Sunday, March 16, 2014

RICL Doesn't Make Sense

“Right now, you have an excess of supply to meet the demand that's out there,” says David Fein, Chicago-based Exelon's vice president of state government affairs. “The market has spoken. It's obviously not economic to build. A 20-year contract . . . doesn't make sense.”
That was said two years ago about wind energy.  Today we have wind farms going bankrupt.  Illinois ratepayers are abandoning high priced wind energy and moving towards alternate Energy Retail Suppliers.  Wind energy needs to compete on a level playing field.

The idea of a Renewable Portfolio Standard which mandates where energy will be sourced, regardless of price just doesn’t make sense.   Shall Illinois legislatures pick winners and losers?  Shall Illinois close nuclear stations and buy wind energy from northwest Iowa at a higher price.

There is a finite quantity of energy Illinois ratepayers can buy.  The idea that energy consumption with increase incrementally every year is dead.  Energy efficiency is working.  With wind farms going bankrupt, how much louder does the market need to shout?

RICL doesn’t make since either.   The idea that more wind energy is needed is a fantasy being sold by Clean Line Energy, marketing professionals in Des Moines, lobbyist, and contractors who could profit if this powerline is constructed.  ComEd’s guy said it correctly.  There is simply an excess supply to meet the demand.  It’s not going to change.  Five years from now?  Ten years from now?  MAYBE 20 years from now this project makes sense.   

But right now, and in the foreseeable long term future, this project will not cashflow and is not in the interest of Illinois ratepayers.  It doesn't make sense why Clean Line Energy continues to push this project.  At current market prices, without the federal subsidy through the Production Tax Credit it is not economical to import wind energy from Northwestern Iowa when two nuclear plants in the state are being considered for closing.  Why risk losing over 1,000 actual jobs and $20 million in actual tax revenue to pay more for energy from Iowa?

The Rock Island Clean Line doesn’t make sense.

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