Tag Archives: Google

Gigabit fiber Internet from Vermont Telephone Company: half the price of Google fiber

BroadbandVT.org logo Tiny Vermont demonstrates that the Internet access most telephone and cable companies are selling us is way overpriced for way too little speed.

Look Out Google Fiber, $35-A-Month Gigabit Internet Comes to Vermont (by Shalini Ramachandran for WSJ 26 April 2013)

Heads up Google GOOG +1.94% Fiber: A rural Vermont telephone company might just have your $70 gigabit Internet offer beat.

1,000 Mbps

Vermont Telephone Co. (VTel), whose footprint covers 17,500 homes in the Green Mountain State, has begun to offer gigabit Internet speeds for $35 a month, using a brand new fiber network. So far about 600 Vermont homes have subscribed.

Even more interesting:

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Renewable energy much needed in Georgia —John S. Quarterman

My op-ed in the VDT today; I’ve added links, plus some more after the op-ed.

Finally! Kewaunee, Calvert Cliffs, and now Crystal River permanently closing say it’s time for Georgia to stop wasting money on Southern Company’s already over-budget and increasingly-late nukes and get on with solar power and wind off the coast: for jobs, for energy independence, and for clean air and plenty of clean water.

February 2013:
Duke Energy is closing the Crystal River nuclear reactor (Tampa Bay Times, 6 Feb 2013), 160 miles south of us, because nobody wants to pay to fix it: between “$1.5 billion and $3.4 billion, plus what it costs to buy power to replace what Crystal River would have produced while it is being repaired” [Charlotte Business Journal, 11 Jan 2013].
November 2012:
NRC terminated Maryland’s Calvert Cliffs 3 (NRC 1 Nov 2012) after Constellation Energy dropped out because the cost “is too high and creates too much risk for Constellation” [Bloomberg 10 Oct 2010].
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Return of water misinformation by Forrest H. Williams in the VDT

Seen today on the WACE facebook page is an image of an op-ed in the VDT, and alongside it I include here Michael Noll’s initial comments, plus a few links.

There is good reason why Stephen Hawkins once said “the greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” When entities like Fox News can claim that “solar won’t work in America because it’s not as sunny as Germany”, we shouldn’t be surprised by the results of such “educational” efforts. The fact is that we have a number of clean and renewable forms of energy (e.g. wind, solar, geothermal) that already work. Just go to Spain, Germany, Denmark, Iceland, or simply stay in the US and visit places like from New Jersey and New York to California and Arizona. Combine these pieces of a larger energy puzzle with meaningful initiatives of energy conservation and energy efficiency, and we find a way out of our current predicament (i.e. continuing dependence on finite and dirty sources of energy), while saving money (see solar vs. nuclear), preserving our natural resources (e.g. water, forests), and providing clean, healthy and safe environments to live in (e.g. wind and solar do not produce radioactive waste, pollute our air and groundwater).

The guest columnist appearing above is the same individual who thought

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Solar: Pieces of a Puzzle —Dr. Michael G. Noll

Op-ed in the VDT today, responding to a response to my op-ed. -jsq

If the attempt of a guest column from Jan 13 was to shine light on solar power, it left everyone in the dark. Neither mockery nor close mindedness will assist us in finding real answers if we want to solve the energy puzzle of the 21st century.

In July 2012, the Financial Times interviewed Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE. GE knows perhaps more about the world of energy business than any other company. Immelt stated that

“on a cost basis it is impossible to justfy investing in nuclar power for the future.”

People who sitll claim that solar is more expensive than nuclear are not paying attention. If solar is viable as far north as New Jersey, it certainly is in Georgia. If countries like Germany can excel in solar energy production, so can we. Companies like Walmart, Costco, Apple, and Google are havily investing in solar because it works.

It should also be noted that the nuclear plant on Crystal River has been idle since 2009. As the Tampa Bay Times reported last December,

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Failed concrete: the bane of nuclear reactors

Let’s not forget the failed concrete on which Plant Vogtle’s unprotected stranded reactor vessel is supposed to sit.

A week before the reactor vessel train wreck, news stories said concrete pouring was delayed due to “noncompliant rebar”. Thomas Clements elaborated for the Aiken Leader 14 January 2013, Vogtle AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Vessel Discovered Unprotected, Stranded in Savannah Port since December 15 Shipment Failure,

Due to chronic delays in the pouring of “nuclear concrete” for the basemat of the AP1000 units at Vogtle and VC Summer, it remains unknown when or if any reactor vessels can actually be placed into the excavated holes at the sites. A January 10 meeting of the NRC confirmed that another basemat-related “license amendment request” (LAR) was soon to be filed by SCE&G for its AP1000 project and that the target date for granting of the LAR was March 18. It appears that the Vogtle project has fallen behind the V.C. Summer project and no strategy for the filing of a similar and necessary LAR by Southern Company is known.

Concrete, the long-time bane of Seabrook Station and also what’s keeping Crystal River shut down because nobody wants to pay the billions of dollars it would take to fix it.


What say we call the whole thing off, like Dominion Power did with its existing Kewaunee nuke, and TEPCO and NRG did with their plans for new South Texas nukes.


