Connect with us

Published

on



Larry Graham discovered himself scrambling when a farmer who had been renting a parcel of his land for 3 a long time “sort of bailed out.” Graham, like many farmers, needed to discover a solution to maintain incomes income from the land that has been in his household since 1842. 

Graham figured leasing it for {solar} panels can be a superb match, and began doing analysis on-line. He got here throughout an organization known as Solential Energy on Fb and figured, “What the hell, I’ll name them up and pitch my thought.” 

The timing was fortuitous, as Solential occurred to be on the lookout for land for a serious array in partnership with the Hendricks Energy rural electric cooperative that serves 35,000 members in central Indiana. Issues moved rapidly as they hoped to get the mission underway earlier than federal tax credit expired, Graham mentioned, although fortunately the Funding Tax Credit score was prolonged through the pandemic.

Now floor is being damaged for a 7-megawatt set up of greater than 19,000 panels masking virtually 60 acres of Graham’s land — the biggest {solar} array for a rural municipal electric cooperative in Indiana, and the biggest array in Solential’s 13-year historical past. It should change among the energy the cooperative buys from bigger cooperative and wholesaler Wabash Valley Energy Alliance (WVPA), which will get 35% of its energy from coal, plus 28% from fixed-price contracts from different mills. 

“Our {solar} array is impartial of WVPA and we’re excited that we’re doing what we are able to to go up and past what’s happing on the technology and transmission degree,” mentioned Dana Cochran, Hendricks’ director of company advertising and marketing. 

In neighboring Illinois, {solar} advocates and residents have been frustrated by the difficulty in rolling out {solar} in electric cooperative territory, regardless of strong {solar} incentives in Illinois’s Local weather and Equitable Jobs Act. However in Indiana, the place there’s been little political assist for {solar} and net metering recently expired, utility-scale {solar} arrays will be a sexy possibility for cooperatives, Hendricks Energy CEO Greg Ternet mentioned. He and Solential representatives not too long ago introduced the mission on the native county honest, to a heat reception.  

Graham sees it as a serious win-win state of affairs, as he’s now incomes double the income in comparison with when the land was planted with corn and soybeans. 

“It’s earnings stability, versus having the whole lot money lease — you may’t put all of your eggs in a single basket,” mentioned Graham, who not too long ago retired to the land after 24 years working as a railroad brakeman and switchman in Chicago. 

A 3rd-party investor owns the {solar} panels that Solential developed, and Graham will get lease funds. Graham mentioned discovering the precise investor was a considerably difficult course of, particularly since he needed to make certain there was a useful decommissioning settlement in place. “I’m 56; my children will find yourself with this. I don’t need them to have a multitude,” Graham mentioned.  

“I see it as sort of serving to out the grid — you’re easing the load on coal-burning vegetation, and it makes for higher energy distribution throughout the grid. Individuals are nonetheless sort of up within the air about [solar], however the way in which I take a look at it, finally these items will actually take off. Utilities have seen the writing on the wall.” 

Ternet mentioned {that a} 2018 change to Hendricks’ contract with Wabash Valley let Hendricks procure a portion of its personal technology, paving the way in which for the {solar} deal. He thinks the 25-year {solar} contract will in the end decrease payments for cooperative members. The cooperative pays members who’ve their very own {solar} avoided cost for the energy they produce, a fee considerably decrease than retail charges.   

“There’s a portion of our membership that’s concerned about renewable energy,” Ternet mentioned. “This mission will give these members a possibility to have renewable energy with out having to put money into their very own {solar} array, which will be very costly. In working with Solential Energy we have been in a position to develop this mission at a value corresponding to wholesale energy to deliver a renewable energy supply to our territory.” 

Indiana doesn’t have a binding renewable portfolio commonplace, and its voluntary standard calls just for 10% renewables by 2025. However Ternet mentioned that doesn’t hamper cooperatives’ capability to do {solar}. 

“This permits us to develop and construct initiatives that make sense for the membership. In different states the place utilities must chase a mandate, price shouldn’t be at all times the primary consideration,” he mentioned. “That’s the wonderful thing about being a cooperative; all of us share in our information, workforce, and collaborate on initiatives collectively.”



