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APPEAL OF GREAT BASIN UNIFIED AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT’S
ISSUANCE OF ATC #1552-00-10 (9 MB file – takes a few seconds to load)
Response To The July 4, 2010 KMPUD Meeting:
The Oldest Trick in the Book
The proponents of the all diesel plant have played the oldest trick in the book on the community– which is: perpetuate the perception that “outsiders are behind a movement to “force” the community into a decision.” Nobody likes outsiders coming in to tell us what to do. I don’t and you don’t.
Remember that the PUD and KMR use consultants, who are “outsiders.” in fact, KMR gave PUD its consultant (from Southern California) to handle the current situation.
Ask yourself whether there was a fair and objective presentation of the options for the community’s power in last Sunday’s July 4th PUD meeting– when Kirkwood SMART Energy was given three minute time slots– with Mr. Likins, CEO and man in the power position took a good portion of the two hour meeting. There was very little opportunity to question his assertions compared to the length of time he was permitted to present his perspective. How could the community really assess the complex range of options? Ask yourself if you want to believe everything that you are told by a man who, when he sees that the temporary power will cost more–threatens to pass that on to you in your propane bill–an area he has a long track record of overcharging you and where he is unregulated. Our propane bills have been 40% more than our neighbors in South Lake Tahoe. We pay in the range of $3.40 a gallon for propane. He says he needs this profit for infrastructure improvements. As he is selling his utility he won’t need to add to infrastructure. Why doesn’t he either sell NOW to PUD or use the $500,000+ he makes on propane profit to fund the extra dollars for the Cat-in-the boxes to be permitted for longer?
Either of these choices would result in no increase in propane rate for next year.
I find it interesting that I am being asked “Who is behind me?” when no one seemed to ask Standish O’Grady that question when he spent thousands on Friends of Kirkwood to help ensure responsible growth for Kirkwood. This question was asked and answered at the meeting.
Perhaps the most disturbing part of the tactics deployed on Sunday was the fear mongering. We were told the Cat-in-the-boxes won’t be reliable– and “your homes will be destroyed.” This was highly irresponsible. The Cat-in-the-boxes are engines which are portable– no big deal. They operate in Alaska in far worse conditions that we have. They can, and in January MUST be fitted with filters to lessen pollution emissions. They do, like any power equipment, require professional management. If Mr. Likins can’t do that, I suggest we bring in someone who can. Very interesting that there were power “blips” this weekend–when, from January to June, as those of us who were here know, the machines ran remarkably reliably!
Kirkwood SMART Energy was launched on the Internet in March of 2009. I am a 16 year resident of Kirkwood– one of the first five homes in East Meadows. I love Kirkwood. It is very clear who I am and what I have been trying do this last year. And almost completely with my own funds. As I said at the meeting, I have two donors and they are in the community and not connected with any commercial business that could benefit from energy purchases at Kirkwood. I have donated countless hours of my time for my community. Why? Because my home is in trust for my children, and I want my grandchildren and their grandchildren to enjoy a sustainable community. We will be here long after the real estate developer and PUD management are gone.
I do understand that we all want the certainty of a solution for our power. I do not think long term power projects should be rushed. The short term additional cost is not a big deal when you consider the longer range implications of making a poor decision. We risk looking back and kicking ourselves for not taking an extra couple of months to look at more cost-effective, cleaner, greener solutions. We do know that an all diesel plant, no matter how many particulate filters you put on it, will not meet the State’s requirement for 1100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour. The hybrid natural gas/diesel plant is cleaner and is doable. This is a time when we should seize the opportunity to get the best possible long term solution we can– not a quickie, rushed solution.
Kirkwood SMART Energy’s Response
To Tom Henie’s Comments Against A Bi-Fuel Plant
· There is no instance where a natural-gas fired prime power generator has been installed at Kirkwood’s altitude; Not true – there are many examples as evidence shows.
