Georgetown: How a Texan Town’s Green Energy Dream Turned into a Nightmare

Dale Ross, Mayor of Georgetown

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t JoNova; Al Gore might be happy to encourage towns like Georgetown to go renewable, but so far he is not offering to pay anyones grossly inflated green electricity bills.

ENERGY TRANSITIONS
How 100% renewables backfired on a Texas town

Edward Klump, E&E News reporter
Energywire: Monday, November 4, 2019

An inconvenient truth is hanging over Georgetown, Texas: Its celebrated shift to renewable energy doesn’t look like a national model these days.
Electric rates are up. Critics are blasting the costs. And the city north of Austin is trying to figure out how to mitigate the situation.

Georgetown, whose green push gained global attention thanks to former Vice President Al Gore and others, can claim to have 100% renewable power thanks to a credit system tied to electricity purchases. In 2018, the city bought enough power from wind and solar projects to account for all of the community’s consumption. It also pays for power fueled by natural gas.

In all, the city contracts for more electricity than its municipal utility needs to serve customers — and that’s been a problem. Surplus power is sold into a market hampered by weak prices, often delivering financial losses instead of the returns Georgetown expected.

“It’s unfortunate that the Georgetown experiment went so quickly from being a success story to being something of a cautionary example,” said Adrian Shelley, director of the Texas office of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group.

Georgetown declined to discuss many of the details of its renewable contracts, but said on its website that the city “is still obligated to pay the price for energy we secured in our contracts” when the price of energy decreases. It also talked about looking to change its ongoing financial obligations related to energy contracts.

Georgetown recently filed suit against Buckthorn Westex LLC, an affiliate of Clearway Energy Inc. The city is seeking the cancellation of a solar contract over the alleged nondisclosure of information about the expected performance of the facility. In a statement, Buckthorn said it “strongly disputes all claims in the complaint made by the City of Georgetown.”

“Buckthorn has and will continue to honor all terms of its contractual agreement with the City and any claims to the contrary are inaccurate,” the company said.

The monthly bill for an average home in Georgetown that uses 1,000 kWh per month climbed about 22% to $144.35 in 2019 compared with 2018, according to the city. Much of that jump, though not all of it, is related to a higher power cost adjustment.

Read more: https://www.eenews.net/stories/1061456081

My question – why do renewable energy providers need contracts with lock-in clauses?

Climate advocates regularly assure us that renewable energy is cheaper than coal, yet green energy fans like the Mayor of Georgetown seem to feel an obligation to sign long term contracts to purchase renewable energy, with no clawback option if the price of that renewable energy is significantly higher than the prevailing electricity spot price.

Perhaps Georgetown voters should consider this paradox at the next city election.

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Sid A
November 6, 2019 2:12 pm

We are having the same problem here in CA. Rates continue to climb.
This state is out of control.

Reply to  Sid A
November 6, 2019 3:04 pm

Yes, those same 1000 kwh per month would be closer to $300 here.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Nairobi
Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 6, 2019 3:21 pm

CO2

I can’t relate the cost because in order to spread the cost over more poor people and pretend it is their fault, Ontario is charging more for power when it is most needed. We have three prices now. At cooking and bath time it is about 1.5 times more than usual.

My bill about doubled in 7 years and we were warned it would double again as more renewables come on line. These (private) investments have to be paid for by someone.

I looked up the energy price rebate to see how much I can get and it is $30 a month but I have to have an income below $16k per year to qualify. It is a good thing I have four natural gas appliances. I am thinking of getting one of those auto-start generators that run on Nat gas to fill in when the mains go off in the coming winter storms.

Would someone please turn up the sun?

RT Rider
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Nairobi
November 6, 2019 3:41 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ontario government renegs on many of those renewable contracts and takes a write-down charge, similar to the one taken for the nuclear assets of Ontario Hydro, and then add any resultant liabilities to the the debt currently serviced by a transmission surcharge. I suspect it might be in the billions.

Greg61
Reply to  RT Rider
November 7, 2019 6:00 am
RT Rider
Reply to  RT Rider
November 7, 2019 8:19 am

Abrogation of a contract entered in good faith, without compensation, is wrong in my opinion. Unless the OG can prove fraud on behalf of the former, liberal government in dealing with their cronies, and vice-versa, they should terminate the contracts, negotiate some form of compensation with the affected parties, and carry on with a sensible, market-based energy policy – something, I might add, I have never witnessed during my lifetime in Ontario.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  RT Rider
November 18, 2019 5:20 am

Legislate them away ASAP, Doug Ford! Currently we are paying 1 ¢/kWh for actual power generation and another 18 ¢/kWh “global adjustment” for Kathleen Wynne’s stealth green tax. 1800% tax rate!

commieBob
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Nairobi
November 6, 2019 4:33 pm

The greatest need for electricity is to keep your furnace going in the winter. For that, I have an inverter that can run off the car’s generator.

