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Tommywonk's First Blog Post

People arbitrarily have their milestones.  Some may be grateful when they cross a hundred, a thousand, a million.  But for me, I have chosen one of Delaware’s great bloggers who retired at post 1850 as my personal marker of achievement…

Tommywonk used dry humor, and a crisp mind to make his points.  We were involved in facing down the four horsemen of the Delaware Legislature running through 2007-2008 leading to the first offshore wind agreement made in the United States.  Unfortunately the Republican Depression wiped out a multitude of global hedge funds, and the backers of ours, were included.  Currently the rights to Blue Water Wind are owned by one of the biggest opponents of it when we first pushed it forward.  Dave Burris and Jason Scott, complimented OUR team of four horsemen….

Anyways, most readers will have no idea of what I’m talking about and that is how it should be.  Time marches on, and those who look too much backwards upon the past, run right into a tree.

But I was always far behind him in posts since he started out.  I marked my catching up to him here….

Today’s blogging is rather boring compared to what used to take place on these pages. It is as if everyone tries to spout off what they know, and of course, that makes for rather dull personalities. Today we are dry. We used to be wet. We did silly things back then. We laughed a lot. When one of us hit a vein, we all jumped in to open it wide. The News Journal lost editorial control over its state.

Oh Well, I see it took me 553 days to better him up 1000… Seems so much shorter, like it just happened yesterday… lol.

As Rebecca Young used to say…. “Onward.”

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You'll Come A Waltzing Matilda With Me

2012 is a record breaking year.. We guessed because the ice melt was the largest ever recorded, and broke the old record a month before the melting season ended. Right now, summer in the other half of the world, is breaking records in Australia. They even had to put a new color on the temperature chart to show temperatures over 50 degrees C…..

If you look at this global temperature list, and add 2012 to the top,(the authors have not already), you see a point I’ll drive home.

Out of the eleven hottest years ever recorded, ten have occurred since 2001…. Which means only one of the top ten hottest years, 1998, was not in the past decade…

Here is the scary part. A 3 degree rise, was deemed to be cataclysmic. The US rose 1 degree last year…. As the chart shows, up till now, rises were in the tenths of a degree.

2012 just blew everything right out of the water.

And as mentioned last summer a tongue of ice cold Labrador current penetrated the Gulf Stream, and almost turned it away from Europe; wow, that would really change things over there

And you know who is to blame? People in the Caesar Rodney Institute who said global warming was a hoax, and the Republican party of the United States of America, who prevented all proper actions that could have minimized the extent, from seeing the light of day…

So be nice. The next time someone says they are a Republican? Say: “Oh, gee thanks again for ruining the world.”

I’m sure it will make their day….

The House and the Senate agreed Tuesday to extend a 2.2 cent per kilowatt-hour credit for wind power production through this year as part of the “fiscal cliff” deal. It also changed the incentive to let wind projects earn the credit if under construction — rather than in service — by the end of the year. Letting the credit end would eliminate 37,000 jobs. AWEA in December proposed extending the credit for this year and then ramping it down to end after five more years.

Time to get busy, Delaware.

Back To Building Offshore Wind
Photo Courtesy of Google right click for full image.

Would any American support a law imposed on us by the Soviet Union?

Would any American support a law imposed on us by Communist China?

Would any American support a law imposed on us by Islamic Iran?

Would any American support a law imposed on us by Mexico?

Would any American support a law imposed on us by Canada?

Would any New Yorker support a law imposed on them by South Carolina?

Would any South Carolinian support a law imposed on them by New York?

Would any Delawarean support a law imposed on them by Alaska?

No?

When put in this perspective, the phrase…”it’s the law…” rings rather hollow…

It’s the law… of what? It’s the law of…. who? It’s the law decided by whom?…… What reference does this law have to me?

Such is every Americans feeling to corporate law… These laws were applied to the lawbooks without our knowledge. These laws were applied to the lawbooks without our approval… There laws were applied to the lawbooks not in an open environment, but subtlely sneaked in, unannounced, unnoticed, unapproved, unsubstantiated, and unconstitutional…..