· Natural gas engines do not follow the variable electric load caused by the operation of the ski lifts, as well as diesel fired units; True – that’s why a Hybrid plant with Bi-Fuel (Diesel cycle) engines is the best solution.
· Natural gas supplies would have to be trucked in from an extreme distance, raising the utility costs for all; Not true – LNG Nat Gas is 25% cheaper delivered to Kirkwood.
· Since Kirkwood is not on the grid, expensive and very large storage facilities would have to be constructed; The Nat Gas storage is about $2MM – but the net installed cost proposed is less than the $12MM KMPUD indicated for Diesel.
· Natural gas engines have a 51% deration factor at Kirkwood altitude; That number is for a single CAT model engine which would obviously be a really bad choice. Typical derate for all other engines average about 12% (0 to 25%) which is the exact same for diesels!
· Distribution systems would have to be modified for the use of natural gas;This is relative to the Gas utility. May or may not be true….but at $1MM a year in savings, maybe those should be modified, if in fact it’s required.
· No major engine company will warranty natural gas engines given Kirkwood’s unique circumstances; Not true. Every major engine company we know of will warranty. CAT, Cummins, GE-Jenbacher, MWM, Waukesha, Wärtsilä
· The existing Powerhouse plans allow for alternate fuels to be used in the future; Then permit it as such.
· If the Powerhouse cannot be built this year, the community will have to rely on very expensive, very dirty temporary diesel generators operated by Mountain Utilities; Temporary diesels can have added emissions controls and be cleaner than the old powerhouse – and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Whoever is selling the new engines (read big profit margin) should be working with Kirkwood on a reasonable cost bridge solution.
· If the Powerhouse cannot be built this year, propane rates are likely to increase to offset the additional costs; Why doesn’t KMPUD take over the Gas Utility this year and lower rates as they should? If MU runs the Electric Utility this winter, then PUC will allow a fair regulated adjustment to electric rates
AT LAST FULL KMPUD ENGINEERING REPORTS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC
$12 Million Tier 2
All Diesel Power Plant
Approximately 600 Utility Customers Share Costs
$3 Million – Mountain Utilities Purchase
$12 Million – Power Plant
$35+ Million – Potential Grid
Why The Kirkwood Community
Needs A Bi-Fuel
Raejean Fellows speaking to the Kirkwood Meadows Public Utility District’s Board of Directors at their June 10 meeting
Important News To Share
Kirkwood Meadows Energy Future is now Kirkwood SMART Energy, Inc., pending a non-profit 501(c) designation.
The Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District has granted Kirkwood Meadows Public Utility District the Authorization To Construct (ATC) a 100% diesel power plant.
Kirkwood SMART Energy applied for a hearing to oppose the permit based on our belief that a bi-fuel (diesel and natural gas) is a viable option.
We have been granted an extension for hearing date: NEW DATE IS JULY 16, 2010 10:00 am in Markleeville, CA
More developments on the way, and will be posted soon. Natural gas is a possibility for Kirkwood. We do not have to continue with a power plant fueled by 100% diesel. There is a cleaner way. Watch the video to see how.
“Which Way to Energy” is the story of Lower Valley Energy in Jackson, Wyoming,
This mountain community, which is similar to ours, can inform us, as they have trucked, stored and supplied natural gas to their communities for over a decade. Like us, they are at high altitude and have difficult winter conditions, as well as a remote location.
Also included is information of Bear Valley Electric Service, in Big Bear, California which has engines which produce 8.4 mW of electricity fueled by natural gas.
The good news is natural gas is a possibility for Kirkwood. We do not have to continue with a power plant fueled by 100% diesel. There is a cleaner way.
Comparing Fuels and Co2 Emissions
Pounds of Co2 per million btu’s
Diesel = 161.386
Propane = 139.039
Natural Gas = 115.258
Fuel Cost Comparison
Cost Per MMbtu*
Natural Gas $16.68
*Delivered cost to Kirkwood, prices from suppliers for Q1 2010