Tag Archives: Plant Vogtle

Video: Solar panels, heck yeah! –Tom Fanning, CEO, at SO stockholder meeting 2017-05-24

Tom Fanning, our genial CEO host, said some things I’ve never heard him say before like Southern Company is “pivoting towards wind” and SO’s board soon has to decide whether to go forward with Plant Vogtle “or not” probably by August. Fanning gets the first and last word in this blog post, plus a complete transcript of what I asked and Tom Fanning’s response, along with summaries of the other questions and answers.

Well see how it develops --Tom Fanning
Please hear me! I think renewables are exceedingly important in the future.
— Tom Fanning, CEO, Southern Company

In SO’s own meeting video of the 25 May 2017 Stockholder Meeting, you can see much praise about solar power and wind and R&D and a smart grid, along with stockholders wondering: Continue reading

Georgia Power buys 99MW in two Georgia solar projects

Decatur County scores two big solar projects. When will Lowndes County get a move on in solar? How about some projects like this at your empty industrial parks, Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority? Now that even Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning is bragging about renewable energy, maybe the solar sun is shining enough for other local governments to see it.

Southern Company PR, PRnewsWire, 20 February 2015, Southern Company subsidiary acquires two Georgia solar projects totaling 99 megawatts,

Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power today announced the acquisition of two photovoltaic (PV) solar projects totaling 99 megawatts (MW) in Georgia — the 80-MW Decatur Parkway Solar Project and the 19-MW Decatur County Solar Project — from Tradewind Energy, Inc.

The projects were proposed by Continue reading

Georgia Power can’t get a schedule from its own contractors for Vogtle nuclear project

After two years of no integrated project schedule (IPS), Georgia Power tried to get the the elected Public Service Commissioners to tell it how to enforce a contract for Plant Vogtle that Georgia Power brought to them. This video clip ends with formerly staunch pro-nuclear Commissioner H. Doug Everett saying any company that did that probably would be imprudent. And Everett also said:

We haven’t seen any results.

Georgia Power’s representative, I think Rob Trokey, said:

We have agreed haven’t we that the company does not manage this project. They oversee it, they may report to this commission the status of it, but it does not manage this project.

Answer from the Commission:

It doesn’t.

So who does? According to Georgia Power: Continue reading

Solar or wind investment will produce more energy than oil or natural gas

We already knew solar and wind are better investments than nuclear or natural gas, and now we find they’re already better than oil.

In Impact Lab 18 September 2014, $100B invested in wind or solar will produce more energy than oil,

Kepler Chevreux, a French investment bank, has produced a fascinating analysis that has dramatic implications for the global oil industry. The investment bank estimates that $100 billion invested in either wind energy or solar energy — and deployed as energy for light and commercial vehicles — will produce significantly more energy than that same $100 billion invested in oil.

The implications, needless to say, are dramatic. It would signal the end of Big Oil, and the demise of an industry that has dominated the global economy and geo-politics, for the last few decades. And the need for it to reshape its business model around renewables, as we discuss here.

“If we are right, the implications would be momentous,” writes Kepler Chevreux analyst Mark Lewis.

“It would mean Continue reading

Energy Policy Act of 2005 considered harmful

The same Energy Policy Act of 2005 that subsidized dirty oil and fracked methane including LNG exports also funded that oxymoron “clean” coal such as Southern Company’s Plant Ratcliffe in Mississippi, ethanol production lining the pockets of Monsanto, and the $8.3 billion loan guarantee to Georgia Power for the new nukes at Plant Vogtle.

2005 was a very long time ago in solar PV years: prices are halved, and installed solar power production is up more than ten times and growing exponentially like compound interest. We need to stop throwing money at dirty, water-sucking, centralized baseload 20th century non-solutions and get on with clean 21st century distributed solar and wind power for jobs, for energy independence, and for clean air and water, not to mention less climate change.

-jsq

NRC nuke waste plan failed federal appeal

Why the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is trying to get the public’s confidence in nuclear waste management: NRC lost an appeal in 2012. Southern Company’s new nukes at Plant Vogtle scraped by before this happened, but there’s still no place for nuke waste even from the existing Vogtle 1 and 2 reactors to go. NRC has a revised Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) scheduled to be finished October 2014.

Here’s U.S. DC Circuit Court of Appeals decision No. 11-1045 NY v. NRC 8 June 2012, on the Court’s website and on NIRS’ website.