These laws that are being upheld, benefit a very thin percentage of people, a razor thin percentage of people. at the expense of the majority…..

Rick Santorium stands up and states we are a nation of law. We follow the rule of law…

Yes, we will follow a rule of law onto which a majority of us signs on to… But nowhere in our contract with America did we agree to follow laws that have not been sanctioned by the Constitution as being legal. Nowhere in our contract with America, did we agree to follow the phantom that corporations were human beings. that corporations had just as much right as people to write laws, get them passed, and then uphold them… as if they were people….

There are times when breaking the law, is better than following it…

If you don’t believe me, just ask Jesus.

A Giant Battle For A Little Wind

Greeks hold the line at Thermopylae

A little over two millennium ago, the roots of our western civilization stood on the brink of eradication. Only a small band of Greeks stood between the massive Persian army and the destruction of Athens, the foundation of democracy and defender of fine arts. Ironically had the outcome of the battle been different, perhaps it might be us placing IED’s along roads built and traveled by those descendant of that Persian stock.

But against such invincible odds, this small band of men chose to fight, and took the necessary action, even though outnumbered 10,000 to one, against the greatest army ever to land upon Grecian shores. Through strategic planning and personal courage, they stood fast against the onslaught and in doing so, changed the course of history..

Now we too stand at a crossroads of civilization, where our choices and bravery will lead to great consequences. The nemesis we face, however, is one we have brought upon ourselves.

Of the hottest years ever recorded in history, twenty one have occurred during the last twenty five. The ten hottest years on record, have occurred since 1993. Five of those hottest years have occurred since 2000. The year 2005 was the hottest on record. Last year 2006 was the hottest ever in America. This winter, the one we finished yesterday with the first day of spring, is the hottest winter ever recorded! This problem is not static; it grows worse with each day.

A decision is about to be made, regarding the future generation of Delaware’s electricity. This decision, though made by a few, will certainly affect many. Due to its timing, this is to be one of the first major decisions ever made by a state in real time regarding renewable energy. If chosen, Blue Water could be up and running in little over two years, not fifteen. This gives other states and other nations the distinct possibility of being influenced by our success, to such a degree that man’s ultimate footprint upon this planet, may have the distinction of being first decided in our small state.. One can hope, that instead of the PSC dooming us to continued carbon dependency, a choice will be made that will prove to all, that wisdom, open mindedness, and courage are not yet extinct among Delawareans and that this state of Delaware can indeed count on those traits to remain instrumental when it comes time to choosing what is best for our own future.

It will require great courage to vote for Blue Water’s wind proposal. For we will not know what problems may yet appear over the future’s horizon. As someone already mentioned, on these shores wind power is untested. But a cold eye cast towards gas or coal can quickly discern monstrous problems down those two roads should we choose to follow either of those options. Sometimes, as with cancer, the certainty of knowing what WILL happen if we continue doing what we have always done, can sometimes propel us down the road less traveled.

There will be great pressure upon you in the PSC to take the comfortable choice, and avoid the upcoming battle against the carbon interest should you dare to make the “right” choice. But in years ahead, the gravest of consequences are predicted to befall each of us, should you fail, fall short, and err in judgment. With gas and coal both expected to continue their steep price climb over the next twenty five years, any wrong choice made now, could burden this struggling small state to the point of economic exhaustion.

Only a fresh puff of wind can break this downward trend. Blue Water’s generation plan can give us, this army outside your tent awaiting your decision, the extra economic lift it needs to face down the multitude of obstacles arrayed before us.

Be known, that as you confer in your tent that is flapping in the stiff breeze, and ponder the subtle strategies arrayed upon the ground before you, that you have an loyal army of public opinion, over ninety percent, ready to take on any hardship, attack any risk, and march forward into any battle with you arm in arm, should you decide to lead us to renewable energy. We do it willingly, not for glory, not for honor, not for personal aggrandizement, but because we are truly in awe of the immense and profoundly global consequence that our small state’s actions may impart upon the future of all civilization.