Source link

Continue Reading

Energy Efficiency

Illinois EPA issues permit to construct 1.1 GW combined cycle plant

Published

on

Illinois EPA issues permit to construct 1.1 GW combined cycle plant




Illinois EPA points allow to assemble 1.1 GW mixed cycle plant






























Source link

Continue Reading

Energy Efficiency

People on the Move

Published

on

People on the Move - Power Engineering




Folks on the Transfer




























Source link

Continue Reading

Energy Efficiency

Eye on Utilities: Finger pointing and a tug-of-war

Published

on

Eye on Utilities: Finger pointing and a tug-of-war



This month-to-month publication supplies updates on Ohio’s ongoing utility corruption scandal and is a joint undertaking of Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Heart for Journalism, and the nonprofit Energy News Network.

Acquired a query? Story concept? Ship ideas or feedback to data@eyeonohio.com.


FirstEnergy continues its efforts to place the Home Invoice 6 scandal within the “rearview mirror,” whereas the DeWine/Husted re-election marketing campaign stays principally mum. But new developments within the saga surrounding HB 6, Ohio’s nuclear and coal bailout legislation, embrace:

  • Former executives fingered as having paid bribes have recommended different officers had been briefed a couple of $4.3 million fee to an organization linked to Sam Randazzo, the previous chair of the Public Utilities Fee of Ohio, on or about Dec. 19, 2018. The day earlier than, these executives texted about fee particulars with Randazzo and dined with Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.
  • Whether or not FirstEnergy settles a number of shareholder spinoff instances might depend upon the result of a tug-of-war between two federal district courts. In the meantime, a settlement has been introduced for sophistication actions introduced on behalf of ratepayers.
  • Subpoenas and litigation search extra paperwork from FirstEnergy and DeWine’s workplace referring to HB 6.
  • After lengthy delays, the Public Utilities Fee of Ohio produced extra paperwork subpoenaed by federal authorities final yr, nevertheless it still hasn’t turned over all supplies sought in public data requests.
  • PUCO listening to examiners shut down questioning of FirstEnergy’s former ethics officer in a regulatory case underneath Ohio legislation coping with company separation between utilities and their mother and father and associates.

Who knew what, and when?

FirstEnergy fingered former Chair and CEO Chuck Jones and former Vice President Michael Dowling earlier this yr when U.S. District Courtroom Choose John Adams demanded to know who paid the bribes. Now a July 22 filing in one other case suggests Jones briefed sure different high FirstEnergy executives on the $4.3 million paid to an organization linked to Sam Randazzo shortly earlier than Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine appointed Randazzo to chair the Public Utilities Fee.

The submitting describes the briefing as going down “on or about December 19, 2018.” Texts amongst Randazzo, Jones and Dowling on the evening earlier than that date mirrored a gathering amongst a minimum of these three, spelled out the fee quantity, and referenced prior billing underneath a consulting settlement with Randazzo’s firm whose function the corporate later questioned in late 2020. Jones and Dowling also dined with DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted on the Athletic Membership in Columbus on Dec. 18, 2018.

If different executives had been briefed in December 2018, it raises questions on why the corporate waited till October 2020 to reveal the funds in a submitting with the Securities and Alternate Fee. It additionally raises questions on whether or not Jones briefed these executives on the assembly with DeWine and Husted the day earlier than.

FirstEnergy has additionally tried to distance present firm personnel from the HB 6 corruption scandal. However an Aug. 3 filing by Jones and Dowling suggests the corporate might readily discover out extra past information already stipulated final yr by speaking with different present and former workers. Parts of that submitting are blacked out, possible because of a protecting order within the case.

Emails from FirstEnergy communications personnel mentioned they may not touch upon pending litigation, though one additionally wrote that neither present CEO Steven Strah nor present Vice President for Utilities Sam Belcher was conscious of or authorised the fee to Randazzo in 2018.