My other exposure is that my phone runs off the internet. For reliable 911 service, it is imperative that I have a UPS.

jtom
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Nairobi
November 6, 2019 6:31 pm

Just move down here, just north of Atlanta, GA. I’ll treat you to a goid southern dinner.

Cobb Electric Membership Cooperative. 55% fossil fuel (coal and natural gas); 38% nuke; 7% solar. Last bill, $0.1075/kWh plus 6% tax. That’s it. We often get end-of-the-year rebates when they have excess funds.

Amazing how low prices can be when ‘givemorement’ stays out of it.

Rotor
Reply to  jtom
November 6, 2019 8:08 pm

…. Or keep coming South to Florida.

Florida Power & Light. 70% Nat Gas, 23% Nuclear, 4% Coal, 3% Purchased. 14% Tax and Fees. $0.088/KWh

Roger that on keeping the Government out of it.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Nairobi
November 6, 2019 11:49 pm

Fraid not. Grand solar minimum coming. See Kharkova.

Randy Wester
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Nairobi
November 7, 2019 3:50 pm

Aisin natural gas hot water cogen 1.5 kw system for electric / hot water I was quoted 11,000 plus the tank so about $15k. Payback period is probably longer than service life even if your bill keeps going up 10% every year.

But you might have power in a grid outage, and hot water for bathtime.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Nairobi
November 8, 2019 9:02 am

Its hilarious to read the comments in my local community’s FB group.

I mean, for the unintentional humour: in a thread about how the City of Toronto is going to “tackle the climate emergency”, someone posted that she hopes they City uses less salt because its going to turn Lake Ontario into a salt water lake. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.

But when it comes to electricity rates, despite the previous Liberal government spending billions on “green energy”, who do you think my neighbours (geographical, not IQ-wise) blame?

Yep.

The previous Conservative government.

See, according to them, the previous (Harris) Tories didn’t spend enough on keeping all those transmission lines up to snuff, so the next Liberal government just HAD to raise rates to pay for that.

Are you following this? They honestly believe that the costs are going up because of infrastructure issues. NOT dubious green energy projects.

And of course blaming the current Conservative government.

Yes, they let these people vote…

Randy Wester
Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 7, 2019 4:47 pm

$280 for Alberta coal and natural gas power here. $68 for the electricity, $202 for delivery, $10 for admin.

There’s some solar and wind power, but it has no effect on the delivery charges.

pigs_in_space
Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 8, 2019 8:31 am

Over here it’s 68EURO, which I am very annoyed about.
In advanced Germany it’s around 330EURO,- poor krauts!

Since they installed these stupid wind farms electricity prices have climbed 22-25% and when I look closely at the bill, it tells me it only gives me 6% of what I use comes from it. (solar is FORGET IT, in the far north.)

Being as I tend to know when I am being conned, I checked it out and the actual charge cost to me is 14-15% of the total bill, so in reality it’s clear at least 9% of the extra cost in the increase comes from a hidden subsidy for this “alternative renewable sources”.

Now, I really thought when the EU became 29 members, it was specifically taught that hidden subsidies were gonna be illegal, and oil shale (used here) was BAD and involved constant subsidy. Someone is clearly telling porky pies.

Our electricity was some of the cheapest in the EU before the nutters running it,- forcing us to get on this stupid bandwagon decided we weren’t green enough (read not stupid enough, unlike Poland who have held up a middle finger to the EU).

Neil Harding
Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 11, 2019 8:13 am

In Mexico, you can use 250 Kwh per month, before you go onto the expensive rate. 1000 Kwh is about $300, if you use 80 Kwh per month the bill is about $3 (the rate is about a third of normal rate, and govt pays half).

Kenji
Reply to  Sid A
November 6, 2019 3:08 pm

And … we will soon be facing massive rate increases to pay for PG&E’s negligent homicides and domicilecides … followed by increases to perform decades of deferred maintenance. Yes, we will have to pay $$$ MORE $$$ for PG&E to do the maintenance that we’ve already paid them to do … but which funds were diverted into (for example) a massive advertising campaign after the incineration of people in Belmont from a high pressure gas line “leak” (read: negligent lack of maintenance). Countless advertisements illustrating all their “employees of color” who were working hard to keep you from being incinerated. I’ll bet their virtue signaling advertisements cost more than $10M. Why does a public utility monopoly … need to advertise how swell they are? Think of ALL the equipment that could have been repaired and upgraded … instead of some useless PR campaign … to restore their “image”. It’s criminal activity by both PG&E and the CPUC in my opinion.