Maybe it’s a sign that meanwhile Google has invested a billion dollars in wind and solar and gotten 2 gigawatts of power, almost as much as the 2.2 GW the two new Vogtle nukes were supposed to produce, except Google’s solar and wind projects are online on time, and for less than just the cost overruns at Vogtle.

The Georgia legislature is in session. You can contact your legislator or the PSC today about toppling Southern Company’s three-legged nuclear regulatory-capture stool and fixing that 1973 Territoriality Law so we can get on with solar and wind in Georgia, for jobs and energy independence, and oh by the way clean air and plenty of clean water.


Vogtle reactor vessel sitting unprotected at Savannah port

What happened to Plant Vogtle’s new reactor vessel after it was in a train wreck a week ago? It went back to Savannah port and sits there unprotected and unguarded.

Thomas Clements wrote for the Aiken Leader 14 January 2013, Vogtle AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Vessel Discovered Unprotected, Stranded in Savannah Port since December 15 Shipment Failure,

Tom Clements, Alliance for Nuclear Accountability

The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) for the chronically delayed Vogtle AP1000 reactor construction project near Waynesboro, Georgia sits stranded and seemingly unprotected in the port of Savannah. The special railroad car carrying the 300-ton vessel had unknown mechanical problems on December 15 on exiting the port. The NRC has said that the vessel only got one-quarter mile before a sound was heard and the car stopped. Plans by Westinghouse and Southern Company to move the vessel are unknown. It is also unknown if the railroad car can be repaired and used or if the railroad company which owns the line is concerned that the rail car might break down again on its line in an in accessible place. Meanwhile, the apparently unguarded reactor might be subject to sabotage and sits in apparent violation of NRC quality assurance and “administrative control” regulations.

The article includes links to several more pictures taken 13 January 2013 by Tom Clements of Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, such as this one with the bridge clearly visible:

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Google invests in wind and solar

While Southern Company and Georgia Power pour money down that nuclear pit by the Savannah River and Progress Energy can’t afford to fix its Crystal River nuke, Google’s wind and solar projects are already online on time, all for less than the cost overruns so far at Vogtle or the fix-it price at Crystal River.

David Goldman wrote for CNN Money 10 January 2013, Google invests $200 million in Texas wind farm,

“We look for projects like Spinning Spur because, in addition to creating more renewable energy and strengthening the local economy, they also make for smart investments,” Kojo Ako-Asare, Google’s senior manager of corporate finance, said in a blog post.

Ako-Asare added that wind farms offer “attractive returns relative to the risks.”

Which is the opposite of nuclear’s huge risks relative to the apparently negative returns. So how much wind and solar energy does Google generate?

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Google shows the way on offshore wind

Zachary Shahan wrote for CleanTechnica yesterday, Google-backed Offshore Wind Power Superhighway Moves Forward,

The Department of the Interior stated on Monday that there was “no overlapping competitive interest” for the areas where the $5-billion project would be constructed. This decision leads us to the next step in the process — environmental review of the Atlantic Wind Connection line.

The article notes that environmental review could take 18-24 months, with a projected power online date of end of 2017. Southern Company projects Vogtle Unit 3 online in 2016 and Unit 3 in 2017. And that’s before the cost overruns that have already started. I’m guessing Google will have its Atlantic wind project up and running before Southern Company has any new nukes online, if they’re ever online.

And remember, the Atlantic Wind Connection is privately funded:

Other than Google, companies funding the project include Good Energies and Japan’s Marubeni Corp.

The cost is about $5 billion for 6,000 MW of wind energy generation.

Meanwhile, Southern Company has already overrun its nuke cost estimate by almost $1 billion within a few weeks of NRC go-ahead. It won’t take long at that rate for the cost overruns to exceed $5 billion. That’s on top of the perhaps $8.3 billion base cost. That’s for two 1,100 MW reactors, for 2,200 MW total.

What if Southern Company and private investors quit wasting resources on nukes and funded a Georgia Bight Wind Connection instead? After all, Georgia’s offshore waters are part of the East coast wind energy basket.


Free the Internet: stop SOPA and PIPA

If you don’t know what SOPA and PIPA are, Google, Wikipedia, reddit, and many other websites will tell you today that those are bills in Congress to censor the Internet.

If you like blogs, YouTube, facebook, and other social media, you won’t like SOPA and PIPA if they become law, because they will enable big copyright holders such as movie studios to force websites to remove links to entire domains on suspicion of copyright violation.

What you can do: contact your members of Congress today. You can do that through one of the many online tools Or call, email, or send a paper letter directly. Free the Internet!


Google says delaying solar will cost U.S. millions of jobs

If it’s true for the country, it’s true for south Georgia. So moving ahead with solar will gain jobs.

David Worthington wrote for smartplanet 28 June 2011, Google: delay on renewables will cost U.S. trillions, over million jobs:

Google has published an analysis of the economic benefits of renewable energy innovation. It has concluded that even a five year lapse without a national clean energy policy would cost the United States an aggregate US$2.3-3.2 trillion in unrealized GDP gains and 1.2-1.4 million net jobs.
The study was about renewable energy in general, but: Continue reading