Category Archives: Water

Videos: Coal ash, Calles, Val North PD Water Sewer, Habitat CDBG, Sewage Valves, Stone Creek Antenna, Sheriff, Alcohol @ LCC 2017-03-14

Not on the agenda: Coal Ash and Y-Lead from Hahira Middle School and Teen Explosion. Also Stone Creek train quiet hours.

In a fifteen minute item, the Commission approved a split rezoning for REZ-2017-02 Calles, and they approved the removal of conditions from REZ-2017-03 Val North Dr, Stewart Circle. They approved the CDBG Grant preparation, but they didn’t mention they can’t actually apply until the resolve their feud with the local cities about tax allocation.

Below are links to each LAKE video of the 14 March 2017 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission, with a few notes, followed by a video playlist. See also Continue reading

Videos: Sewage, Coal Ash, Historic Preservation, a dead cat, and turkeys @ VCC 2016-03-09

The Valdosta City Council heard from citizens about coal ash, wastewater, and toxic waste in the landfill. Mayor John Gayle offered to answer later in his office Eric Howard’s question about wastewater in his yard. The Mayor expressed his opinion that he and the council couldn’t do anything about the landfill, and read for yourself what he said about the Florida county resolutions about Valdosta wastewater. George Boston Rhynes told a droll tale about a dead cat and turkeys.

The Historic Preservation appeal was long and contentious, with the Mayor twice breaking a tie because only four City Council members were there: the appeal was approved. A citizen spoke about that afterwards, as did Council Tim Carroll.

Council Robert Yost recommended all the Hospital Authority Board should resign.

They unanimously approved both of the rezoning items; ditto the right of way maintenance bids.

And Firefighter Michael Penland is employee of the month.

Below are links to the LAKE video of each item, with a few notes (some drawn from Valdosta’s own SUMMARY OF ACTIONS), followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda.

Videos: Calles again, Val North PD Water Sewer, Habitat CDBG, Sewage Valves, Stone Creek Antenna, Sheriff, Alcohol @ LCC 2017-03-13

Maybe more will show up at 5:30PM today for the Regular Session than the Chairman and only two Commissioners at yesterday’s Work Session (Joyce Evans and Mark Wisenbaker).

Chairman Bill Slaughter revealed why he had been missing from the meetings two weeks before: he had been attending an America’s Defense Community event in in San Antonio, Texas about Moody AFB. Follow the link for more about this. He complimented Vice-Chair Joyce Evans for running the meeting better than usual in his absence. She did beat his former record of five minutes by holding a three-minute Work Session.

The returning REZ-2017-02 Calles rezoning now wants to split half conservation and half R-A. Apparently the other rezoning, REZ-2017-03 Val North Dr, Stewart Circle, PD Amendment and Conditions Removal, Water & Sewer, ~9 acres had been heard before and was now being reconsidered because a road had been paved. Remember that when they try to claim roads don’t drive development.

Below are links to each LAKE video of the 13 March 2017 Work Session of the Lowndes County Commission, with a few notes, followed by a video playlist. See also the agenda, and the LAKE videos of the 27 February 2017 Greater Planning Commission meeting. Continue reading

Calles again, Val North PD Water Sewer, Habitat CDBG, Sewage Valves, Stone Creek Antenna, Sheriff, Alcohol @ LCC 2017-03-13

The county apparently doesn’t want its Peterson Road Isolation Valves leaking like Valdosta’s famous January 2017 WWTP failure. Two other water cases are on the agenda for this morning’s 8:30 AM Work Session, both rezonings: REZ-2017-02 Calles, Alexandria St, R-10 and CON to R-A and CON, Well and Septic, ~13 acres back again (Planning Commission still doesn’t like it; staff maybe), a new one, REZ-2017-03 Val North Dr, Stewart Circle, PD Amendment and Conditions Removal, Water & Sewer, ~9 acres.

Parcel 0167 098A
Parcel 0167 098A

The “Conflict of interest certification, resolution, and authorization” under FY 2017 CDBG Grant, Valdosta- Lowndes County Habitat for Humanity actually means no conflict of interest, according to the agenda sheet, which also notes “Lowndes County is currently on course to apply for $750,000.00 in CDBG funds from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) for a new public facility for the Valdosta-Lowndes County Habitat for Humanity.” Well, they’re not on course until they stop feuding with the local cities about tax revenue allocation, because they can’t apply for any state or federal grants until that is resolved.

Two safety items: Stone Creek Antenna Space License Agreement and Sheriff's Office Vehicle Lease Agreement.

And no County Commission meeting is complete without alcohol: Beer & Wine License – Rajendrakumar N. Patel of Bhumi Corporation – 6685 Bemiss Rd., Valdosta, GA. I don’t recall they’ve ever denied one of those, so I don’t know why they don’t just make an ordinance that permitting staff can approve them.