SMC
Reply to  Kenji
November 6, 2019 4:40 pm

Just wait until California takes over PG&E, if you think it’s bad now.

eck
Reply to  SMC
November 6, 2019 6:38 pm

It is bad now. I’d love to pay the $0.145 per kwh that these folks do. I’ve just paid my PG&E bill here in NCal. $0.23 per kwh. No doubt it will get much, much worse.

c1ue
Reply to  SMC
November 7, 2019 4:51 am

The notion that it would be worse is unfounded.
Among other things: the infrastructure was built back when the government was heavily in charge of electricity generation and distribution.
It is privatization which has led to decades of underinvestment and rate gaming.

JEM
Reply to  c1ue
November 7, 2019 8:11 am

No – it is required govt investment in renewables that has caused the issue. I am not going to suggest that PG&E hasn’t also made some stupid operating decisions, but the State has pretty much mandated where their infrastructure spending goes. So once the state takes over, it will be worse except for one thing, since the state cannot be sued for the fires their power lines start, the threat of blackouts will decrease.

But the costs will rise exponentially. The best power utilities are often co-ops. I’m on one. It’s inexpensive and reliable. And their service in the few rare times I’ve needed them has been top notch.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Kenji
November 6, 2019 6:31 pm

Kenji

I’m sympathetic to your anger about the power situation.

However, you appear to exclusively blame PG&E for years of failing to manage their franchise (a good deal of which is undoubtedly true). You should also be blaming regulators who supervise PG&E. They review PG&E resource allocation and spending. State politicians force PG&E to subsidize other activity (residential solar panels, for example), and regulators absolutely have to have been aware of this mis-allocation of maintenance resources.

Correcting this requires solving 2 different problems: (1) Weak and/or politically cowed, PG&E utility management, and (2) essentially incompetent CA regulatory oversight

TC in the OC
Reply to  Javert Chip
November 6, 2019 7:07 pm

I am probably in the minority but I am wanting California to take over PG&E. The CPUC is very much to blame for the current problems but is getting a pass because the press is passing on the government’s line of the problem being caused by the greedy executives of PG&E.

With the state running the utility there will be no way to blame greedy executives and the blame will fall squarely on the current administration. The state recalled Davis because they didn’t want to pay his car tag increase and although his replacement sucked I feel this time the recall from the take over of PG&E will result in the state moving back towards a more conservative government because the biggest way to get voters to change is to make something like electricity too expensive for the common person. And there are way more middle and lower income voters than rich ones in California.

Gordon
Reply to  TC in the OC
November 6, 2019 7:19 pm

LOL, never never trust the government to do or run anything. They have demonstrated their ability to corrupt anything they do. The solution is for the voters to hold the PUC accountable for their decisions and the state government accountable for their utility and forest mismanagement. Not a chance that the misled voters will do so.

Kenji
Reply to  Javert Chip
November 6, 2019 8:20 pm

I am blaming the unholy partnership of PG&E and the CPUC. The CPUC is doing the FAKE Global Warming Fear mongering of the supermajority leftist Legislature and Governorship. PG&E has complied with every DEMAND for “renewable” energy and every other nonsensical virtue signaling nonsense of the State’s leftist politicians. PG&E is compliant in diverting necessary funding of basic maintenance… because it is politically expedient… and … looks better on the bottom line.

In my opinion, PG&E has gone from an Engineering-driven Energy Corp. to a political suck-up executive suite full of yes women who thrive on their wokeness.

c1ue
Reply to  Javert Chip
November 7, 2019 4:49 am

If you mean weak and/or politically cowed (more like bought off) public utility commission management, then I am in agreement.
CARB is a force of evil in this state.
Gas prices – significantly higher than anywhere in the US due to CARB “california formulation”.
Car prices – ditto higher prices. Due in no small part to EV mandates which will generate around $500M in extra costs, this year alone just from Tesla’s emissions credits.
PG&E’s significant renewable plays are also a factor, although its large lobbying budget is such that I believe the renewable installs are more because they let PG&E ask for higher prices rather than the CARB tail wagging the PG&E dog.

William Grubel
Reply to  Kenji
November 7, 2019 2:35 pm

Maybe you could sue to get back all the money PG&E was forced to pay for green solutions, leaving them too broke to do the system upgrades and maintenance. I bet your state regulators would be happy to help you with that.