Should Delaware fall short, fail to do its duty, and continue to compromise its future by the rapid exhumation of carbon fuels, we no doubt shall one day be viewed as harshly, as that poor fool who panicked and guided the Persians to a secret path through the mountains, thereby surrounding those brave souls, whose valiant effort against incredible odds of 10000 to one, managed to stall the onslaught and save Athens and the future of western civilization.

Now civilization looks to us.

When the CO2 ultimatum is laid before us, demanding that we too sign over our state’s future to those armies beholden to carbon kings, and threaten to blot out our sun with hundreds of thousands’ of tons of emissions volleyed in our direction, let us hope that we too, fully mindful that we guard our own Thermopylae through which all these monstrous armies of carbon interests must pass, stand shoulder to shoulder, and reply ” “In that case, we shall fight in the shade……………”

Should windpower’s costs be spread to all power users in Delaware?

No, and here is why.

The cost saved is already considerable. To not go through with the plan, would cost us far more than what we would save if we waited until trying to spread the cost among all users.

The reason is because House Bill 06 was all about getting cheaper energy to those poor citizens who suffered the 59% rate increase.

Bluewater Wind will do that.

What you will pay for electricity in today’s dollars, will be $105 per MWH plus Delmarva’s 4% guaranteed profit margin, totaling 109.20 cents per MWH. That breaks down to 10.9 cents per kilowatt hour printed on your next twenty five years of electric bills. Check your Delmarva Bill ans see how that rate compares with what you pay today……

It’s like buying Mahaffie’s magical Honda Prius with no interest, ever.

What is being said, by those opposing the wind deal, is “hey, let’s hold off and see if we can get this super great deal even cheaper. ”

Chances are, we wait too long, someone like New Jersey will steal that great deal out from under our noses.

That is why it is silly not to sign the deal as it was originally intended. Already It is a deal too good to pass up….

The sooner the Senate passes HCR 38 and work begins, the sooner we see lower power bills coming in the mail.. One month’s delay from getting started, wipes out, or equals all the prospective savings we would save if we somehow crossed that boondoggle and spread the costs to everyone, industrial and commercial……

What is important to remember……is that with Bluewater Wind, there are no costs, only savings.

To lose a deal saving us thousands of dollars, by quibbling over a few pennies, does not make rational sense.

But Delmarva says spreading the costs will save us money.

No, …they “said”. They also “said” natural gas prices would go down, thereby if they did, then and only then would Bluewater Wind cost more money than buying short term contracts. Natural gas prices, like gasoline, are higher than their prices of last year. Not lower as Delmarva’s consultants stated when making their comparison, but quite a bit higher and expected to climb,…..not go down.

Because of the high rates for burning carbon fuel, not even to mention the Carbon Taxes expected to be levied upon all carbon producers……any delay will cost us far more than the dollar or two we might save if we spread all costs to all segments of society using power….

All this line is, that of spreading out the costs, is a delay tactic. Someone figured out that if gas prices plummeted to levels never seen……a wildly extravagant speculation, that in such a case, an off-shore wind farm would cost six extra dollars a month. Someone else figured out that if one spread all costs among the industrial, who are the biggest users, and commercial, the second biggest users, as well as the residential customers, we would save that 6 dollars a month. We could then buy 5 more SoBe‘s a month with the savings.

Somewhere buried in their calculations, was the confidence that as our rates declined, the rates of our industrial giants would rise, and their pressure on the General Assembly would scuttle the entire Wind process. Seriously, we must truly consider whether we want our industrial manufacturers, pricing themselves out of the market because of a utility increase, especially in today’s “talk of recession” market……..

Simply put, it would not be a good idea.

What IS a good idea is to pass HCR38 so those of us who are already paying too much for our electricity six months longer than we should have been, can finally see the relief House Bill 6 was supposed to provide……..when it cleared the House, Senate and was signed by the Governor, all in one day back in April of 2006………

Why all this talk about Gas prices going down? Everyone knows they won’t.

