Tag Archives: R-Project transmission line

Report: Kansas Utilities Run Coal Plants Year-Round Even Though It Costs Ratepayers Millions

By Brian Grimmett, KMUW, Wichita’s NPR Station

The way Westar Energy runs its coal plants in Kansas unnecessarily costs consumers millions of dollars a year through an obscure, if common, practice known as self-committing generation. The company essentially runs its coal plants year-round, even during the winter months when it’s not cost-effective. An analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which advocates for reduced reliance on coal, says that’s been costing Westar customers $20 million a year in added fuel costs.

But market operators including the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) — Westar buys and sells wholesale electricity through the organization — worry that the practice hurts the market. Regulators in Missouri, where Westar’s parent company Evergy is headquartered, have opened up an investigation to see if it’s unfairly costing consumers. Continue reading here.

Photo: Joseph Daniel, senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, who has been studying self-committing or self-scheduling generation in power markets for years. Daniel recently completed an analysis screening of every coal-fired power plant that operates in the Southwest Power Pool (Nebraska’s Regional Transmission Organization) and other RTOs. He describes the analysis in an interview included in the following article on the Union of Concerned Scientists’ blog:

The Billion-Dollar Coal Bailout Nobody Is Talking About: Self-Committing In Power Markets
Markets are supposed to ensure that all power plants are operated from lowest cost to most expensive. Self-committing allows expensive coal plants to cut in line, pushing out less expensive power generators such as wind, depriving those units from operating and generating revenue.
– Joseph Daniel

Additional Recommended Reading

R-Project News & Website Link

Opinion: R-Project helps alleviate risk

Written by David Hamilton and Bree Denaeyer
Published by The North Platte Telegraph

We are landowner members of CCWEA and have been promoting the economic opportunities of wind energy development. There are three economic opportunities we will offer detail on:

  • Property tax relief for landowners
  • Landowner lease revenue
  • The third economic opportunity is long-term energy cost.

Learn more here.

David Hamilton of Thedford is vice president of the Cherry County Wind Energy Association, of which Bree Denaeyer is a board member. Both are fourth-generation landowners in Cherry County.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Website: R-Project: NPPD

  • SOUTHWEST POWER POOL’S ROLE
    NPPD is a member of the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization. The SPP conducted a study, also known as the Integrated Transmission Plan, to assess the needs of the entire transmission network with the SPP region over the next 10 years. The R-Project is one of numerous projects to come out of that study. If NPPD did not build the R-Project, the SPP would find another entity to do so.
  • STEWARDSHIP
    NPPD is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner. We are dedicated to protecting environmental quality while meeting the energy needs of Nebraska. We recognize that how we interact with the environment is of vital importance to you. It is to us, too. That’s why we continuously explore ways to minimize the environmental footprint in all aspects of NPPD’s activities. The landscape of the Sandhills is truly unique, which is why NPPD’s engineering team and environmental experts work together to determine low-impact methods to construct the transmission line. We will employ modern construction techniques when building the line and take precautions around river crossings, creeks, and wetlands.
  • PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
    NPPD used a thorough and comprehensive public involvement process to site the R-Project transmission line. More than 1,750 individuals attended one of 20 public open houses and public meetings and eight public hearings, providing NPPD with approximately 2,500 comments. The comments were reviewed against more than 50 established line routing criteria that included proximity to occupied residences, towns, villages, and other amenities, plus land use, environmental, engineering, and construction criteria. Learn more here.