Reply to  Sid A
November 6, 2019 5:42 pm

Published January 2019.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/01/29/epic-fail-of-renewables-causes-texas-town-to-have-1200-per-month-higher-power-bills/#comment-2609224

We published with confidence in 2002 in a written debate with the Pembina Institute:
“Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

We also published with confidence in the same 2002 debate:

“The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

We told you so, 17 years ago. But did you listen? Nooooo!

So now you are stuck with high electricity bills. Tell you what – send me money – lots and lots of money – and I’ll tell you how to get rid of this onerous wind power contract. No guarantees though – you’ll probably take my advice and then screw it up. Based on past experience, y’all don’t listen so good. 🙂

Javert Chip
Reply to  Sid A
November 6, 2019 6:16 pm

1,000 kW in Florida is about $100; $300 is just shocking (no pun intended)…

Sounds like what happened in Georgetown is a combination of a bunch of-small town, truly energy-ignorant politicians who were all gung-ho for virtue signaling, and wandered into the deep end of the pool and got their heads handed to them.

Adding insult to injury, the dumb-ass politicians compound the felony by spending even more taxpayer money suing everybody in sight.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Sid A
November 8, 2019 8:49 am

Happens in Canada, too:

https://ottawacitizen.com/feature/how-solar-energy-dreams-became-a-nightmare-for-the-small-ontario-town-of-blind-river

I mean…did Blind River know where Blind River is? Maybe they thought that magical unicorns can work in the dark?

Reply to  Caligula Jones
November 9, 2019 11:26 am

“The blind leading the blind”… in Blind River.

Gary Poirier
Reply to  Caligula Jones
November 14, 2019 3:20 am

The Gas City’ pulls plug on money-losing $13-million solar power project

https://calgaryherald.com/business/energy/the-gas-city-pulls-plug-on-money-losing-13-million-solar-power-project

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Gary Poirier
November 14, 2019 6:26 am

But…but…but…the mayor is SO kewl! A real progressive in a sea of deplorables?

How could such a smart guy fail at something so easy? I mean, the sun is free, isn’t it?

Randy Wester
Reply to  Caligula Jones
November 14, 2019 7:43 am

The City of Medicine Hat is also abandoning 2000 gas wells that it owns and operates.

The climate is better suited to solar PV and wind power, so they ended the experiment.

https://chatnewstoday.ca/2019/09/11/gas-city-to-abandon-majority-of-gas-wells-through-90-million-program/

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Randy Wester
November 14, 2019 9:54 am

Thanks for this.

BTW, I posted before reading the article (oops): I thought this was about Calgary’s mayor, but this twit sounds dumb too.

Randy Wester
Reply to  Caligula Jones
November 14, 2019 10:44 pm

I suspect there is such a glut of Natural Gas that there is no foreseeable need to keep maintaining the City of Medicine Hat’s surplus wells. The tighter formations with low production of gas will still be there in 25 or 50 years if they need it.

It’s a microcosm of the whole province. The Pareto principle suggests that 80% of the gas is coming from 20% of the wells, but the 80% of low producing wells are costing more to maintain than the 20%. So the game seems to be to shunt them off onto smaller and smaller companies that can’t possibly make enough money to properly abandon them, then act surprised when they get dumped on the taxpayer.

Randy Wester
Reply to  Sid A
November 15, 2019 8:55 am

You should do what British Columbia and Washington State did, and put in some glaciers, rivers, and hydro dams. Or stop complaining about geography. No-one who’s had a ‘Polar Vortex’ come to their hometown is going to have much sympathy.

justadumbengineer
November 6, 2019 2:19 pm

im beginning to think many of the greens are ok paying more for electricity. They have been told the world is ending and green energy will save the world. period. don’t confuse them with facts.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  justadumbengineer
November 6, 2019 4:11 pm

Or their memory is so short, they don’t know what they paid for electricity this time last year.

commieBob
November 6, 2019 2:22 pm

Renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuel under Hollywood accounting rules.

Zig Zag Wanderer
November 6, 2019 2:32 pm

Come on, griff, tell us all how unreliables are so much cheaper!

Andy in Epsom
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 7, 2019 5:07 am

Sorry Griff is off being upgraded to global warming dogma version 4.2
This will enhance the speed of replies and add greater extenuating circumstances and excuses for future use.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Andy in Epsom
November 7, 2019 10:15 am

And we’ll have to beta test that??? Good grief!

Patrick B
November 6, 2019 2:37 pm

Having reviewed some large, long term power agreements in connection with acquisitions, I can assure you a small town mayor lacks the expertise to negotiate such a deal. Even with professional advice.