Delmarva began their campaign against Bluewater Wind by stating that a natural gas fired turbine built and operated by their sister company Connectiv, would be cheaper over twenty five years than an offshore wind farm. Among the data they used to make that calculation was the idea that bas prices would drop extremely low for roughly the nest ten years then slowly climb again. This was incredulous to those of us reading the futures reports on all carbon fuel supplies…

We never let them forget it, because they used that data to try to “dis” windpower throughout the state. Bottom line, wind power, especially offshore wind built in a category 4 or above area, is the cheapest form of electricity we currently have at our disposal today….

It also calls into account either their honesty, or their intelligence for proposing such a stupid proposition, fully expecting it to be believed, even while in the meantime, we can’t keep up with our utility payments………Like a pet who misses its litter box, let us rub their noses in it one more time.

The Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $7.17 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) in 2007 and is expected to average about $9.70 per Mcf in 2008 and $9.40 per Mcf in 2009.

I will leave for the reader to determine whether their misrepresentation was done deliberatively or was just a miscalculation……..

I felt sorry for our legislators. Sitting in that big building, knowing that the vote on which the whole world watches, might come up for a vote this week. And all they have to read up on, is the impossible garbled gobbledygook full of contorted language, supplied to them by the lobbyists of Delmarva Power.

So I thought to myself: why not offer them an alternative? One easy enough to read, that they could even delegate their kids to read it and report back to them around the dinner table of all the pros and cons………One that was perhaps fun to read, and did not have an agenda, as did those writings provided by Delmarva?

Wouldn’t it be nice if our legislators had all the facts placed in front of them for a change?

And so here, for the first time ever, is a compilation of everything I have written about wind……

Of course, if you are not a legislator, you are certainly welcome to browse this catalog anytime you feel like having a couple of questions answered.

I thought I would organize it in chronological order, since most of you reading today are familiar with the most recent posts, but many of you weren’t around to read the earlier ones.

Why Couldn’t It Be Us

The Saudi Arabia of Wind

All We Are Is Dust In The Wind

Part II

Part III

Citizen Participation Requested

$$$$$$$$

Even more $$$$$$$$$

Last Chance to Do Good

A Giant Battle for a Little Wind

Another Squawk

The Politics of Putting Wind In A Bag

What is a Sustainable Energy Utility?

A Wind Party

Delmarva Deliberately Decides to “Dis” Delaware’s Desire for Downright Dependable Deal

Taming Delmarva with Wind

Delmarva Twists and Spins

Delmarva: The New King In Town?

The Case For Big Wind

A Test in Human Psychology

“Start Me Up!”…..”Start Me Up!”

Frank and Open Discussion

What We Need Is A State Power Authority

Can You Hear the Wind Blow?

Does Delmarva Present An Undisclosed Financial Risk to Investors?

Delmarva Just Doesn’t “Get It”

Five “Easy” Pieces

Ok, So What’s This New Deal About Wind?

Poised to Destroy Delaware

GET OFF THE ROAD, …….QUICK!!!

Say It Isn’t So?

Copeland’s Strategy

A Comparitive Look At Electric Prices

To Regulate, Or Not To Regulate; That is the Question

With Wind,… A Little Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing

Haiku Moment (5-7-5)

the kavips Compromise

More on the kavips Compromise

PSC Indirectly Hints It May Back the kavips Compromise

Bluewater Makes First Move Towards “The kavips Compromise”

Faux Paux by Two of Delaware’s Top Democrats

“Well Who Are You? (Who Are You? Who, Who, Who, Who?)”–The Who

Open Letter in Support of Wind

World Wide Report Shows Danger in Not Supporting Wind

Once Again Stockbridge Proves He Has No Clue

Delmarva Talks “Mumbo Jumbo”: Delaware Get’s Screwed Financially

“Play That Funky Music…..”

Wind Told “Straight”

Heroes: Those Who Fight When All Others Lose Hope

Parental Responsibility

I Can See Clearly Now…….

Rebuttal to Gary Stockbridge

Dying Words

With A Name Like Bernadette You Would Expect…..?

Wind, Still Breathing………..

