Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Electrical Third way in a nut shell.

Ralph’s third way electrical power scheme in action; its all in the details..
A long read; but worth your while.

Alberta needs the Electrical power, let’s be clear on that as does the US, the latter needing power on a scale of hundreds beyond what we can ever produce.

Alberta delayed too long because of a political ideal that said they had to get away from anything run by any level of Government regardless of the cost to the taxpayers. This delay is mismanagement and is costing us big time!

The USA has many more times heating coal than does Alberta in the US Midwest where power is needed. This has not been used because the US electorate would rather use nuclear power generation than coal! Its safer and cleaner is their view.

How to get the NOX out of the discharge? (Nitrous Oxide which makes acidic solution when it gets wet as in settling on the ground or lakes or lungs) is the hang up. Even a little bit is too much! A clean process is “0” NOX emission, nothing less. I won’t go into the CO2 problems as they can be mostly controlled or re used.

When a lake becomes acidic the fish born are all females. With no male breeders the fish in the pond disappear. Acid rain; Acid Rain running into groundwater!

The Electricity Market and multi billions of dollars in sales are there. Who is going to benefit; who is going to loose? How much remains a provincial revenue? How soon?

I’m not against profit! US power companies are on the rocks, failing badly at every corner because of a lack of operating revenue brought about by heavy interest debt loads and regulatory hurdles.

There was a point in time when Fording Coal who owned all the heating coal around Brooks Alberta wanted to not only build a generation plant there but also provide the power lines into Langdon near Calgary.

Trans Alta and the Conservative Government had other plans so environmental groups were agitated and unprecedented media attention was given to these groups until Fording after many closed door meetings, decided to abandon or shelve the plan, possibly for a more opportune time.

This is the same time The City of Edmonton had requests for permit approvals for the upgrade and capacity increase at Genesee. The Conservative government told them no permits, no reasons, your interests may be better pursued with other entities and there is no real need proven. All this is all within our memory spans.

Now, EPCOR a private company in concert with Trans Alta Utilities a private company run a new state of the art power plant at Genesee with more capability than the power transmission lines allow. They have a 500 Kv capacity.

The Edmonton Journal LINK outlines the Government News release. But the interest is in the details.

Power transmitted at higher voltages (500 Kv rather than the present 240 Kv) uses less of the available power getting through the power lines. Less power is lost! There is more power for use! Hence, high voltage power is more efficient than lower. Link

The Journal article is suggesting the new northern line to Grande Prairie will on one part eliminate many if not all of the gas generation facilities. On the other hand the cost of transmission will be reduced because of the higher voltage. Certainly Grande Prairie north is growing and will continue to grow as climate change (CO2 or Earth Orbit, but here) brings a new harsh reality to southern Alberta.

When ATCO took over the power lines into Vermilion and La Crete they paid cash to families to sign up with ATCO. Then, their power bills increased hugely! Consider, with Alberta having a “postage stamp” policy on power transmission, we all pay the same price for transmission regardless where we live, one has to wonder why the increase?

Alberta’s “postage stamp policy?” We all pay the same for postage stamps hence, the name.

We should be considering who this “postage stamp” policy protects. All the power lines put into the oil patches and other industries to export power fall on consumer utility bills because of this policy. What’s needed here is full disclosure in a format that is readable and clear.

The price of transmission on your utility bill is .0246 dollars per kwh. (just over two cents)

A new modern capacitor furnace motor will draw 4.25 amp/hr. and the new systems are designed for constant run for maximum comfort.

Cost:
4.25 X 110 V = 11.22 kwh/day or 40.95 kwh per year.

A total billing price if 17.2 cents per Kwh would have you pay 704.34 a year to run that motor.
Of this money, 101.56 will be what you have paid for delivery as in power lines rental.

EPCOR tell me the price of electricity today is 8.6 cents per Kw hour. Incorporating the price of delivery and administration is by rule of thumb twice that amount! That is where the 17.2 cents per cwt which will come into play.

If you paid the extra 700.00 for the modern variable speed motor in your new furnace you will be interested to know Lennox tell us it uses 373 Watts per hour which is 3.3 amps or 3267 Kw/year. It too is built to run constantly. Which, at 17.2 cents per Kwh will save you 140.00 per year in electrical power. Your older 1/3 HP capacitor motor draws 7.5 amps.

In electric motors there is a different physic calculation called "power factor"which is typically a multiple of .6 on top of the amps which I presently do not understand but it does not effect residential power cost as read from the panel; numbers I gave above are inside figures! Have fun!

The power lines work on price recovery in terms of 40 years. I would like very much for the Government or a stake holder to explain how an increase in price on home utility bills of 2.00 a month will start in 10 years to pay for these lines!

Marketing:
The capital costs of the power generation plants are recovered from its day time customers, you and I. This is what makes up your .086 kwh generation charge. In the evenings, starting about 19:00 hours the demand for power drops off and there is a surplus.

Alberta sells this surplus to BC for as low as .01 per kwh. This price is set to include the price of wages and operating expenses they make no attempt to recover capital on this over production period.

On the other hand, Alberta often buys the cheaper BC Hydro water power generated electricity during the day as it is cheaper than the Gas generated power of Alberta which most shares are held by the Balancing Pool an insurance investment company. One has to wonder what we are paying them to hold these shares which are worthless, they are not known for loosing money. I have to believe some one is pulling back big bucks on this one!

The lines which have been needed for a quarter of a century are now being built when the price of steel has never been higher and the price and availability of trades has never been so tenuous. Twenty-Five years of boondoggle government!

It would appear there is room here for industry “subsidy”. If industry switches to the night shift from the day shift they can get your power for .01 cents. That should fix a few things up! Give a window of opportunity!

Expansion and increases of power lines, who services; who supplies and who pays?

The power for the Northern Line will come from Genesee and McMurray. This will move Genesee up to near capacity again. Why do we need the Calgary Edmonton lines?

Remember Fording Coal shelved their project at Brooks, they didn’t give it up. So with that plant taking 3 years in approvals and 2 years to build you will see another 2400 MW plant (As large as Genesee and built like Sundance) pumping electricity into the system from southern Alberta.

Fording has since been bought by Sherritt. (Now known as Sherritt Fording) Sherritt now own the coal that was formerly owned by Fording and will be selling it back to Fording to generate power.

Yes, lots going on and people just don’t want to take an interest. And, remember this system will run from the NWT to Mexico and who is to say which price is right? Who among you will complain to the politic if its not! Who in this Government would listen?

In the first third way electrical exchange we dropped 60 billions of taxpayer equity. We were forced into a phony power deal by the Conservatives. Let’s watch this one close. From the EUB right through the system

Mr. Lougheed has said ATCO were going to build power lines because they pay more than do pipe lines; that EUB would allow him 11% on a cost plus job as opposed to the 10% he was held to on pipelines.

Why can’t they put down a price on a project like the rest of us have to do and then live with it? And, who has ever heard of the Alberta Government auditing a cost plus job like the tar sands which, is basically the same cost plus idea but this time in royalties.

I would like to see a public costing and accounting before the Conservative Convention.

And, a little more effort in cost and effect in a language everyone can understand.

Here is help with excellent links, well done and professional, even entertaining.
Get the hourly prices on electricity Transmission
Who is supplying electricity and who is not
Plans for Calgary-Edmonton Line

cyberclark@shaw.ca
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