KcTaz
November 6, 2019 2:39 pm

“Georgetown, whose green push gained global attention thanks to former Vice President Al Gore and others, can claim to have 100% renewable power thanks to a credit system tied to electricity purchases. In 2018, the city bought enough power from wind and solar projects to account for all of the community’s consumption. It also pays for power fueled by natural gas.”
I’m sorry but I don’t understand how it claimed to have 100% renewable power when it pays for natural gas. I suspect the natural gas use is significant and is used whenever the wind doesn’t blow and is kept on idle at all times, which still uses natural gas. Can someone explain this, please?

Craig from Oz
Reply to  KcTaz
November 6, 2019 2:57 pm

Is all in the offset.

Basically pick a card and remember it then put it back into the deck.

Now I am going to get you completely distracted and concentrating on something else while I shamelessly cheat. Concentrate on the word ‘renewables’. Feel warm inside yet? Now we are not actually going to use those renewables, instead we are going to find someone who can supply them, and then pay them the renewable market rate to produce those renewables – or at least claim to – and then pump them into the grid, somewhere, and we just take the same old electricity would were using the week before but don’t worry about that because…. IS THIS YOUR CARD?!

(applause!)

It is all in the intentions. Offsetting works the same way. You may be burning evil non renewables in your expensive overseas trip, but by doing something with good intentions – buying offsets – the evil is washed out with the good. You can try the same trick next time those pesky police come around claiming you have murdered someone – just tell them you offset any dead people by having a bit of unprotected sex the weekend before and in nine months time the new bub will make you completely population neutral. Judges can’t argue with that!

John Boland
Reply to  Craig from Oz
November 6, 2019 5:41 pm

I think that pretty much covers it. Should have ended with the applause line though, that was good…

John Endicott
Reply to  Craig from Oz
November 7, 2019 6:36 am

I prefer call offsets what they rally are: modern day version of indulgences.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  KcTaz
November 6, 2019 5:14 pm

KcTaz the renewables purchase more than covers 100% of their total demand. It doesn’t say that it coves 100% of demand at all times, so that is probably where the natural gas comes-in. They sell the renewable energy that they don’t use, which is where they get burned because it is a lower price than what they purchased it for.

Sunny
November 6, 2019 2:44 pm

Oh really, another green energy flop story… Do the greens not read stpries like this? Maybe they are happy being blind sheep shouting lies to feel happy, and eventually poor…

Reply to  Sunny
November 6, 2019 3:50 pm

The assumption that “renewables” is about the environment is the red herring the greens promote. If the environment was their concern, they would not push for alternatives that require millions of acres of trees of to be bulldozed, rare earth metals that murder the environment when mined, mined aluminum, and concrete. The real goal the destruction of capitalism or a international government with the UN as sole leaders. Don’t take my word for the last part, read the UN draft treaties like I have.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Sunny
November 7, 2019 4:18 am

no unny they dont
because?
anything that shows up the uselessness or rorts on renewables MUST be a lie..
cos their green gurus told em that they were saving the world and nothing wil deflect their tiny minds
even output data

Gunga Din
November 6, 2019 2:47 pm

As I understand it, (I welcome clarification.) they agreed to pay the green guys at certain rate for the electricity the green things would produce. The rate was locked in.
But no separate lines were run. The green guys just added their power to the grid and Georgetown got their power from a mix of various ways that power was generated and put on the grid?
So there’s no way to tell if the actual source of Georgetown’s power is “green” or not. They just pay a bunch more green for it than other Texans?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Gunga Din
November 6, 2019 5:33 pm

That’s pretty much it in a nutshell, but people believe their power is green even though there is no way to determine what source the electrons are actually coming from. It’s pure virtue signalling warm fuzzy wuzzy feely feely garbage.

Scissor
Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 6, 2019 6:48 pm

That’s the beauty of the scheme, I mean renewables.

kivy10
Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 7, 2019 6:46 am

All that is needed is for someone to invent an electron discriminator.

Reply to  Gunga Din
November 7, 2019 4:07 am

There is a fixed amount of “green” electricity available, so if a town buys some of it then less will be available for others to buy. This shell game fools most people, especially those with vote-seeking agendas.

Robert W. Turner
November 6, 2019 2:52 pm

It was a success story before turning into failure? Right, like jumping in front of a moving train is a success story until impact.

James R Clarke
Reply to  Robert W. Turner
November 6, 2019 4:13 pm

Right! It was a failure from the beginning. It just took a while for it to hurt.

November 6, 2019 2:59 pm

When you politically live by propaganda, you’ll politically die by propaganda.

