Tag Archives: business model

The cloudy day doesn’t last for an entire month –John S. Quarterman @ GA PSC 2013-06-18

The disruptive challenge electric utilities face is like 1: Solar power telephone companies faced years ago, as Edison Electric Institute recently pointed out. Circuit switching 20 years ago is like distributed solar power and the smart grid it needs now; this is what I described at the Georgia Public Service Commission meeting Tuesday 18 June 2013.

Hi, I’m John Quarterman, I’m from Lowndes County, down near the Florida line. These videos I’ve been taking are with Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange and you’ll find them on YouTube later.

Two things Now I’d like to commend Georgia Power for helping fund our Industrial Authority down in Lowndes County to do a strategic plan. And in the focus groups they did with that, they discovered there’s at least two things everybody wants: business, education, health care, the people in general: Continue reading

Ask Georgia Power to conserve our water –Garry Gentry for WWALS @ GA PSC 2013-06-18

Garry Gentry read the WWALS Watershed Coalition letter at the Georgia Public Service Commission meeting Tuesday 18 June 2013.

The recent rains have swollen our blackwater rivers, Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, and Little, under our longleaf pines and Spanish-moss-covered oaks, and filled up the tea-colored tannin waters in our frog-singing pocosin cypress swamps here in central South Georgia. But that was only a dent in our protracted drought that ranges from mild to extreme, with projections not much better….

There is no need to use our Floridan Aquifer water to build more baseload power plants while Georgia lags behind Michigan, Massachusetts, and even tiny New Jersey and Maryland in solar power.

WWALS calls on the PSC to ask Georgia Power to conserve our water and to bring jobs to south Georgia through solar power and wind off the Georgia coast.

You can read the complete letter. Here’s the video:


Ask Georgia Power to conserve our water –Garry Gentry for WWALS
Georgia Power proposed closing of coal plants,
Administrative Session, GA Public Service Commission (GA PSC),
Doug Everrett (1: south Georgia), Tim Echols (2: east Georgia), Chairman Chuck Eaton (3: metro Atlanta), Stan Wise (5 north Georgia), Bubba McDonald (4: west Georgia),
Video by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
244 Washington Street SW, Atlanta, GA, 30334-9052, 18 June 2013.

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Your jaw will drop with astonishment at how fast solar power will beat every other energy source –a stock trader

A stock trader looked for causes of solar stock price rises and considered the effects of solar PV price drops, and realized solar power is going to beat every other energy source so fast that it “will make your jaw drop with astonishment.”

Michael Sankowski wrote for Business Insider 3 May 2013, Solar Is Going To Change The World Much Faster Than Anyone Expects,

6% year is a fantastic rate of decreases, but 20% is simply astonishing. 20% is an impressive number, but putting it into context will make your jaw drop with astonishment.

My calculations show that if solar maintains 5 more years at current 23% rates per year price drops, solar power will be cheaper than using existing coal plants. That’s right — it will be cheaper to build new solar plants than to use existing coal plants. It sounds absolutely crazy.

First he discovers the effects of no fuel for solar in Continue reading

Electric utiltiies know about Moore’s Law for solar power

And they know compound annual growth, even at a low 22% rate, is going to cause them a heap of trouble.

More from the Edison Electric Institute January 2013 report, Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business,

The decline in the price of PV panels from $3.80/watt in 2008 to $0.86/watt in mid-20121. While some will question the sustainability of cost-curve trends experienced, it is expected that PV panel costs will not increase (or not increase meaningfully) even as the current supply glut is resolved. As a result, the all-in cost of PV solar installation approximates $5/watt, with expectations of the cost declining further as scale is realized;

Sure, costs won’t continue to drop forever, but Continue reading

Private prison is like biomass —Ashley Paulk

A deep silence came from the Industrial Authority yesterday, but GDOC board member Ashley Paulk compared the private prison to the biomass project.

