Westinghoue Electric Company

What in the world does that mean?

Jaak

1 Like

Over spend because? And wait for inflation to raise the prices again?

As CA has increased wind and solar the utility prices have gone up and up. I understand that solar and wind generation prices are low, but the net effect on the grid hasn’t been to lower prices or even keep them flat or even keep them in line with inflation in the last decade.

Most likely, the only people with flat electricity prices in the last decade (in CA) are those that own their own solar. This is why the CPUC keeps trying to modify or get rid of net metering in the last couple of years.

Mike

4 Likes

Mike,

Prices in New England skyrocketed for several years only not to come back down again after two major storms downed power lines in October two years running. Clearly the trees costs a fortune.

CA has forest fires. Clearing the trees around the lines is a massive project. Customers do not want higher bills so the costs are not added till the damage happens a few times over.

California has both high gasoline and electricity prices. Some of that is due to the high taxes levied on production and distribution of gasoline and electricity, and some of it is also due to the high cost of environmental laws for gasoline and electricity production and distribution. Having high gasoline and electricity prices forces people to be more frugal with use of gasoline and electricty with the benefit of less air and water pollution which are major problems in California. High prices also force people to look for alternatives like solar panels, Hybrids and EVs for reducing their costs. California needs to become more effcient and eliminate fossil fuels to solve our environmental problems.

Jaak

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I’ll just add this bit of news to a thread on the subject of Westinghouse. Operators have begun loading in the uranium fuel to the Unit 3 reactor at Vogtle. This is a new AP1000 Westinghouse plant. Loading of the fuel means that construction is essentially complete, and they will be progressing with starting up the plant in the coming weeks and months.

  • Pete
5 Likes

This doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t know and doesn’t address my comments.
Again, if solar and wind are so cheap and getting cheaper why have electricity prices in CA not stabilized, relative to inflation in any way?

Mike

1 Like

Mike I think I might have a clue.

Just a clue.

Enphase just started shipping its 8th generation micro controller. This controller is Enphase s first micro controller that can auto build micro electrical grids. In other words, the technology needed to seamlessly integrate solar plus storage behind the meter into the grid is just now being sold. It will take 5 years of extreme growth in solar plus storage along with AI driven micro grids and/of micro electrical markets for solar and wind to have an impact on grid electrical prices.

The whole idea of AI driven electrical markets is not even in Beta testing that I can tell. When I went to the Enphase website there was nothing on it. This is despite the Chief Product Officer talking about it at a conference a year ago.

On the other hand, there have been some notable successes with micro grids in Puerto Rico and in Southern Florida.

Cheers
Qazulight

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Regulatory climate. Utilities are regulated to make money doing a combination of two things: 1) build infrastructure and 2) sell electricity. It is a regulatory balancing act. You want a robust, redundant grid, balanced with cheap power.

In California utilities mostly just want to justify building stuff, regardless of the cost (mostly) to the user. In Texas the utilities mostly want cheap power they can sell at low cost.

Edit to clarify the clunky paragraph above: Because of how utilities are regulated in California, utilities mostly make money by building and operating infrastructure, and don’t make much money selling electricity. In Texas, utilities mostly make money by selling power, and don’t make much building infrastructure. So in Texas utilities want cheap generation.

Texas has the most wind power of any state and it isn’t close. This indicates wind power is cheap.

Texas is number two in solar, well behind California. This indicates that in sunny regions solar isn’t a bad deal.

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Sounds good, in theory. But the CA PUC approves/disapproves every rate increase request after open hearings (in theory). Since PG&E declared bankruptcy there may be some things that the bankruptcy judge can decide as well. Currently PG&E is undergrounding 10K miles of high power lines to reduce wildfire risk. This will take many years. But their claim is that it will cost average residential customer a total of $0.15 per month. Not per kwh…just $0.15 per month on their total bill. So clearly this isn’t a major cause of rate increases.

source:

Where theory and practice don’t overlap…They started this is 2021 and at the current rate it will take 140 years to complete the 10K miles. PG&E claims the cost per mile is going to drop as they employ better equipment and ramp up the crews and gain experience.

Mike

2 Likes

It is not a theory. Here in CT the power companies would not clear the trees away from the lines for years. The overgrowth was bad. Then in 2010 and 2011 there were massive storms in October. The first time the lines came down and the power for many of us was off for a week or more.

The reason the power companies could not get the money to clear the lines before hand. The regulators would not okay it. The bill was just to high. Then when the crisis was over people were willing to pay the huge hikes in their bills to clear the trees off the lines.

CA has a much larger problem with trees in the lines. And a worse more costly problems with trees and growth near the lines in the dry areas of the state that catch fire. The costs are never ending and massive.

I am not dismissing burying the lines. But that also costs a lot.

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EL DORADO COUNTY — Nearly a year after the Caldor Fire damaged the Grizzly Flats area, PG&E will underground nearly six miles of power lines to decrease the chance of ignition by 99%.

“PG&E’s service area is incredibly diverse, and as we get out here doing the work, we will find obstacles or hazards that we need to overcome,” said Megan McFarland, spokesperson for PG&E.

In an area damaged by the Caldor Fire, PG&E will put six miles of overhead lines underground. That is a portion of the 175 miles of undergrounding that McFarland said they are on track to complete this year. All of it, part of a project to underground 10,000 miles of powerlines, announced in 2021.

On average PG&E crews can complete anywhere between 100 and 1,000 feet of undergrounding in a day. The range relies on the conditions and geographic location, according to a crew member, who explained the work becomes more efficient as the projects progress.

Right now, it costs $3.75 million per mile, but that number is on track to decrease to $2.5 million per mile by 2026.

The undergrounding in the area burned by the Caldor Fire is on track to be completed in November, according to McFarland.

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Great they are putting the lines underground just in time for the big earthquake.

Andy

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Instead keep them above ground for the great earthquake where the poles leverage the distances of the swaying? :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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Why are you worried about earthquakes for underground power lines? They are safer underground than above ground.

Jaak

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That was a joke Jaagu I keep forgetting we have Emoji’s, but I see Leap1 has learned to use them properly :laughing:

Andy

1 Like

I am a very slow learner but I am hanging in there. :rocket: :rocket: :rocket:

1 Like