Smart Rock
November 6, 2019 3:17 pm

In 2018, the city bought enough power from wind and solar projects to account for all of the community’s consumption

If I read this correctly (and that’s actually a big if because of the vague wording) they contracted to buy the number of kWh that the town would use in a month, every month from the wind and solar bandits. But the wind and solar deliver all those kWh’s when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, which is not going to be when the consumers need it, so they have to sell the excess (probably at about 3¢/kWh, which is what Ontario gets from NY and Pa for surplus wind power it doesn’t need but has to buy).

Then, when demand is higher than the wind and sun can supply – “It also pays for power fueled by natural gas” – probably single-cycle gas turbines because they can wind up and down to match demand.

All Georgetown needs to sort its problems out is a battery or two to store the surplus until they need it. There, problem solved. /sarc

November 6, 2019 3:18 pm

The RINO Mayor who pushed that virtue signaling contract is now gone. Yet his RINO ways will impact Georgetown residents as their taxes go up to pay for the city’s folly. When the RINO mayor got in bed with the Socialist-Democrats in Austin to garner some “Green virtue”, bad schist happened. The middle class residents of Georgetown, an Austin bedroom community, got fleeced in the Democrat-inspired electricity bill shakedown.

And RINO Republicans who get in bed with Democrats on the climate scam will always find themselves eventually abandoned in a Purgatory of their own making – that middle ground, halfway between hell and heaven, and not wanted by either side.
That is the cautionary tale all Republican politicians need to heed.

n.n
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 6, 2019 5:31 pm

The Green blight is funded with freshly laundered, socially inoculated, renewable greenbacks. What’s not to like? That said, beware overlapping and converging interests, green activists, and empathetic appeals.

Rotor
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 6, 2019 10:19 pm

Per James Taylor

In the 2018 Midterms,
“Of the 198 House Republicans who didn’t belong to the congressional Climate Solutions Caucus, 177 (89 percent) of those seats remained Republican after the election. Of the 43 House Republicans belonging to the Climate Solutions Caucus, just 23 (53 percent) of those seats remained in Republican hands.”

Kerry Eubanks
November 6, 2019 3:22 pm

Our leaders here in Iowa babble on endlessly about being one of the leading wind power generators in the nation, with 30% or whatever of our electricity generated by wind… again magically isolated from the grid somehow. Our governor, who’s actually a pretty good governor for the most part, has said it was one of Iowa’s main selling points in attracting new businesses because of how much they enjoy having “clean, renewable” electricity. You know, because businesses thrive on expensive, intermittent power sources.

Oh, and our relatively low electricity rates are beginning to steadily creep up. Oh, and guess who got saddled with the bill when the Duane Arnold nuclear plant was shut down and has to be dismantled, something that the utility sort of forgot to explain to the rate payers up front (before I was a resident here).

And, oh. Did have I ever said what a frickin’ blight on the landscape those thousands of piece-of-crap windmills are that have all cropped up since I moved here nearly 40 years ago? I haven’t actually spoken to any birds or bats about what they think.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Kerry Eubanks
November 6, 2019 7:48 pm

Blight is right. That’s what they are. Powering the world with Windmills is one of the dumber ideas humans have come up with.

November 6, 2019 3:24 pm

At a guess, here is how it works:

The town used X kwh of electricity per year, so they buy X kwh of “green” electricity. Only thing is, X isn’t available all the time, so the town must also buy Y kwh of natural gas power.

Which means the town has X-Y surplus power at the end of the year that they want to sell. Which would be peachy if they could get the green price, but they can’t. The best they can get is the spot price Z, and not only is this a whole lot less than the green price, at times it even turns negative. Especially as those tend to be the times when X is available. If you are trying to get rid of power at those times, you end up having to pay people to take it.

So for X units of power, they end up paying X+Y-Z, where Z may be positive or negative, but is most likely negative or very close to zero.

Paul Milenkovic
Reply to  ferd berple
November 6, 2019 4:37 pm

For every grid-connected saintly person who has contracted for 100% green electricity, two or three other consumers risk spending time in the afterlife in Power Purgatory for using non-renewable, CO2 emitting, mountain-leveling, mercury and arsenic poisoning, salmon-killing, radiation endangering and atomic weapon proliferating non-green power. In the absence of a technology for long-term energy storage, these-sinners are required to balance the virtuous.

November 6, 2019 3:26 pm

May there be many more Georgetowm’s. The hip pocket nerve is a lot more
powerful than the ideology of fighting to “”Save the Planet””.