I asked Lowndes County Commission Chair and Georgia Department of Corrections (GDOC) board member Ashley Paulk if he had heard whether the private prison contract had been extended past yesterday’s deadline. He had not. However, he did volunteer that he had asked the GDOC board whether they had had any discussion about such a prison and they had not. Further, GDOC just last year approved a CCA prison in Jenkins County, Georgia, so why would another one be built here? Prison populations are decreasing in Georgia, Paulk said. He even said, “It’s like the biomass situation,” in that there’s no business model. It was Ashley Paulk who signaled the end of the biomass project. And he already signaled the end of the private prison project on the front page of the VDT and he told Eames Yates of WCTV 29 Feb 2012,

Until you have a customer, you won’t see a prison, and they don’t have a customer.
He said several times yesterday he did not expect the private prison to be built. And he went beyond what he had said before in explicitly likening the private prison project to the biomass project.

After last Thursday’s Valdosta City Council meeting, two different Valdosta City Council members and Mayor John Gayle all told me they had talked to various people and they didn’t expect CCA’s private prison to be built.

I hope they’re all correct about that.

But we all still wait for the Industrial Authority to tell us. They’re missing a huge potential positive PR opportunity by not holding a big press conference and taking credit for ending the private prison. They still could do that this morning.

Or they could keep claiming that community activism has no effect, even though it is activism that got both of those projects in the news and got people like Ashley Paulk to speak out. Maybe the Industrial Authority likes people to laugh at them. Me, I’d prefer an Industrial Authority that stood up for the people of this community.

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Corrections Corporation of America: A Critical Look at its First Twenty Years

This is the report Bobbi A. Hancock gave Andrea Schruijer Friday:

Grassroots Leadership published Correction Corporation of America: A Critical Look at its First Twenty Years. By Philip Mattera and Mafruza Khan, Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First, and Stephen Nathan, Prison Privatisation Report International. December, 2003. Here’s an extract from the Executive Summary:
CCA is the leading participant in, and in many ways the embodiment of, one of the most controversial industries ever created—the incarceration of people for profit. While the company is looking back through rose-colored glasses, there is a need for a critical analysis of what CCA has brought to the world of corrections. That is the purpose of this report.

Even by its own standards, CCA has not been a success. Rather than taking the industry by storm, it still manages only about three percent of prison and jail beds in the United States, and its global aspirations had to be abandoned.

Only a few years ago, CCA was being widely vilified

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Community activism had nothing to do with biomass plant not coming here —Andrea Schruijer to Bobbi A. Hancock

Received today. -jsq
Subject: Meeting with Andrea

Just a quick recap of a meeting I had yesterday with VLCIA’s Andrea Schruijer. When asked where we were with the private prison issue, she responded, “we contractually agreed to a 3rd extension with a term of 365 and CCA has until March 13, 2012 to request that extension.” So I asked,” if CCA doesn’t request a 3rd extension, then the issue is over, right?” She replied, “If there’s no response from CCA, then it is up to the board to determine how to move forward.” When I asked her why they would even consider honoring a contract extension to CCA knowing some of the controversy over CCA’s business practices, she replied, “because there is a partnership between the VLCIA and CCA and we are contractually bound to a 3rd extension.”

I pointed out that the private prison industry wasn’t interested in public safety and rehabilitation they simply wanted to make a quick buck off the lives of others. I informed her of the chronic employee turnover, understaffing, high rates of violence and extreme cost cutting which all have been attributed to CCA.

I told her that Lowndes County already had its own share of air pollution and that amount of air pollution here is directly proportionate to the amount of lung and bronchial caner in our area. I encouraged her to consider sustainable businesses for the future economic growth of our community, not smoke stack business. Her reply, “so what you are saying is that you think the industrial should just close its doors?” I actually hadn’t thought about that but the question did make me ponder.

I left her with a 91 page research report which takes a critical look at the first twenty years of CCA’s operations. I requested an email response of her thoughts about the report and am currently awaiting the response…

Biomass did come up in the conversation and Mrs. Schruijer was quick to assert that

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