In response to the many requests for additional
information after yesterdays BOS meeting I am combing issues requested and
sending it out as a package in hopes it will address issues you had not
looked at how these matters, energy independence and freedom from fossil fuels,
were addressed elsewhere:
• Distributed Generation (DG),
• Community Choice Aggregation (CCA),
The County performed a
study of Community Choice Aggregation in 2005. We are in the process of
exploring consulting services to update the 2005 study to address CCA in the
unincorporated areas of San Diego County and also CCA for the entire region.
I anticipate the studies will be completed in 2013, pending approval of
funding and contracting with a consultant.
It is very encouraging
that the 2009 Strategic Energy Plan is going through an update. Could you
please provide me with information as in San Diego can a CCA be formed for the
Peter W. Livingston,
P.E., CEM, LEED AP/BD+C
Sustainability Manager - County of San Diego
5560 Overland Avenue,
4th Floor, Suite 410
San Diego, CA 92123-1294
Phone (858) 694-2624
Fax (858) 694-8929
Cell (858) 688-9959
• Renewable Energy Secure Communities ( RESCO). The
Borrego micro-grid pilot project by SDG&E can be done by the private sector
as was done at the successful UCSD Virtual Power Plant (VPP) project.
• Feed in Tariff (FITs),
• DG interconnections
(Rule 21) that are transparent, cost effective, timely and non- discriminatory:
Proposal Four Times Comparable Size of Los Angeles DWP’s Solar FIT
Comparable to Gainesville, Florida’s Annual Per Capita Rate
Payment for Wind to be Based on Utility’s Rate of Return
Could the conservative heartland state of Iowa breach the dam
holding back feed-in tariffs for renewable energy in the US when self-styled
“progressive” states such as California continue to dawdle? That is the
possible implication of a vote by the Agriculture Committee of Iowa’s state
Senate Thursday, 7 March 2013.
Political observers and the media often overlook mid-western
states in deference to presumably more trendsetting states on the west coast.
However, many of the progressive movements in US history have grown out
of grassroots campaigns in the nation’s heartland. The same could be true for
The bill, SSB 1234, has a long ways to go should it ever become
law, and the odds against it, as in most other states, are very long as powerful
forces begin aligning against it. Nevertheless, the bill now moves to the
Significantly, the bill passed the Agriculture Committee
unanimously. That is, the bill not only received the support of Democrats in
the Democratically controlled chamber, but also support by Republicans on the
committee. This bodes well for at least consideration by the Republican
controlled House should the bill pass the Senate.
In another departure for much of the current discussion across the
country and in particular on proposals for feed-in tariffs, SSB 1234 is not
about solar Photovoltaics. No, the bill is aimed at distributed wind energy and
is limited to projects less than 20 MW.
Iowa knows a lot about wind energy and it is comfortable with the
technology. In 2012, Iowa produced 24.5%
of generation by in-state wind energy, far more than the one-time leader
California’s 5%. Even in absolute numbers, Iowa’s 14 TWh of wind
generation exceeded that of California’s 10 TWh in 2012.
However, nearly all wind energy in Iowa is found in large wind
power plants developed by multinational utility companies. Only a very small
percentage of Iowa’s wind generation is produced by small, distributed projects
and even less is owned by Iowans themselves.
The bill allows distributed wind projects to account for one-half
of the annual growth in residential electricity consumption. One estimate is
that this could be up to 60 MW per year. If true, Iowa’s proposal is four times
greater than the much heralded, some would say over hyped, feed-in tariff
program of Los Angeles’ Department of Water & Power that is limited to 20
MW per year.
Iowa’s SSB 1234 is a milestone in renewable policy proposals in
the US since Tea Party reactionaries seized legislatures across the country in
2010. As one activist suggested, this could finally be a sign of brightening
fortunes for feed-in tariffs.
Unlike advocates in other states, where solar only bills
monopolize feed-in tariff discussion, renewable proponents in Iowa are more
inclusive. Proponents of SSB 1234 hope to add biomass and solar once the bill
reaches the floor of the Senate.
One of the bill’s key features is using the connecting utility’s
regulated rate of return in calculating the tariff that would be paid under the
standard offer contract. Renewable advocates have long proposed that
distributed or locally-owned renewable should be paid a tariff that includes
calculation of a rate of return equal to that granted electric utilities. In
most countries and in most proposals in North America, however, regulators use
a much lower rate of return for investment in distributed renewable than the
utilities receive themselves. Sometimes the return acceptable to regulators for
distributed renewable is half that received by regulated utilities.
Summary of Key Features
Program cap: ½ of annual retail electricity consumption growth
Project cap: 20 MW
Geographic limit: only on agricultural land
Interconnection: mandatory for utilities
Tariff determination: based on cost to utility, inclusive of the
utility’s regulated rate of return
Contract term: 10 years
This feed-in tariff news update is sponsored by the , and the David Blittersdorf
Family Foundation in cooperation with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
The views expressed are those of Paul Gipe and are not necessarily those of the
• CPUC 218 allowing one parcel to 'sell' power to two
immediately adjacent parcels who could each conceivably sell to two additional
immediately adjacent parcels and so on in a daisy chain arrangement. This
allows sharing of economies of scale of wind.