Final December, Husted spokesperson Hayley Carducci declined to say what was mentioned on the Dec. 18 meal Husted attended with DeWine, Jones and Dowling. “The Governor has addressed this beforehand and the knowledge is in [a Dayton Daily News article],” she wrote by way of electronic mail. However DeWine declined an interview for that article, and quotes by his spokesperson Dan Tierney additionally don’t spell out the substance of discussions on the meal.

Learn extra:


Tug of warfare

FirstEnergy’s efforts to resolve shareholder spinoff instances might quickly be resolved — or not. These instances search to recuperate for harm achieved to the company for alleged wrongdoing by officers and administrators. The problem is that attorneys filed a number of instances in numerous courts.

U.S. District Choose Algenon Marbley within the U.S. District Courtroom for the Southern District of Ohio gave a preliminary thumbs up to a $180 million deal to settle three instances within the spring. Nevertheless, he didn’t halt the opposite instances pending in numerous courts.

In the meantime, Choose Adams for the Northern District of Ohio mentioned he needed extra discovery earlier than ruling on the equity of the invention. Specifically, he needs attorneys to query some witnesses underneath oath in proceedings referred to as depositions. Final yr Adams refused to switch that case from his courtroom to Choose Marbley’s. The case earlier than Adams was filed earlier, and FirstEnergy is headquartered within the Northern District of Ohio.

Plaintiffs and FirstEnergy tried to get round Adams by dismissing the case, however he blocked that gambit on July 5. Granting the movement would have allow them to evade the courtroom’s jurisdiction after invoking it within the first place. In a July 13 ruling, Adams additionally mentioned he would appoint new plaintiffs’ attorneys. On July 20, he directed 5 legislation companies who had proven curiosity within the job to explain their approaches to discovery within the case.

In the meantime, a July 7 filing in Marbley’s case requested him to provide last approval to the settlement there. Marbley held a listening to on the query on Aug. 4. Marbley mentioned he would follow up with a written opinion, which is predicted shortly.

Decision of the instances might have an effect on how far more element the general public will study concerning the alleged corruption associated to HB 6. The instances additionally increase questions on how a lot oversight judges can virtually train over settlements when plaintiffs file instances in a number of courts.

Learn extra:


One other summer time settlement

In the meantime, FirstEnergy and Energy Harbor have agreed to settle class motion instances introduced on behalf of electrical energy ratepayers who’ve been paying extra because of HB 6. Beneath the deal introduced on July 29, Energy Harbor pays $11.5 million, with one other $37.5 million coming from FirstEnergy.

The mixed whole of $49 million is lower than the practically $60 million FirstEnergy and its associates paid within the corruption scandal. It’s additionally lower than one-fifth of the practically $275 million Ohioans have paid up to now for HB 6’s coal plant subsidies. Amongst Ohio’s regulated utilities, FirstEnergy subsidiaries serve simply over 30% of the ratepayers.

FirstEnergy had tried to halt one of the cases final fall by arguing that HB 6 someway blocked claims for corruption, regardless of the corporate’s alleged actions in passing the legislation and blocking a referendum on it.

FirstEnergy nonetheless faces a number of lawsuits introduced on behalf of teams of shareholders whose holdings within the firm fell in worth and resulted in losses on account of alleged wrongdoing by the corporate’s officers, administrators and others.

Learn extra:


Subpoenas and extra

On July 11, the SEC issued extra subpoenas to FirstEnergy. FirstEnergy “believes that it’s possible that it’ll incur a loss in reference to the decision of the SEC investigation,” however can not but estimate how a lot, the corporate mentioned in a July 26 quarterly report.

In the meantime, ongoing litigation between the Ohio Democratic Occasion and DeWine’s workplace seeks full copies of paperwork referring to the governor’s calendars, appointments and journey from earlier than HB 6 and later. Partial supplies produced by the governor’s workplace in response to public data requests had giant elements blacked out. And lots of pages had been unrelated attachments.

