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electricity generation

12/02/2008 6:14 PM

OK, all you "know it all's" out there I've got a question for ya. Let's say a guy like me can produce 2 megawatts of, 120/60, sustained power and wants to get it into the grid. What's a guy like me gonna get paid, per kWh, for that power? Who's gonna pay me and how often do they pay? Or can I sell it to a consumer of my choice? then I would read MY meter, installed at their location, and send them the bill.

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#1

Re: electricity generation

12/02/2008 9:41 PM

You can sell the excess to your local power company, who will then redistribute it to other consumers.

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#2

Re: electricity generation

12/02/2008 10:02 PM

Hello jazzridez

You are entitled to use power generated on your own property, only on your own property, unless your local ordinances and bylaws allow otherwise.

Public Utilities such as Electrical Grid Operating Companies have large and comprehensive insurance policies, in case of trouble with their supply network, towers, poles, cables, transformers, switchgear, lines, cables, line and cable easements, meters etc.

You would need to first contact your local electrical Grid Network Company.

They would need to know technical details of your set-up/proposed set-up:

  1. Voltage
  2. Current
  3. Location
  4. Legal Title of land the generator/s site.
  5. Other details.

If they accept your proposal, remember that it's best to negotiate for the long term, allowing for the usual conditions:

  1. Capital Cost of Equipment
  2. Capital cost of Installation
  3. Loss of Interest on Capital
  4. Maintenance
  5. Depreciation
  6. Insurance
  7. Salary/wages
  8. Taxes, local/State/Federal
  9. Other factors.

Many Grid Operators will try and negotiate a short-term deal at what appear to be good rates, then once you are connected to their system and that short initial term runs out, it is difficult for you to move to another Grid Operator.

You will need to install your own set of Import/Export Meters, along with your own protection equipment, and also provide room for the Grid Operator to install their own set of similar meters and protection equipment. They will seal all their equipment, or ensure it is in a locked cubicle/building with themselves retaining the only keys to that enclosure.

Those would be the initial steps.

Be prepared for the Lawyers fees too.

Advise your progress, or lack thereof, here

Kind Regards....

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: electricity generation

12/02/2008 11:16 PM

Very well said in detail. Excellent Sparky.

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#35
In reply to #2

Re: electricity generation

12/15/2008 3:48 AM

In the US of A anybody can sell back to the grid. A lot of homeowners have solar panel setups and sell the excess back. The electric companies and governmental programs pay a good portion of the costs to buy and install these systems. 50 to 70% is not unheard of.

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#4

Re: electricity generation

12/02/2008 11:42 PM

In addition to meeting technical requirements that protect the grid investment of the utility, be prepared to help cover the costs of having the grid in place and maintained in the first place.

In many areas that have allowed a wide variety in the sourcing of power, those producing their own, purchasing from outside the utility or providing excess generation into the grid, the utilities have established that the cost of installing and operating the grid was calculated on the entire population base in the beginning - therefore all will be expected to continue to share in the cost regardless of origin of the energy they buy or sell over the grid. This logic can even be applied legally to personal generation and use that is not sold to others.

2 megaWatts at 120v = @16.6k amps. I'm guessing there will be some expense invested in substation equipment etc. and, yes, putting your power out on the grid and placing a meter at your location and at your contracted customers' location to validate the transfer to him specifically IS the basic model of how that works, with a small added charge from the folks that own the equipment and wires in between. It's actually cheaper to leave the local utility meter (+ maintenance by them) in at the customer end for a small fee.

Who pays, how much, how often etc are strictly by local tariff, and at 2 megaWatt will be contracted. In this market, these things have already been addressed. All you need to do to get these details is contact the electric utilities and state Public Utility Commissions in the places you and your customer(s) exist.