• CAISO Ancillary Services (A/S). The California
market is developing such that these 'services' (frequency/voltage regulation,
spinning reserve, black start and deferral of Transmission & Distribution
upgrades). These benefits can be monetized at the wholesale level bi-passing
the monopoly utility. This is currently being done in the Pennsylvania Jersey
Maryland (PJM) Independent System Operator ISO) service territory.
• Private ownership of distributed storage as encouraged
under the CPUC Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).
programs while still fluid and have put the world on a path to renewable energy
and energy independence.
on these programs is readily available with a little effort on the wonderful
farming is changing how food can be produced locally in a non polluting manner
and reduces transportation costs.
GE Wins Order for Three Wind Turbines With Storage
By Christopher Martin - May 1,
2013 6:21 AM PT
The agreement is part of an
86-turbine order that Chicago- based Invenergy plans to install at its
Goldthwaite Wind Energy facility in Mills County, Texas, GE said today in a
It’s the first order for the
2.5-120 Brilliant turbine that Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE announced in
January, incorporating short-term power-storage capabilities. The system uses
software to analyze wind speeds and retains excess power during gusty periods
that’s fed to the grid when breezes wane.
Renewable-energy developers are
showing increasing interest in storage technology to offset the intermittent
availability of wind and sunshine, Keith Longtin, GE’s general manager for
wind products, said in the statement.
Integrating batteries in turbines
will let wind-farm operators boost “efficiency and short-term predictability,”
To contact the editor responsible
for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@...
Recent reporting by
Morgan Lee of the Union Tribune provides two examples of recent regulatory
changes that benefit Combined Wind Storage Projects.
1. Among the slashed requests:
$29.8 million for energy storage projects, designed to even out the
availability of solar-generated electricity and other renewable power.
The CPUC is
encouraging alternative models of storage ownership. This is certainly
not the sole reason for the denial. At the same time as the CPUC is
providing the richest (perhaps the only) incentives in the US for distributed
storage under the SGIP program. Policy goal is to encourage innovation
of technology, ownership models and operations. SCE and CCSE are under
pressure for not being able to spend the ratepayer $ set aside for
this program. So, the political system has spoken and now is time to
2. Also rejected was
SDG&E’s plan to deploy $5.2 million worth of public charging facilities
for electric vehicles. The judge has backed the
commission’s prohibition on utility ownership of car-charging infrastructure.
So, again the
Commission has chosen not to open the market to competition and innovation.
Wind is a good fit with charging stations as it produces energy at
night. Solar is not a good fit as A.) it is more expensive and B.) the
energy is better used to reduce the peak load as a solar production profile
is reliably correlated to the peak system load.
Here are 2 good
articles on Vanadium technology and storage market trends.
Turbines & Birds Myth
I'll state right up front that in the past, some wind turbines in avian
flight paths did have a track record for killing birds. In fact, bird lovers
used to call these "avian Cuisinarts" in order to get their point
Since around the year 2000, however, the design of utility scale wind
turbines has changed greatly with lower blade speeds and more visibility. The
assumption that wind farms are still today killing a large number of birds has
turned into a myth.
Sure, those with a political agenda of not wanting a wind farm to go up in
their neighborhood will still cite wind turbine bird kills as if it were
current fact. But, along with the few bird strikes that do occur to turbines,
the critics rarely compare that number to the number of automobiles flying down
the highways, killing birds or the number of airline bird strikes.
The very nature of many birds is to live a haphazard and short life. About
30-percent of all birds don't make it past their first year of life due to
collisions with different parts of nature such as boulders, mountainsides or
falling from tree branches.
In fact, older birds are commonly killed every day by flying into
non-natural structures such as skyscrapers and the windows of other buildings,
homes, trees, electrical fences and many other places. A typical 1.5 mW wind
turbine with large surface area, slow moving blades is more likely to receive a
bird strike on its shaft as it is on one of the blades.
The top threat to birds outside of wind turbines include the electrical
grid, vehicle collisions, buildings and residences, communication towers,
pesticides, cats, jet engines, smoke stacks and bridges.
A study in the 1980's found that 69 million birds migrated through the San
Gorgonio Pass near Palm Springs, California. Of this number, only 38 bird
deaths were attributed to the local wind turbines.
This means the bird mortality rate due to wind turbines in a migratory
pathway was statistically insignificant. More birds were killed in one moment
in the jetliner crash that landed safely in New York's Hudson River than were
killed over one year in the San Gorgonio Pass in California.
The bird-o-matic myth actually started with a reality and that is at the
Altamont Pass in California where older, smaller faster spinning turbines have
been used. This one wind farm counts for a disproportionately high number of
avian deaths. Constructed in the 1970s the Altamont Pass wind turbines contain
around 4900 smaller generators that are gradually being replaced with larger,
slower bladed turbines.
Wind turbine manufacturers have responded to criticism first by constructing
larger wind generators with slower blades. They have also experimented with
different colored paints and reflective devices to ward off birds. The sound of
the turbine itself is another early warning system to birds flying nearby.
The myth of wind turbines killing birds continues to this day. The reality,
however, is that wind turbines are a safe and clean method to produce renewable
energy and are necessary if we are to break our addiction to foreign oil.
Consultants to the Wind Power Industry
on birds and other wildlife issues.
What Kills Birds?
Human Causes of Bird Fatalities
& Kerlinger has compiled the following information from environmental
organizations and government agencies.
list is meant to inform the public and to put wind turbine fatalities in perspective.