Big Bucks Flowing into Virginia Wind Power

Dominion has joined with BP Alternative Energy North America Inc. to jointly develop, own and operate wind energy projects in Virginia. In a prepared statement, Dominion CEO Thomas F. Farrell II said:

Today’s announcement is another important step in continuing to grow Dominion’s portfolio of renewable energy projects – which include more than 750 megawatts of wind in operation or under development – to help provide for our customers’ growing electricity needs. We are committed to meeting Virginia’s goal of 12 percent of base-year electricity sales from renewable energy sources by 2022. We also plan to achieve North Carolina’s goal of 12.5 percent from renewable energy sources and energy efficiency by 2021.

I’m all in favor of wind power and other alternate energy sources. But I also think it’s important to know how the cost of these fuel sources compare to the alternatives, such as “clean” coal (assuming it’s possible to make coal a “clean” fuel), nuclear, natural gas or…. conservation. Notably missing in Dominion’s press release is any estimate of how much the wind power is expected to cost per kilowatt hour. The public can’t make intelligent trade-offs without such knowledge.

I think we’ll find that Dominion is perfectly happy to develop wind power and other alternate energy sources. As long as the State Corporation Commission allows the company to charge electricity rates that generate a competitive return on investment, why should the utility care how much it costs? Even better, if the electricity comes from an energy source favored by environmentalists, the company is less likely to encounter the kinds of protests and resistance that it has experienced with its proposed coal plant in Wise.

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  1. Anonymous Avatar

    It might be time to takes some investments in wind energy companies, or maybe a nice REIT (speculator) that controls a lot of the right land.


  2. Groveton Avatar

    RH –

    You send me the names of the REITs you like and I’ll send you a few in the technology space that “look poised for a breakout”.

  3. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    How about how much the Wise Plant electricity will cost if they use BAT mercury removal?

    How about on everyone’s electricity bill – we disclose how much “mercury-free” electricity would cost verses wind-turbine electricity?

    Right now.. we see a “fuel adjustment” on our bills.

    Why not a “mercury adjustment” or a category called ‘environmental disposal’ like you see on automobile repairs these days?

  4. Groveton Avatar

    When will the Bat and Bird Preservation Society speak up on this outrage?

    Where will these giant propellors go? Won’t they need wires to get the juice from the whirlygigs and put it on the grid. Is NIMBY-central aware of this?

    The bats, the bats, oh the humanity.

  5. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    “The bats, the bats, oh the humanity.

    think of them the same way you do those juicy splotches that appear on your windshield in the summer…

    fricasseed bat may prove to be the salvation of some crawling critter…

    actually.. somehow.. I got the impression that it would be fricasseed seagulls…. known more commonly as flying cockroaches…

    no matter.. it has been decreed that any fricasseed critter is much, much worse than mercury-laden or acidified critters.

    all those folks who drive the CBBT are going to be forming the newest chapter of SUG… Save Ur Gulls.

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    “Why not a “mercury adjustment” or a category called ‘environmental disposal’ like you see on automobile repairs these days?”

    An excellent idea.

    While they are at it they can tell you how much mercury you have to pay to remove to prevent one child from losingone point in I. Q.


  7. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    do you think they do a computation for collecting a fee to dispose of motor oil or anti-freeze instead of dumping them in a creek?

    How about tires?

    Do they do a computation to see if it is cheaper to just dump them in the woods?

    How do you measure the “value” of an IQ?

    Do we just assume that if we cannot measure it then it means we can just dump as much mercury as we want?

    How about a river full of acid in WVA as a result of mountain-top mining? How do you put a value on a river so full of acid that fish cannot live in it or worse…fish can live in it but they all have open sores?

    How about lead in gasoline?
    Could you compute the “value” of not having lead in gasoline?

    Is your position that if you cannot measure and/or put a value on these things that pollution in any amount is acceptable?

  8. Groveton Avatar


    I am with you on the seagulls. I used to spend a lot of time in boats chumming for blusfish on the bay. The gulls would go crazy trying to get the better chunks of chum. One day one of my fishing buddies took the flare gun and tried to shoot one of the gulls with a flare. The other guy on the boat went nuts. I assumed it was because of the stupidity of trying to shoot something with a flare gun. Instead, it was out of concern for the gull. While my buddy had no particular love of seagulls he was convinced that there were very serious legal consequences for killing a seagull. He claimed they were a very protected species – especially in Maryland. Since there are seemingly billions of the birds I wondered how that could be true but my buddy insisted it was.

    Given your seeming expertise in seagulls I wonder if you can shed any light on the matter. Are seagulls specifically protected?

  9. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    List of gulls in taxonomic order

    Genus Larus

    * Dolphin Gull, Larus scoresbii
    * Pacific Gull, Larus pacificus
    * Belcher’s Gull, Larus belcheri
    * Olrog’s Gull, Larus atlanticus
    * Black-tailed Gull, Larus crassirostris
    * Grey Gull, Larus modestus
    * Heermann’s Gull, Larus heermanni
    * White-eyed Gull, Larus leucophthalmus
    * Sooty Gull, Larus hemprichii
    * Common Gull or Mew Gull, Larus canus
    * Audouin’s Gull, Larus audouinii
    * Ring-billed Gull, Larus delawarensis
    * California Gull, Larus californicus
    * Great Black-backed Gull, Larus marinus
    * Kelp Gull, Larus dominicanus (called “Southern Black-backed Gull” or “Karoro” in New Zealand)
    * Glaucous-winged Gull, Larus glaucescens
    * Western Gull, Larus occidentalis
    * Yellow-footed Gull, Larus livens
    * Glaucous Gull, Larus hyperboreus
    * Iceland Gull, Larus glaucoides
    * Thayer’s Gull, Larus thayeri
    * Herring Gull, Larus argentatus
    * Heuglin’s Gull, Larus heuglini
    * American Herring Gull, Larus smithsonianus
    * Yellow-legged Gull, Larus michahellis
    * Caspian Gull, Larus cachinnans
    * East Siberian Herring Gull, Larus vegae
    * Armenian Gull, Larus armenicus
    * Slaty-backed Gull, Larus schistisagus
    * Lesser Black-backed Gull, Larus fuscus
    * Great Black-headed Gull, Larus ichthyaetus
    * Brown-headed Gull, Larus brunnicephalus
    * Grey-headed Gull, Larus cirrocephalus
    * Hartlaub’s Gull, Larus hartlaubii
    * Silver Gull, Larus novaehollandiae
    * Red-billed Gull, Larus scopulinus
    * Black-billed Gull, Larus bulleri
    * Brown-hooded Gull, Larus maculipennis
    * Black-headed Gull, Larus ridibundus
    * Slender-billed Gull, Larus genei
    * Bonaparte’s Gull, Larus philadelphia
    * Saunders’ Gull, Larus saundersi
    * Andean Gull, Larus serranus
    * Mediterranean Gull, Larus melanocephalus
    * Relict Gull, Larus relictus
    * Lava Gull, Larus fuliginosus
    * Laughing Gull, Larus atricilla
    * Franklin’s Gull, Larus pipixcan
    * Little Gull, Larus minutus

    like Bats.. some are ubiquitous and some are endangered.

    There is… a lack of appreciation between why some things are endangered verses the reasons they die.

    Any critter needs the proper habitat and it is the lack of a proper habitat that some species shrink to endangered levels.

    Endangered species die all the time … and are replaced.. just like other species.. within the constraints of their available habitat.

    The concern with SOME endangered species is that their numbers are so reduced that even losing a few to non-natural mortality is considered not good.

    but we all see dead gulls all the time .. car hits…

    I claim no expert status..though … except in the school of blather…although in BR.. it is VERY Competitive… world class even.

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