Totally ‘Gored’: Texan Town Pays Heavy Price for 100% Wind & Solar Vanity Project

Keen to pay ridiculous amounts for power in an act of pointless vanity? – get your town to go 100% wind & solar. Georgetown, Texas did and its 71,000 citizens are paying a heavy price.

Despite the hype, the town isn’t being exclusively powered by sunshine and breezes; quietly and ever so hypocritically the town continues to tap into Texas’s gas and nuclear powered grid – whenever the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in.

Worse still, no doubt feeling shortchanged on the promise of their ‘virtuous’ all wind and solar future, the folk in Georgetown are being walloped with power prices multiples greater than their neighbours.

Seven years ago, when it all began, a former presidential hopeful had applauded Georgetown’s push for ‘moral’ supremacy. However, these days though its residents must now appreciate what it feels like to be thoroughly ‘Gored’.

Texas town’s environmental narcissism makes Al Gore happy while sticking its citizens with the bill
Fox News
Chuck DeVore
29 January 2019

Dale Ross in 2017 when the green dream hadn’t yet turned to a nightmare.

 

Political leaders in a college town in central Texas won wide praise from former Vice President Al Gore and the larger Green Movement when they decided to go “100 percent renewable” seven years ago. Now, however, they are on the defensive over electricity costs that have their residents paying more than $1,000 per household in higher electricity charges over the last four years.

That’s right – $1,219 per household in higher electricity costs for the 71,000 residents of Georgetown, Texas, all thanks to the decision of its Republican mayor, Dale Ross, to launch a bold plan to shift the city’s municipal utility to 100 percent renewable power in 2012 when he was on the city council.

In short order, Ross was elevated to celebrity status, appearing in scores of articles and videos, both at home and abroad. Al Gore made it a point to feature the Texas Republican mayor at renewable energy conferences as well. Ross was even featured in one of Gore’s documentaries.

But while Ross was being lauded far and wide, the residents of his town were paying a steep price. His decision to bet on renewables resulted in the city budget getting dinged by a total of $29.8 million in the four years from 2015 to 2018. Georgetown’s electric costs were $3.5 million over budget in 2015, ballooning to $6.3 million in 2016, the same year the mayor locked his municipal utility into 20- and 25-year wind and solar energy contracts to make good on his 100 percent renewable pledge.

By 2017, the mayor’s green gamble was undercut by the cheap natural gas prices brought about by the revolution in high-tech fracking. Power that year cost the city’s budget $9.5 million more than expected, rising to $10.5 million last year, according to budget documents reported by The Williamson County Sun.

Whether Mayor Ross and his colleagues on the Georgetown City Council were motivated by good intentions, political machinations, or mere vanity is unknown. What is known is that Georgetown’s municipal utility, an integral part of the city budget, is hemorrhaging red ink thanks to those long term renewable energy contracts.

The deficits were triggered by the drop in natural gas prices—now the mainstay of the U.S. electric grid, having displaced coal—which caused the city to sell its surplus wind and solar power at a steep discount into Texas’ wholesale energy market. City leaders had to lock in a large excess of wind and solar power to be able to lend credibility to their 100 percent renewable claim, since wind and solar power can’t be relied on to keep the lights on 24/7/365. And, even with that surplus, there are times when Georgetown draws traditional fossil fuel power from the Texas grid, making the city’s “100 percent renewable” claim nothing more than spurious sloganeering.

That a city in Texas (which voted for President Trump) claimed to be “100 percent renewable” generated significant “man bites dog” notoriety. But as University of Houston energy expert Charles McConnell noted, “It’s not kind of misleading, it’s very misleading, and it is for political gain.”

Most Texas residents have the ability to choose their electricity provider in a competitive statewide market, leading to electricity prices that are among the lowest in the nation: 18 percent below the national average in 2018, and 48 percent below prices in green energy pacesetter California.

But Texas’ electricity market excludes municipal utilities like Georgetown’s from competition, leaving consumers without choice and allowing political decisions – rather than market forces – to determine the mix of electricity suppliers.

Georgetown is now trying to renegotiate its costly long-term wind and solar energy contracts—this, after the city council agreed to skimp on needed electric infrastructure investment to make up their budgetary shortfall.

Mayor Ross had previously revealed in trolling President Trump, boasting to a German TV show that, “I make decisions based on facts… unlike the president,” then opening that “It was a huge mistake to withdraw from the Paris climate accords…”

One wonders what Mayor Ross thinks about the ongoing unrest in France, initially sparked by a climate change fuel tax hike that has since been rescinded, under pressure, by President Macron.

The mayor, who not long ago was approaching ubiquitous status with the media, could not be found by the local press to comment on his city’s budget-busting power deficit, declining to comment by both phone and email.

Meanwhile, Texas legislators – who are unlikely to wind up on German TV – have the power to introduce a  bill with the potential to free Georgetown’s ratepayers from the city’s electric monopoly, giving them the same ability to shop around for electricity now enjoyed by some 20 million of their fellow Texans.

Wonder what Al Gore will have to say about that?
Fox News

Part-time power comes with whopping over-time price.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Jackie Rovensky says:

    But you don’t see the media in Australia talking about it do you. Maybe its time our Politicians began to read further than their navels and hear what is happening around the world.
    The cost is not an energy Bill cost alone its a human health cost, fauna and flora cost and its an environmental cost.
    This from an article in the Online Daily here in SA yesterday –

    ‘The latest State of the Environment report for South Australia, released by the Environment Protection Authority late last year, shows a downward trend in the abundance of native South Australian flora and fauna due to an increasingly hotter and dryer climate.
    According to the report, the impacts of a warmer climate are more extreme than expected a decade ago, with changing rainfall patterns and intensified extreme weather events expected to put ecosystems and agriculture at increasing risk.’

    Funny that things have change so much in the past decade – a decade of turbines being installed in greater numbers and size!!!!
    This was in respect to grants being handed out to help with project to counter ‘Climate Change’. What about stopping these turbines from destroying local climates – and don’t for get the local climates are part of the great climate of our world and no one is speaking about how this could be a growing problem.
    After all even …’study from a Stanford University professor notes an additional advantage of building offshore wind farms. Besides creating clean energy, offshore wind farms could dissipate hurricanes!
    There has been talk about how very large numbers of turbines off shore could have prevent the drastic effects of Hurricane Katrina. [http://cimsec.org/super-tornadoes-vs-wind-farms/11288]
    Well if large numbers are believed to be capable of preventing or minimizing effects of Hurricanes surely there is a case that smaller turbines over large areas could cause effects on local environments.
    If so then isn’t possible they could be changing the environment of Nations as wind speeds, directions etc are altered across the board – if one area is changed you would think it would change what is happening elsewhere. Isn’t it true we are all part of one world and what is done in one place can affect what happens elsewhere – isn’t that what the ‘global warming’ believers say, isn’t that why Australian’s Politicians were coaxed into signing the Paris Agreement?
    Where are the funds to research the worldwide effects of changing local and national atmospheric conditions as a result of changing wind speeds and directions by the use of Industrial Sized Wind Turbines in increasing numbers?

  2. No one can escape the Billions that have been spent on inefficient Power Production Methods.

    This has scarred the landscape forever

  3. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  4. Marshall Rosenthal says:

    Sunshine and breezes can’t keep the lights on.

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