On July 21, Ohio Lawyer Normal Dave Yost, representing DeWine’s workplace, opposed a movement to make it protect unredacted copies of the supplies, saying an order was pointless. Nevertheless, present retention insurance policies for calendars and schedules “are unclear and lack important penalties,” the Ohio Democratic Occasion mentioned in its July 7 movement.

The HB 6 corruption scandal is a matter within the fall election campaigns for governor, lawyer normal, and different races. Delays in getting all responsive supplies might maintain voters from having full info earlier than November.

Learn extra:


PUCO drags out doc manufacturing

5 months after producing its first group of supplies turned over to federal authorities in February, the PUCO supplied a second batch of paperwork to public data requesters on July 29. 

The supplies make clear how Randazzo, DeWine and others acted main as much as and within the wake of HB 6. Amongst different issues, Randazzo assured DeWine the previous FirstEnergy nuclear vegetation wanted the legislation’s $1.1 billion bailout, which was later repealed. Additionally they mirror Randazzo assembly with Energy Harbor and attempting to steer lawmakers about “unwinding challenges” if HB 6 had been to be absolutely repealed.

Nevertheless, the PUCO has not but produced all paperwork that had been subpoenaed by federal authorities final yr. Nor would an company spokesperson give a sure or no reply as to whether it had accomplished its response to these subpoenas.

The PUCO additionally has not but supplied supplies requested by Energy Information Community and Eye on Ohio about numerous communications by people on the company and others for the interval after Randazzo’s November 2020 resignation. These supplies might make clear whether or not the PUCO has been requested to totally examine and tackle any alleged corruption, whether or not there have been communications concerning the timing or different points in FirstEnergy instances, and extra.

FirstEnergy admitted last year {that a} $4.3 million fee to an organization linked to Randazzo was made with the expectation of favorable remedy in his official capability. The PUCO has largely stayed with the piecemeal, restricted strategy orchestrated by Randazzo earlier than he left. And numerous individuals who labored with Randazzo on HB 6 and its aftermath stay on the PUCO.

Learn extra:


Questioning blocked

PUCO listening to examiners, who act in judge-like roles, shut down questioning of FirstEnergy’s former ethics officer on July 21. The case offers with whether or not FirstEnergy violated Ohio legal guidelines requiring company separation of utilities’ enterprise from their mother and father and associates. The Workplace of the Ohio Shoppers’ Counsel and others appealed that ruling to the total fee. FirstEnergy’s utilities and the previous ethics officer, Ebony Yeboah-Amankwah, opposed that attraction on Aug. 1.

Earlier makes an attempt to keep away from the ethics officer’s look to reply questions underneath oath had failed. Then FirstEnergy’s attorneys instructed listening to examiners they’d contacted a federal prosecutor with out different events current and had gotten their view that questions improperly overlapped with issues being investigated in ongoing prison proceedings. Attorneys for challengers disputed that, saying FirstEnergy had objected even to fundamental background questions.

A FirstEnergy lawyer had instructed the listening to examiners the difficulty was “only a matter of timing.” Nevertheless, whereas FirstEnergy is topic to a deferred prosecution settlement, federal authorities haven’t but charged Randazzo or former FirstEnergy officers with crimes. And former Ohio Home Speaker Larry Householder’s trial isn’t scheduled till subsequent yr, after the 2022 elections.

Except reversed, the ruling might hinder challengers’ means to arrange for the evidentiary listening to within the PUCO case. Moreover, the ruling “might block the general public’s proper to know the way the previous PUCO chair [Randazzo] might have deprived Ohio customers in favor of the FirstEnergy Utilities and their associates,” the Ohio customers’ counsel and different challengers argued of their July 26 submitting.

On Aug. 4, the Workplace of the Ohio Shoppers’ Counsel additionally filed motions for extra subpoenas for present and former FirstEnergy executives, together with Dowling and present CEO Strah

In the meantime, the PUCO nonetheless has not granted OCC’s July 7 movement for a subpoena for Jones. The delay is uncommon as a result of the issuance of deposition subpoenas is principally a ministerial perform, mentioned former PUCO Commissioner Ashley Brown.

Learn extra:



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending