By Timothy J. Power, CEO
It’s time for my annual preview for the year ahead.
As I discussed last year at this time, I did not think the Clean Power Plan (CPP) was likely to survive. As a reminder, the CPP basically called for states to shut down their coal (and some gas) plants, many of which have many years of useful life left. Since most of these existing investments have not been paid off yet, the bill for adding more energy plants (that emit less carbon dioxide) before the current ones are paid for would fall on us, the rate payers. The cost to rate payers was projected to be many billions of dollars. Today, the Trump administration is still dismantling the CPP and the courts will be weighing in sometime in 2018. In the end, we will likely get a watered down version of CPP or no CPP at all. But CPP’s demise isn’t likely to save the coal industry. As older coal plants come to the end of their useful lives, they are not being replaced by newer coal plants; instead, we are seeing more gas, solar, and wind generation each year.
As for DS&O projects, here are a few we will be working on …
Peak Generator – In 2016 we installed a 1 MW peak generator in Solomon to help us avoid about $150,000 in annual peak demand power costs. In 2017 we added another (smaller) generator, which saved us an additional $50,000. And in 2018, due to a change in our power supply contract with KEPCo, we plan to up our total generation to 2.5 MW, saving us nearly $350,000 in power costs.
Line Work – We plan to replace almost 40 miles of power line across our system. We will also continue our tree trimming program to maintain clean right of ways for our lines.
Safety Demonstrations – Just like last year, DS&O linemen will continue to conduct high-voltage safety demonstrations for various groups. We plan to have at least a dozen demonstrations in 2018. If you would like to schedule an event or need more information, please give us a call.
Residential Peak Reduction Program – In 2017 we conducted a very successful residential peak reduction pilot program where program participants did not pay Red Zone rates and also received a financial incentive whenever we cut their power. We will be expanding the program in 2018. Stay tuned for more details in the months ahead.
New Metering System Pilot Program – We are planning a pilot program for a new type of metering system. The new system will provide more timely data and serve as a replacement for our current metering system, which will need to be replaced in the near future.
To stay up-to-date on these items and others in 2018, visit our web site, Facebook page (DSOElectricCooperative), and Twitter page (DSOElectricCoop).