MJE VK5ELL

Shoki Kaneda
November 6, 2019 3:46 pm

These “entrepreneurs” were very happy to risk other people’s money. Funny that they didn’t invest themselves in this great deal.

Craig from Oz
November 6, 2019 4:02 pm

At the risk of doing an Ad Hom, someone needs to tell Mayor Ross that posing like a victorious prize fighter makes his jacket ride up, giving the impression he has little stubby arms.

Should have gone for the dignified leader photo. Shoulders not quite square to the camera with head turned to face. If you are cropped then all is good. If you are showing the legs you have your hips on opposite lock with hands on front of hips. This makes the shoulders look broader (good) and the placement of your hands hides the full width of the hips (also good).

Then you back up your awesome looking photo by telling your voters you are here to save them real world money, not to make them feel good fluffy with woke rubbish.

Not that I am going Ad Hom 😀

beng135
Reply to  Craig from Oz
November 7, 2019 10:38 am

Well, from the post, the guy obviously is no genius….

Robertvd
Reply to  Craig from Oz
November 7, 2019 3:24 pm

He became mayor because he couldn’t find work as a used car salesman.

Boris
November 6, 2019 4:19 pm

So in the province that I reside in the government has made a virtual signalling mandate to remove COAL as a source for power production. 68% of the total power produced for this province comes from coal fired power plants. These power plants use pit mines that are excavated in the area of these power plants because this province is blessed with an abundance of coal just 200 ft below the surface of most of the province. These same power plants have some of the latest technology to reduce the harmful byproducts from the exhaust streams of the boilers and they provide good steady CHEAP power to the consumers.

Last week there was a dedication of a “NEW” natural gas pipeline to supply 5 of the 13 power plants with natural gas so they could switch over from burning coal in the next 5 years. So now these same power plants that were burning a localized unwanted cheap fuel are going to enter the commodities market and use the same fuel that I require to burn in MY furnace to supply heat and Hot water to my residence. So to virtual signal the left wing nut jobs that we are becoming greener in this province I will see not only a drastic increase in the price of electricity but my heating bill is also going to rise to staggering heights. When you suddenly change the market of supply and demand for natural gas the only way the price for natural gas is going to go is UP.

What is REALLY ironic is in 1997 the three natural gas fired power plants that were running in this province were shutdown and torn down. They were UNECONOMICAL to operate even when the natural gas prices were running at $ 0.50 a gig a-joule so 7 new coal fired plants were constructed since then to handle the load. Today the price of natural gas was running $3.85 a gig a-joule and they are telling us that it is better than coal.

On a final note up until 1950’s a lot of homes in this province used coal to burn in their furnaces because it was easier than wood. When the major oil fields were discovered in the 1950’s the push to convert homes to natural gas in major centers was started. So if we run out of gas because we are using it to make power when can we expect to switch back to burning coal to heat my home. Just asking.

SMC
Reply to  Boris
November 6, 2019 4:48 pm

Alberta?

Boris
Reply to  SMC
November 6, 2019 6:48 pm

Yes sir Alberta

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Boris
November 6, 2019 6:03 pm

Hahaha! Whatever you do, don’t watch your water bill! Water is cheap. It’s the cost to pump it that is costly.

Joe Campbell
Reply to  Boris
November 7, 2019 7:17 am

Boris: Gad! What a story…

Sheri
November 6, 2019 4:44 pm

When you LIE about 100% renewable (because they are NOT—it’s accounting, not power), YOU DESERVE THIS. Stupid has consequences and these fools dived headlong into stupid. I have zero sympathy.

BallBounces
November 6, 2019 5:00 pm

Electricity is highly over-rated. I have been posting texts here telepathically, with considerable succzxxvcbzt.

Scissor
Reply to  BallBounces
November 6, 2019 6:45 pm

Message received.

n.n
November 6, 2019 5:27 pm

Green drivers. Gray converters. A Green blight. And politically congruent math.

ron watson
November 6, 2019 5:27 pm

Georgetown contracted to purchase solar and wind power for current needs and future population growth over a 25 year period . Currently about 60% is purchased for the current population. The excess 40% must be sold on the open market. Because these energy sources are more expensive than the current market prices (due to the long term contracts and lower cost of natural gas), they sell the excess at a loss every year. Also the contracted price for the current population is higher than the open market. Again another loss to the ratepayers.

