Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stealth Bomb!

Just when we thought we could relax and comfortably usher in the New Year a stealthy, between-the-holidays announcement slips out from the bomb bay doors.

On Monday, December 28th, Salt River Project proposed an increase in electricity prices about half of what it had originally proposed.

As reported in SRP proposes average $6 rate hike, the utility is proposing a 4.9 percent increase in electricity prices to pay for a new $1 billion coal-fired plant and for environmental controls at the coal-fired Coronado Generating Station.

As disappointing as it is to pay for a dirty, old coal plant – and a dirty, new coal plant – there may be a spark of hope in the announcement. SRP’s Chief Financial Executive, Mark Bonsall, is quoted as saying, "We have weighted the increase towards the highest-consumption customers because they drive our costs more.”

Please allow me to repeat that, "We have weighted the increase towards the highest-consumption customers because they drive our costs more.

Could it be? Did Rate Crimes just receive a small gift for the Holidays? Does this foretell greater things for the coming year? Will other utilities follow this example of leadership?

Oooh Emmm Geeee!


  1. Very interesting. I wonder what $1,000,000,000 would do for PV plus dispatchable Hydrogen power? However no one is asking that question. With the funding for tooling, we could generate, store and burn Hydrogen as needed for about $1.50 gallon of gasoline equivalent cost. The PV plant would be 3X the size to meet peak power and we could send extra power to the grid whenever needed! $.5B would cover the tooling and set up volume manufacturing locally. The other $.5B would set up an expandable .1GW PV tracking power plant with no water usage. The coal plant will use at least 2 gal. of water for every 3 kWh generated and generate tons of CO2 and extensive heavy metals as well as radioactive oxides downwind.

  2. Lane, Thank you for providing these analyses. Considering what science tells us about the real costs of burning coal – let alone the economic pain that the state’s citizens are suffering – it is a source of wonderment and consternation that Arizona continues to invest billions in additional coal plants.