David Erickson and Mark Anstoetter wrote for Lexology 17 August 2012, NRC suspends issuance of nuclear power plant licenses,

In response to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to vacate its rule regarding long-term storage of nuclear waste, New York v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, No. 11-1045 (D.C. Cir. 6/8/12), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has agreed to suspend Continue reading

The fragility of centralized energy systems

All thermal power generation requires water for cooling, with nukes so vulnerable no private insurer will cover them anyway and failing frequently in recent heat waves. “Natural” gas is no better than coal or oil for water use; maybe worse because all those pipelines vulnerable to backhoes or corrosion or attack. Even hydro is vulnerable to lack of rainfall. Carbon sequestration doesn’t get good marks, while conservation and efficiency get rave reviews from a study of insurance perspectives on power generation. What’s the one power source this article about insurance risks does not say is fragile in the face of climate change? Hint: look up.

Limiting Liability in the Greenhouse: Insurance Risk-Management Strategies in the Context of Global Climate Change, by Christina Ross, Evan Mills, and Sean B. Hecht, Stanford Environmental Law Journal and the Stanford Journal of International Law, Symposium: on Climate Change Risk, Vol. 26A/43A:251, 2007.

Supply-side energy choices that may be made to reduce the carbon-intensity of energy services have their own distinctive liability characteristics. For example, switching to lower-carbon electricity generation technology based on thermal power plant technology (e.g., by substituting natural gas for coal) results in systems that are still heavily dependent on water resources for cooling. The Electric Power Research Institute has documented considerable risks to traditionally cooled power generation systems as a result of climate change-induced droughts.242 Similarly, “zero-emissions” hydroelectric generating systems are also sensitive to rainfall patterns.

242 Denis Albrecht, Electric Power Research Institute, Presentation: Climate Impact on Water Availability for Electricity Generation (April 11, 2006) (presentation slides associated with the Electric Power Research Institute).

Centralization considered harmful

Continue reading

Southern Company downgraded to sell over Kemper coal and Vogtle nuclear

Time to break out of the utility death spiral by breaking away from cost overruns at Kemper “clean” Coal and the Plant Vogtle nuclear boondoggle and getting on with real renewable solar and wind power.

UBS wrote 5 May 2014, Southern Company: Kemper Tantrums; Reducing to Sell,

Reducing to Sell on continued delays for the Kemper IGCC project

With further delays and increased costs for the Kemper IGCC project resulting in yet another $380M of writedowns (further slippage costing $25M/month) and now the likely loss of $120M-$150M of bonus depreciation as well, we view the current premium P/E multiple as untenable. While the Vogtle nuclear project appears to be on track, the presence of two major risky projects, Continue reading

EU could cut 40% emissions with little cost: and we can, too

If Europe can do it, the U.S. can do it. And we know Georgia can get a third of its power from wind, and even Spain is north of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, which have a lot more sun for solar power than anywhere in Europe. Solar power is already winning, even in Georgia. Let’s help it win even faster, plus wind.

PR from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) 16 January 2014, EU could cut emissions by 40 percent at moderate cost,

The costs of achieving a more ambitious EU climate target are estimated to be moderate. Upscaling greenhouse-gas emissions reduction from the current 20 percent by 2020 to 40 percent by 2030 would be likely to cost less than an additional 0.7 percent of economic activity.

And that apparently doesn’t count the additional economic activity that would be produced by all those wind and solar deployments, not to mention related activities like electric cars. This is actually a pessimistic study, because it doesn’t account for such likely positive corollaries.

Many options to choose from—wind power could expand sevenfold

Continue reading

Solar benefits outweigh costs in NC

And the same is true in Georgia, despite Georgia Power and Southern Company.

John Downey wrote for Charlotte Business Journal 23 October 2013, Study: Solar benefits outweigh costs in NC

An independent study published by a nationally known energy consultant asserts that adding 500 megawatts of solar generation in North Carolina would save utility ratepayers about $26 million annually.

It notes the gains from solar projects — such as lower transmission and distribution costs, avoided emissions, lower losses of electricity in transmission. The study calculates that such benefits outweigh the costs by 30 percent to 40 percent.

Update 2017-04-25: Energy NC seems to have removed or moved its copy of that report, but fortunately SEIA lists it on a backup website, and I’ve linked it into the quotation above, plus a copy on the LAKE website. SEIA also lists many other studies for other states, such as one for Virginia which is on the MDV-SEIA website, and now also has a copy on the LAKE website. For Georgia SEIA lists the testimony of GSEIA before the Georgia Public Service Commission in 2013. For Florida SEIA lists only a very old (2003) study with a broken link, which can be found as a google book, but now would mostly be worthwhile as a museum piece. Duke’s own actions in Florida in 2016 and 2017 indicate Duke Energy knows the sun is rising even on the Sunshine State.

The study considered two intertwined solar methods: Continue reading