Here’s the agenda. Gretchen is there with the LAKE camera. Will the meeting take more than the three minutes last time?

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, March 13, 2017, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, March 14, 2017, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Brief agenda plus Water @ VCC 2016-03-09

No water on the agenda, but there’s a WWALS event for those who want to speak about water issues.

AGENDA
REGULAR MEETING OF THE VALDOSTA CITY COUNCIL
5:30 PM Thursday, March 9, 2017
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL

Valdosta City Council

  1. Opening Ceremonies Continue reading

Videos: Annual Planning Meeting Day 2 @ LCC 2017-02-17

We learned why Lowndes County has gotten religion about Internet access and speed: Moody AFB wants it.

Commissioner Scottie Orenstein made the case for board packets and agendas in electronic form instead of the paper packets they currently use. Maybe they’ll even reveal them to the public before their meetings, like real MSAs do. Meanwhile, Community Engagement means marketing, as in telling people what the county did, not listening to the citizens.

They talked about interconnecting (almost) all of the county’s water systems, about routes to get trucks out of downtown Valdosta. The water-sewer ordinance is in ten or twelve pieces, and the county is all for expanding water and sewer throughout the county as long as it doesn’t cost developers money.

There’s a regional T-SPLOST meeting in Waycross by SGRC Feb 28 2017, but Lowndes commissioners and staff said nothing Continue reading

U.S. electric power source projections: solar still most by 2023

According to FERC’s own figures from 2012 and 2016, my solar projections from 2013 (and former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff’s) were pretty good, and more U.S. electricity will still come from solar power by 2023. LAKE Solar Table 2017 Since coal and nuclear are already crashing, and natural gas isn’t increasing even as fast as formerly projected, solar could win even faster.

I constructed table below from the 2012 and 2016 summaries of total U.S. electric power generation from all sources, by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Look at the 2012 column: only coal and natural gas generated more than 25% of total U.S. electricity.

But in 2016 it’s only natural gas, because coal’s growth rate actually turned negative: utilities are shutting down coal plants, not building them. Back in 2013 I did not predict that to happen so quickly.

Now look at the growth rates, both my 2013 projections (see also the graph on the right) and my corrected 2017 projections. Only wind (and waste heat) is higher than 5%, plus solar alone at more than 50% new installed capacity per year. According to FERC’s 2016 figures (the “actual:” numbers in the 2016 columns), my 2013 solar projection was a little high by deployed utility-scale solar power, but was actually low as a proportion in 2016, because coal and nuclear are already crashing. Sure, one new nuclear power plant opened in 2016, but more than one closed.

And remember, utility-scale solar power, which is all FERC records in its Energy Infrastructure Updates, isn’t the whole story. FERC recorded 7.748 GW of new solar power in 2016, but SEIA added in rooftop and community solar power for a total of 14.6 GW of new solar power in 2016.

You don’t see rooftop coal, or nuclear, or natural gas. You don’t any of those installed in 9-month or less timeframes, as for solar power: they all require multi-year permitting processes because they’re so environmentally destructive. So it’s very unlikely there are any significant additions to coal, nuclear, or natural gas U.S. energy generation beyond what FERC reported.

Solar power has what we could call the personal computer or mobile phone advantage: anybody can own one. Practically by definition, you’ll never see that advantage for utility-scale power generation.

Looking that the 2021 and 2023 projections in the table, of course they’re naive projections, simply taking the old 2013 rate and the new 2017 corrected rate and projecting them forward. The 2013 rate I made by comparing FERC’s 2012 total figures to previous years. The 2017 rate I made by comparing FERC’s 2016 total figures to its 2012 total figures.

By 2021 coal won’t even account for 25% of U.S. electricity generation, and it didn’t even in FERC’s actual 2016 figures. In 2021 natural gas will account for a higher proportion because of coal’s capitulation, even though it’s actually growing slower than my 2013 projection.

Also in 2021, solar and wind will both be greater than 10% of U.S. generation, although wind will not yet reach that by the corrected projection. Since in 2016 according to SEIA solar actually beat wind for new installed capacity, I wonder if wind is already having trouble competing with solar power.

In 2023, by either my old or new projections, solar power will generate more U.S. electricity than anything else. Wind doesn’t grow nearly as fast by the corrected 2017 factor. Maybe 2016 was a glitch for wind, or maybe there’s something deeper going on.

For how naive these projections are, look at the Total row. U.S. electricty demand is unlikely to increase by 20% by 2021 (only four years from now) and it’s even less likely to increase by 52% by 2023 (only seven years from now). What that actually probably means is that coal and nuclear will crash faster and natural gas will follow them down, leaving solar and wind power as the main sources of U.S. electricity.

