentives to invest in solar energy.

(Read more: Solar power craze on Wall St. propels start-up)

Policies for net metering, which is used in 43 states, vary from state to state, but most credits are set at the local retail price for electricity. That bothers utilities, which contend that the retail price is set too high, resulting in excessive credits to solar users. Utilities want credits set by wholesale prices, which are much lower than retail.

"We don't care where or who we buy the power from, but it should be purchased at the wholesale price," Edison International's Carver told CNBC.

(but your company insists on retail price when selling power, so why should a seller of solar power only be entitled to a wholesale price?  Roll Eyes)

But some experts say the mere fact that utilities-which generate $360 billion a year in energy sales-are battling with solar indicates the threat it now poses to them.

"The success of solar power is forcing utilities to rethink their business model and push for the changes," said Franc Del Fosse, an energy industry lawyer and partner at Snell & Wilmer. "If you have an individual putting solar panels on the roof, it's easy to suggest that a utility is making less money."

(Read more: Ford develops solar-powered car for everyday use )

The effort for higher fees on solar panel users could backfire, said Alan Beale, general manager of SolarMax.

If the fees are too high, he said, "it will just delay ... the inevitable, and more companies and individuals will go to the independent energy producers."

According to Carver at Edison International, part of the problem is that many power users, such as apartment renters, lack access to solar energy, which creates a two-tier system that shifts higher costs to nonsolar users.

According to a policy paper from the Edison Electric Institute, a trade association, solar users avoid paying for the system's fixed costs but still take power from the grid when they need it, such as after sunset, when solar panels aren't generating. (Most solar users don't have solar storage capacity, the paper states.)

(they don't store it because the power utilities won't allow it with a grid-tied solar system, so that again falls back on the power utility! And they fail to mention what solar customers pay for all power they use, which is full price like anybody else, so again the utilities are being dishonest with their claims trying to bamboozle the ignorant public by not telling the public that the only issue at hand is with the price a utility pays for any solar power a customer sells that is in excess of what the customer needs and pays full retail price for)

The solar industry seems willing to accept some changes but stops at what it sees as the utilities' exorbitant price proposals.

"Solar customers give much more valuable peak power to utilities for free during the day than they get back at night," said John Berger, CEO and founder of solar energy provider Sunnova. "Utilities are like socialist monopolies.They don't provide good service or pricing."

Utility companies are having some success getting net metering rules changed.

In California, the No. 1 solar state in panels installed, lawmakers let net metering continue but directed its public utility commission to devise a new program by 2017 to ensure that nonsolar customers aren't burdened unfairly in paying for the grid.

In Arizona, regulators voted in November to allow the largest utility to tack a monthly fee of $5 onto the bill of customers with new solar installations. Arizona Public Service originally sought a $50 surcharge.

Colorado's utility commission is considering a proposal to halve credits for solar energy households. Other states, including Louisiana and Idaho, are also contemplating changes in net metering rates.

(Read more: From Brazil to China: Why 2014 may be a greener year)

Even some solar power users see change as necessary.

"I believe there's a way of restructuring metering rules and rate structures that won't impact the solar industry for the long term," said Karin Corfee, managing director of the energy practice for consulting firm Navigant, who has solar panels on her Danville, Calif., home.

Utility firms have valid cost issues, she said, but she is concerned that big rate increases could affect solar users' ability to pay off their energy investment.

"I figure I can pay if off in seven years," Corfee said. "But if decisions are made to shift the economics of my system ... that will be difficult."

Money is at the heart of solar energy growth.

Since 2008, the price of solar panels has fallen by 75 percent. The cost of installation has also decline as more contractors entered the market. Leasing options for users also fostered growth.

(the "lease" deals I've seen are a scam, run away! And the costs of installation are a direct result of the system itself, as only certified state licensed contractors are allowed to install solar in grid-tie systems, the power utilities require it for "engineering" reasons. To my knowledge, a homeowner cannot install a system themselves, it must be an approved contractor. Go figure Roll Eyes)

And Wall Street still likes solar. An estimated $13 billion was invested in such projects last year, 10 times as much as in 2007, according to GTM Research,

Even as they push for net metering changes, utilities are jumping on the solar bandwagon.

(of course they are! SRP here in Arizona has built massive solar plants, as well as many other power utilities have)

"We've invested in a solar distribution firm ourselves," said Carver.

"Some utilities have embraced solar and worked with users, while others have not," said Roy Palk, who spent 37 years in the utility industry and now advises the law firm LeClairRyan on energy. "But solar is not going away and will offer consumers more choices, and that's good."

And compromise on net metering may prove elusive, said Del Fosse at Snell & Wilmer.

"The real answer lies somewhere between the two sides, but it's hard to see if that will happen," he said. "The marketplace will have to provide solutions."

-By CNBC's Mark Koba. Follow him on Twitter @MarkKobaCNBC.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 04:34:40 am by Kilika » Report Spam   Logged
Kilika
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2014, 04:58:22 am »

Okay, so let's just see what SRP here in Arizona is actually doing for it's solar customers...