A Quite Appropriate Name

We Are Not Defeated: We Just Have More Work To Do

Time Keeps On Ticking (Ticking)….Into the Future…

Dear John

So What’s It Say? Live Blogging Through the Proposed Purchase Power Agreement

“I Object, Your Honor!” Says Delmarva

A Rather Odd Letter from Delmarva

Cost Escalators

Blow Wind, Blow

Open Letter to PSC

…Apparently Because Members of the General Assembly….

WTF Is A Controller General?

They Broke The Law

The Cataclysmic Cost of Rising Seas

Who’s In Charge?

Ever Wonder What’s Inside a Wind Turbine?

New Jobs? How Many?


Why Not Go Big?


Important Meeting At 6:30 Tonight in Dover

BREAKING: NFL Commissioners Annul SuperBowl Results Pending Further Study

The “Other” Resolution

So What’s It Mean?

Is the News Journal Prejudiced? Absolutely.


Oops! Slipped Through Our Fingers…..


Cool Hand Luke

Joke: Overheard

Delmarva’s Attempt at a Joke

Comment Rescue:

Time for War

Life Imitates Art

A Plea From “One of Dem Rangers”

An Interesting Exchange

Gary Stockbridge Gets Some “Air” Time….

Satire or Truth?: Please Judge Ms. Pamela Thornburg

Cancer: It’s a Gas

Land Based Wind Takes a Giant Step


REply to Michael T. Hogan


Windpower For Dummies (Chapter 1)


Windpower for Dummies: Chapter 2

Windpower for Dummies: Chapter 3

Windpower for Dummies: Chapter 4

Windpower for Dummies: Chapter 5

Windpower for Dummies: Chapter 6

Windpower for Dummies: Chapter 7

Wind power for Dummies

Is Offshore Wind Right for Delaware?

Often when making a difficult decision, a simple method that cuts through the confusion, is to quickly list all the positives in one column and the negatives in another. Then…. compare them directly. Often just seeing them on the same page gives one a clear assessment of the direction he needs to go.

It is time we did so with Wind.

Pros

More stable electricity prices over the long-term outlook;

A price hedge against future spikes in energy prices;

Less reliance on the PJM market that has experienced dramatic increases in capacity and energy price since 2006;

A new Delaware capacity source;

Promotion of significant environmental benefits;

Would make Delaware the East Coast hub of a clean, new industry.

Cons:

The cost of the project is more expensive than market projections;

The Project in- service date has been delayed by one year and could extend to November 2015;

Termination or downsizing of the project presents opportunity cost risk and may limit Delaware’s ability to acquire future renewable resources;

Project viability is untested;

The long-term nature and large size (i.e. serves a significant portion of Delaware’s energy load) of the PPA increases ratepayer risk;

Indirect costs related to negative LMP and PJM charges for energy imbalances potentially create higher prices under the PPA.

That is it in a nutshell. The good and the bad. Looking at them broken down so simply probably is inductive to making a snap judgment.

Breakdown:

More stable electricity prices over the long-term outlook;

Notice that it doesn’t say cheapest. It says stable. Compare the difficulties being faced today by ARM holders in today’s mortgage crises, as opposed to the calm stability provided by a fixed rate mortgage. A lot can be said for avoiding uncertainties. Especially if one locks into a low rate for the full thirty years……That is what we are about to do for our energy needs, if we decide to pursue building a wind farm off Rehoboth. Any future business doing a cost analysis as to why it should resettle in Delaware, would be very interested in the stability being provided here.

A price hedge against future spikes in energy prices;

The delivered cost of fuel to power plants throughout PJM is the single largest determinant of electric energy prices. Energy prices will rise. One has only to hear the Shellhorn and Hill radio ad on WDEL to prove it. It is amusing that whereas everyone else discusses how high carbon fuels will rise in the future, Delmarva Power is the only one betting that they fall below the level where offshore wind is cheaper. But having a substantial percentage of our energy locked at one price will offset and minimize the impact that those rising costs will have on our lives.
Less reliance on the PJM market that has experienced dramatic increases in capacity and energy price since 2006;

For example: PJM’s Reliability Pricing Model (“RPM”) has resulted in a dramatic, 1,277 percent rise in capacity charges since 2006. Bluewater wind would remain the same for twenty five years. Need we say more?