These projections and this table are just to illustrate some basic points. Other people are doing much more sophisticated projections, such as Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson and his research team, which graphically show fossil fuels and nuclear crashing while solar and wind win.

Goldman Sachs already called this a year ago, and many other big financial institutions predicted even earlier that solar and wind will win. This economic sea change is driven by solar prices dropping faster than Moore’s Law, which is accelerated by economies of scale as solar deployment increases. Economics are driving politics. Even Georgia in 2015 revised its antique law so third party power-purchase-agreements are now possible, and Georgia has become the fastest-growing U.S. solar market.

LAKE Solar Table 2017

Data from: FERC Office of Energy Projects
Energy Infrastructure Update For December 2012
Energy Infrastructure Update For December 2016
Total Installed Operating Generating Capacity
Projections by: Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE)
2012 2016 2021 2023
Power Source Projected Rates Installed GW 2012
(% of Total)
Projected GW 2016
(% of Total)
Projected %increase to 2016 Projected GW 2021
(% of Total)
Projected %increase to 2021 Projected GW 2023
(% of Total)
Projected %increase to 2023
Coal 2013: 1.3% 2017: -3.6% 337.71
(29.17%)
355.62
(26.93%)
actual: 291.79 (24.65%)
105%
actual:
86.4%
379.34
(19.95%)
corr.: 242.79 (17.13%)
112%
corr.:
71.9%
389.27
(15.13%)
corr.: 225.63 (12.74%)
115%
corr.:
66.8%
Natural Gas 2013: 1.8% 2017: 1.0% 491.82
(42.48%)
528.20
(39.99%)
actual: 511.74 (43.23%)
107%
actual:
104%
577.48
(30.37%)
corr.: 537.90 (37.95%)
117%
corr.:
109%
598.46
(23.26%)
corr.: 548.71 (30.98%)
121%
corr.:
111%
Nuclear 2013: 1.0% 2017: -0.1% 107.01
(9.24%)
111.36
(8.43%)
actual: 106.58 (9.00%)
104%
actual:
99.6%
117.04
(6.16%)
corr.: 106.05 (7.48%)
109%
corr.:
99.1%
119.39
(4.64%)
corr.: 105.84 (5.98%)
111%
corr.:
98.9%
Oil 2013: 1.0% 2017: 1.9% 41.32
(3.57%)
43.00
(3.26%)
actual: 44.85 (3.79%)
104%
actual:
108%
45.19
(2.38%)
corr.: 48.95 (3.45%)
109%
corr.:
118%
46.10
(1.79%)
corr.: 50.82 (2.87%)
111%
corr.:
123%
Water 2013: 1.0% 2017: 0.5% 98.12
(8.47%)
102.10
(7.73%)
actual: 100.59 (8.50%)
104%
actual:
102%
107.31
(5.64%)
corr.: 102.62 (7.24%)
109%
corr.:
104%
109.47
(4.25%)
corr.: 103.65 (5.85%)
111%
corr.:
105%
Wind 2013: 22.8% 2017: 9.2% 57.53
(4.97%)
130.82
(9.91%)
actual: 81.87 (6.92%)
227%
actual:
142%
365.33
(19.21%)
corr.: 127.03 (8.96%)
635%
corr.:
220%
550.90
(21.41%)
corr.: 151.48 (8.55%)
957%
corr.:
263%
Biomass 2013: 3.7% 2017: 2.6% 15.00
(1.30%)
17.35
(1.31%)
actual: 16.78 (1.42%)
115%
actual:
111%
20.80
(1.09%)
corr.: 18.90 (1.33%)
138%
corr.:
125%
22.37
(0.87%)
corr.: 19.89 (1.12%)
149%
corr.:
132%
Geo- thermal Steam 2013: 4.2% 2017: 1.5% 3.70
(0.32%)
4.36
(0.33%)
actual: 3.93 (0.33%)
117%
actual:
106%
5.36
(0.28%)
corr.: 4.23 (0.30%)
144%
corr.:
114%
5.82
(0.23%)
corr.: 4.36 (0.25%)
157%
corr.:
117%
Solar 2013: 60.9% 2017: 57.0% 3.90
(0.34%)
26.14
(1.98%)
actual: 23.70 (2.00%)
670%
actual:
607%
281.88
(14.82%)
corr.: 226.03 (15.95%)
7227%
corr.:
5795%
729.76
(28.36%)
corr.: 557.14 (31.46%)
18711%
corr.:
14285%
Waste Heat 2013: 0.4% 2017: 14.4% 0.69
(0.06%)
0.70
(0.05%)
actual: 1.18 (0.10%)
101%
actual:
171%
0.72
(0.04%)
corr.: 2.32 (0.16%)
103%
corr.:
335%
0.72
(0.03%)
corr.: 3.03 (0.17%)
104%
corr.:
439%
Other 2013: 0.0% 2017: -8.5% 1.04
(0.09%)
1.04
(0.08%)
actual: 0.73 (0.06%)
100%
actual:
70.2%
1.04
(0.05%)
corr.: 0.47 (0.03%)
100%
corr.:
45.0%
1.04
(0.04%)
corr.: 0.39 (0.02%)
100%
corr.:
37.6%
Total 2013: 0.0% 2017: 0.5% 1157.86
(100.00%)
1320.69
(100.00%)
actual: 1183.74 (100.00%)
114%
actual:
102%
1901.49
(100.00%)
corr.: 1417.29 (100.00%)
164%
corr.:
122%
2573.3
(100.00%)
corr.: 1770.94 (100.00%)
222%
corr.:
152%
corr.: LAKE 2013 projection corrected by LAKE in 2017 according to growth rate from 2012 to 2016.
Factor colors: red: < 0%; orange: < 2%; blue: > 5%; green: > 50%. Proportion background colors: darkyellow > 10%; yellow > 25%.