Texas is a deregulated state which means you can purchase your electricity from any energy provider you choose unless you are in a COOP. Most of Georgetown is in the Georgetown COOP. You cannot opt out of the COOP. There is another COOP that covers the remaining parts of Georgetown that did not commit to these long term contracts and their rates are much lower.
I know, I just moved back to Georgetown after many years of living away and was shocked at this bonehead decision.
Fortunately, there are more benefits to living here than the bad decision by a few elected officials.
Some of the officials that voted for this have already been voted out of office and hopefully, by the next election in 2020, the others will be gone too. Unfortunately, it will be the ratepayers that are stuck with there decision.

Michael Jankowski
November 6, 2019 5:27 pm

The bill jump from 2018 to 2019 probably doesn’t tell the whole picture. The city lost $8.1M from 2016 to 2018 because of this deal. A better comparison would be to 2015 bills…and adding-in the city losses that the Georgetown people pay through taxes to fill that gap.

John Robertson
November 6, 2019 5:55 pm

Gang Green always comes through in the end.
Just as “We have the science”
so “Green Energy is cheap,thats why your energy bill has tripled”

Also the wonderful”Green Jobs” that are always coming but never seen.

Must be opposite land.where Unicorns are real and politicians are honest citizens.

Gary from Chicagoland
November 6, 2019 6:03 pm

I’m paying only 7 cents/Kw hour for electricity in my town in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. Even more impressive, I have only lost power once in 25 years and that has only for 2 hours due to an ice storm. My electric bill is less than my water bill, which are both individually less than a steak dinner for my family of four in a fine restaurant that I use my SUV to drive there. My thermostat is set at 68F year around, and life is very comfortable inside our suburban house. No fires, no blackouts and no complaints!

Patrick B
Reply to  Gary from Chicagoland
November 6, 2019 8:29 pm

But you will be bankrupted by the government pension obligations.

Gary from Chicagoland
Reply to  Patrick B
November 7, 2019 2:13 pm

US States can not legally declare bankruptcy , only cities. TRS pension system for IL educators has about $52 billion invested in stocks and bonds which has averaged over 8% yearly returns for the 30 year time frame (9.5% in 2018). In addition Tier 2 teachers (new teachers) are paying more into the system than what they will get back in their pensions, which subsidizes the older Tier 1 teachers. Every teacher and school district paid fully into the pension system at rates almost double than SS. The problem is the IL State government has taken a “pension holiday” and not paid their portion into the pension pot. This lack of not fully paying the pension dues goes back about hundred years in IL. Our new Gov JR Pritzer wants to solve this revenue shortage by raising the State income tax (now at 4.95%) progressively so the rich pay about 8% starting in 2021. Why do this drastic tax increase and just not pay the pensions? The IL Supreme Court has ruled that “contract law” written in both the IL and US Constitution states that TRS pensions must be paid and can not be reduced or diminished. Backruptcy is not a possibility by more tax increases are coming.

Loren Wilson
November 6, 2019 6:45 pm

Meanwhile, 200 miles southeast in Katy Texas, I paid $0.080 per kWh, instead of $0.144. Let’s hear it for a free market!

ResourceGuy
November 6, 2019 6:47 pm

Ignorance is not a good basis for lawsuits, except in NY.

Boris
November 7, 2019 6:07 am

Two weeks ago the province of Alberta we had a”Wind” event in the southern part of the province. The wind speeds were clocked gusting to 148 k/h or 90 mph. This area also has a large population of wind turbines because of the amount of wind that constantly blows here. The other report during this “Wind” event was that ALL of the wind turbines were feathered and shutdown to prevent damage due to excessive wind gusts. You can’t have it both ways it seems.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Boris
November 8, 2019 9:05 am

“Event”.

We used to call these “gusts”.

Its scarier (deliberately) when we have “events” for what we used to call “weather”.

ResourceGuy
November 7, 2019 8:06 am

Due diligence in new tech/grid investment is not a strong suit of local governments or biased and manipulated Federal programs (Solyndra).

Richard Saumarez
November 7, 2019 10:07 am

None of you have understood the point. The purpose of environmentalists is not to make you happy and comfortable. Their goal is to make you miserable but feeling good about saving the World.

This is a disease that is infecting contemporary politicians, egged on by their witless, ill-educated followers.

Rudolf Huber
November 7, 2019 11:51 am

Let them have what they wanted so dearly. Let them steam in their speculation. And let the locals fight it out with the officials that have taken those horribly stupid decisions. Time to end some retirement benefits. Its going to be a fine example for the rest of the country and maybe the world. We need more like this and we need it publicised for everyone to see.

Eve Stevens
November 7, 2019 6:26 pm

Crispin, I am leaving Ontario for 6 months in the Bahamas in a few days. My husband and I laugh and giggle when we get there “We can have showers anytime we want” Sad that our fellow citizens felt they had to vote in people who would do this to us.

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