The following is from the SRP website on solar FAQ page.

http://www.srpnet.com/environment/earthwise/solar/electricfaq.aspx

Quote
What happens if my solar electric system produces more energy than I use?

Customers will automatically be enrolled under SRP's Renewable Net Metering Rider unless they opt out of this rider and choose to enroll in SRP's Buyback Service Rider.

Under the Renewable Net Metering Rider, if the energy produced by the system is greater than the energy used by the customer in a given month, the excess energy produced is carried forward to the next month. If there is still carry-over credit remaining at the end of the April billing cycle, SRP will credit your account for the excess energy at an average annual market price. SRP does not issue a check unless you request one.

Under the Buyback Service Rider, if the energy produced by the system is greater than the energy used by the customer in a given hour, the excess energy produced is credited to the customer's account. The price applied to the energy credit is determined by taking the hourly indexed energy price and subtracting SRP's costs related to scheduling, system control, and dispatch services.

SO, from their own website, at least SRP is lying about solar customers not paying their fair share! They admit right on their site they account for costs for solar power. And on top of that, they admit they pay customers based on an average, so there is profit there. And notice too, what they "pay" a solar customer is paid in a credit on their bill, which means ZERO cash out of the utility pocket.

Like I said, thugs!

http://www.srpnet.com/environment/earthwise/pdfx/RenewNetMeterRider0510.pdf

Here's the SRP pricing explanation...

Quote
Renewable Net Metering Rider
Page 2
Published: September 28, 2012

NET METERING METHOD:
The kilowatt-hours (kWh) delivered to SRP shall be subtracted from the kWh delivered from
SRP for each billing cycle. If the kWh calculation is net positive for the billing cycle, SRP
will bill the net kWh to the customer under the applicable price plan for which they take
service. If the kWh calculation is net negative for the billing cycle, SRP will carry forward
and credit the kWh (excess generation) against customer kWh usage on the next monthly bill.
However, if the kWh is net negative at the end of the April billing cycle, SRP will credit the
net kWh from the customer at an average annual market price. No credits will be carried
forward to the May billing cycle.

ANNUAL CREDIT:
Solar Net Metering Credit = Excess kWh for the April billing cycle * (Annual Average
Market Price - $0.00017/kWh)
where:
 Excess kWh for the April billing cycle is equivalent to the net negative kWh for
the billing cycle.

 Average Annual Market Price is calculated to be a simple average of the Daily
On-Peak Market Price from May 1st of the prior year to April 30th of the current
year. Daily prices will be taken from the Daily Firm On-Peak Price at Palo
Verde published by Dow Jones (or another comparable index if the Dow Jones
Index is no longer available).
 The price adjustment of $0.00017/kWh represents the cost incurred by SRP for
scheduling, system control and dispatch services.

ADJUSTMENTS:
SRP will increase or decrease billings under this rider in proportion to any taxes, fees, or
charges (excluding federal or state income taxes) levied or imposed by any governmental
authority and payable by SRP for any services, power, or energy provided under this rider.

http://www.srpnet.com/environment/earthwise/pdfx/BuybackServiceRider0510.pdf

Quote
C. The customer shall pay SRP for interconnection costs prior to commencement of service under this rider. Interconnection costs include but are not limited to reasonable costs of connection, switching, relaying, metering, transmission, distribution, safety provisions, engineering studies and administrative costs incurred by SRP directly related to the installation of the physical facilities necessary to permit interconnected operations.
D. A customer may cancel service under this rider. The customer may not subsequently elect service under this rider for at least one year after the effective date of cancellation

CREDIT:

Buyback Credit = Σ [(Hourly Buyback Energy) X
(Hourly Indexed Energy Price - $0.00017/kWh)]

where:
Hourly credits are summed across all hours in the billing cycle. Hourly credits are the product of the hourly energy sold to SRP and the adjusted Hourly Indexed Energy Price. The Hourly Buyback Energy component consists of the energy sold to SRP by the customer when generation exceeds total consumption in a given hour. The adjusted Hourly Indexed Price is the product of the Dow Jones Firm On-Peak or Firm Off-Peak Price at Palo Verde (or another comparable index if the Dow Jones Index is no longer available), multiplied by the Hourly

Buyback Service Rider
Page 2
Published: March 12, 2010

Pricing Percentage. The Hourly Pricing Percentage is determined by SRP and “shapes” the Dow Jones On-Peak and Off-Peak Prices, based on historical hourly prices.
The price adjustment of $0.00017/kWh represents the cost incurred by SRP for scheduling, system control and dispatch services.

ADJUSTMENTS:
SRP will increase or decrease billings under this rider in proportion to any taxes, fees, or charges (excluding federal or state income taxes) levied or imposed by any governmental authority and payable by SRP for any services, power, or energy provided under this rider.

Clearly, solar customers are paying their fair share!
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 05:13:43 am by Kilika » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2014, 11:24:01 am »

Thank you for this info - personally, I'm still trying to understand all the nuts and bolts of this.
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