2012 FERC Source: Data derived from Ventyx Global LLC, Velocity Suite.

2016 FERC Sources: Data derived from Velocity Suite, ABB Inc. and The C Three Group LLC which include plants with nameplate capacity of 1 MW or greater. The data may be subject to update.

* “Other” includes purchased steam, tires, and miscellaneous technology such as batteries, fuel cells, energy storage, and fly wheel.

Waste Heat

What is the mysterious Waste Heat that FERC does not define in either of the source reports? EPA defines it like this:

Waste heat to power (WHP) is the process of capturing heat discarded by an existing industrial process and using that heat to generate power (see Figure 1). Energy-intensive industrial processes—such as those occurring at refineries, steel mills, glass furnaces, and cement kilns—all release hot exhaust gases and waste streams that can be harnessed with well-established technologies to generate electricity (see Appendix). The recovery of industrial waste heat for power is a largely untapped type of combined heat and power (CHP), which is the use of a single fuel source to generate both thermal energy (heating or cooling) and electricity.

So waste heat is efficiency measures for existing thermal industrial processes. Thus it is unlikely ever to account for a significant proportion of electricty generation.

Putting it another way, waste heat is greenwashing obsolete power generation. Case in point: Status of Waste Heat to Power Projects on Natural Gas Pipelines, November 2009, prepared for Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA). Sorry, fracked methane purveyors, waste heat won’t save you.

Solar power will soon account for the largest proportion of U.S. electricity generation.

And that’s just the start. We know how to get to 100% sun, wind, and water power for the U.S. by 2050, for everything, including heating, cooling, and transportation. Solar power will win like the Internet did.

Let the sun rise!

-jsq

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Videos: Annual Planning Meeting Day 1 @ LCC 2017-02-16

Two newly-elected officials spoke at the Thursday session: new Tax Commissioner Rodney Cain who was full of praise for his staff, and new-old Sheriff Ashley Paulk, who said he had more important things to do than to go get undocumented workers out of the fields. “I tell ICE come show me a warrant.” Here are LAKE videos of that day, and stay tuned for Day 2!

Total 2016 revenue was Continue reading

Videos: 3 for 2 VLMPO appointments, 2 – 1 rezonings, 3 water + credit cards, alcohol @ LCC 2017-02-14

Tuesday Chairman Bill Slaughter did say there will be a retreat Thursday and Friday this week, but he didn’t say where or what time of day. Yesterday afternoon they finally put on their website that it starts 8AM this morning at Quail Branch Lodge. Here’s hoping Commissioner Joyce Evans is well enough to attend.

In a refreshing change of procedure, Continue reading

Videos: 2 VLMPO appointments, 2 rezonings, 3 water + credit cards, alcohol @ LCC 2017-02-13

They vote 5:30 PM today. The longest item at yesterday morning’s Work Session was 6b. REZ-2017-02 Calles, Alexandria St, R-10 and CON to E-A, Well and Septic, 0213 acres, which also got the longest discussion of any county case at the recent Planning Commission meeting, where GLPC voted to recommend denial. All parties want the other rezoning, 6a. REZ-2017-01 Cone/Malone, tabled.

The second longest item yesterday morning was 7c. Request for Relief for Tuscany Palms Utility Tax District, which had a long list of staff involved in it.

They did name the three three candidates for two VLMPO vacancies, but none of them were present. At least one wasn’t even aware he was actually a candidate.

Below are links to each Continue reading