A new Delaware capacity source;

The location off-shore at Rehoboth, is a good location considering the planned retirement of two generating units inside of NRG. Otherwise that future energy would have to be transported down the peninsula , losing much of its energy along the way.

Promotion of significant environmental benefits;

The shutting down of NRG’s two archaic units and the substitution of their power generation capability by several windmills, will provide substantial environmental benefits, especially to those citizens of Millsboro, dodging the mercury, antinomy, and sulfur landing upon their yards. Energy with no carbon being exhumed, is good for us all.

The cost of the project is more expensive than market projections;

The market projections are suspect. These are the same ones that predict gas prices will go down. There is a good chance that will not occur. If gas prices rise, then wind will be lower than other sources of power. What is important to realize, is that gas sets the market price for almost all power. The lower costing energy sources all reap tremendous profits if gas is brought on line, since the highest bid for that hour sets that hour’s price. Even if most of one’s power comes from Salem’s nuclear plant, if gas gets used, gas (and Salem) both get paid gas’s price.

The Project in- service date has been delayed by one year and could extend to November 2015;

The longer the time, the more expensive the project becomes. By stalling….. our costs rise, and we will wind up paying more than what was stated in the contract. That is why time is important and we to decide next week if we go forward.

Termination or downsizing of the project presents opportunity cost risk and may limit Delaware’s ability to acquire future renewable resources;

If the Bluewater Wind deal does not go through, while we were discussing the pro’s and con’s, other states were buying all the REC’s leaving little left for our state. We wind up having to buy them at a high rate, and we get stuck with the tab.

Project viability is untested;

Only on these shores. But so was commercial aviation at one time, and before that….railroads. There is risk with any new venture that needs full disclosure, but wind farms overseas do well and are growing at an incredible rate. The largest one sponsored by Shell Oil, is being built in the Thames estuary.

The long-term nature and large size (i.e. serves a significant portion of Delaware’s energy load) of the PPA increases ratepayer risk; Just as the wind farm’s large scale will provide Delawarean’s with increased benefits, it if it does not go through, ….it will cause us an equally large risk. For example, we would receive little benefit (or risk) were we to choose to build one turbine. But we are planning 450, and hopefully, some day that number could climb to 600.

Indirect costs related to negative LMP and PJM charges for energy imbalances potentially create higher prices under the PPA.

If the wind does not blow, we will have to buy energy off the expensive spot market. But if we had no wind farm, and no other generating capacity as Delmarva suggested in its report to the PSC, we would be getting ALL of our energy off of the spot market. At least with Bluewater, when the wind blows, we have some hedge.

So if one looks at the pros and cons throughout this exercise, one sees that most of the cons…………occur if the wind farm is not built. If it is built, then those negatives go away.

It is time to quit piddling around our General Assembly and face logic and get this thing started. As the rest of America starts feeling the results of the second Great Depression, it would be nice to have someone in this state still working………

Because that……. is what we do.

I wish I could count the number of people lost to that disease, who today would be living if only they had not ignored the warning signs early one and received treatment.

I cannot turn back time.

As I am reminded reading over the chatter in today’s blogosphere regarding Bluewater Wind and its inception in this state, of a statement made here long ago.

Something to the effect, that once studying the nation’s outlook towards fufilling its energy needs, that like a cancer treatment, doing nothing is worse than any chemotherapy.

The more one knows, the scarier the outlook.

As we wait, the cancer (unbelievable high energy prices) grows exponentially. The growth curve flat for so many years, is rising gradually, until at one point, it soars vertically.

Deluca, Adams, Copeland, McDowell, and Delmarva are like those ill informed friends advising you to wait it out….”Cut you open down there?…….Wait it out….it might be indigestion….’

You can listen to them, but it will be at your peril……..Or you can listen to that nagging feeling inside of you saying…..” you know, something is just not right.” Just as one should not wait for the blood before checking his colon, we should not hold up what could be Delaware’s saving grace, over the questionable objections of several of our “friends”.

The fix is easy. The analysis is done. The doctor is waiting. The cancer grows. What’s it going to be? All we need is one signature and the treatment can begin.