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#5

Re: electricity generation

12/03/2008 10:42 PM

if your state like others has what they call a standard offer program you can apply.depending on the way you make power will tell you what the amount of payout will be.

you will need to pay a interconnect fee as well as pay for the transformer and lines to the lines in the area. if you are planning to send a meg back to the grid it will have to be at a higher voltage. no power goes back at 120 volts most is 600 volts as well there has to be a inverter to change as well as a kick off switch you also have to have the equipment approved by ul or some other body.

a meg of power generation is in over 3 million as well as fuel costs. you will also need to have any enviromental and other studies done before you sell back the first volt to the power company. if you plan to do solar its 14 - 20 per watt, wind is 7-10 per watt, biomass is in around 20 pr watt.

this industry is not easy to break into and you wil need some deep pockets.

Richard

see me on CBC dragonsden on the 8th.

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#16
In reply to #5

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 12:39 PM

When I was in Spain I watched Dragonsden and wondered what it takes to get on. My Idea is not patented yet and I wouldn't want it to get out. I don't know where Dragonsden is on American TV, what channel what day?

jazz

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#6

Re: electricity generation

12/03/2008 10:58 PM

You might consider selling your excess, to your neighbors, bypassing the utility as much as possible.

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#12
In reply to #6

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 11:24 AM

Or (if you can really guarantee generation) bypass the grid by selling bulk power to Disney World, Busch Gardens or the city of Orlando (if they own their municipal distribution system).

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#17
In reply to #6

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 12:40 PM

That's exactly what I had in mind. Do business directly with the consumer.

jazz

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#7

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 12:52 AM

If it's legal, sell it to the local utilities. If not (i.e., you're running an underground nuclear plant), sell it for cheaper to private bidders. Once you have enough of them, slowly match the utility's prices. From there on, use whatever economic/business plan you see fit.

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#8

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 8:47 AM

Thats a lot of watts. Just how are you planning to make that kind of power?

Most states in the US have net metering programs. This allows you to generate power at your home or business, send your surplus to the grid, and take it back when your consumption exceeds your production. You can profit if your production exceeds your consumption but there are usually governed limits. Also, net metering is usually restricted to "renewable" sources such as wind, solar, hydro, or geothermal so a back yard biomass plant will not fly.

You can probably find information in the below link, or google for specific net metering restrictions in FL.

http://www.dsireusa.org/

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#21
In reply to #8

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 12:59 PM

I've been working on a power plant that has a very unique plan for 2 years and the info I have is it will work. I'm at the patent pending stage and Mechanical Engineers, PE's and others are putting the finale touches on it.

jazz

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#9

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 8:52 AM

You could not deliver 2 Megawatts at 120V 60 Hz.

I don't think any right thinking Utility will accept that.

They will have to have transformers to step that up to transmission voltages .

The conductors to transmit 2 MW at 120/60 from you facility will be .......humongous.

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#18
In reply to #9

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 12:43 PM

I actually meant 660 typo/ thought error.

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#25
In reply to #18

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 9:40 PM

We are discussing a feature of a larger discussion called "Direct Access", and you will find that your stated plan to avoid costs such as utility, grid and infrastructure charges is short sighted. Most areas in the US have already addressed unavoidable costs for those who self generate a portion and especially if they resell to others.

For one thing, at 660v you are still over 3,000amps; Ok for direct connect, but will require a higher voltage to access the grid. A pad-mount transformer can handle that, but not very inexpensive.

By the way, you are talking 'parallel generation' rather than 'net metering' if you sell to a consumer over the grid, so be sure your techies consider the grid requirements not only in terms of frequency matching and power quality, but there will be safety needs in the form of backfeed relays to disconnect you from the grid in the event of grid power failures. This may seem unfair, but it has HUGE safety implications for the line workers since electricity transforms up as well as down. Even a little motor-home generator at 120v becomes a deadly 12kV for the unsuspecting lineman if he thinks the grid is down and some homeowner fails to disconnect himself at his main CB before firing up. More-so for 2mW/660v.

Also, most states have an arrangement to get the existing infrastructure paid for in proportional measure by all power producers and consumers, even if not connecting to the grid. The loads related to the cost of the grid were originally calculated considering all consumers when the tariffs were set, and working 'off grid' will not excuse you or your consumer from the infrastructure costs. Otherwise the remaining consumers (presumably the small ones) would unfairly be stuck with a larger bill for the infrastructure as consumers (presumably the large ones) exit the group. You really need to get this feature clarified by the PUC and the utilities where you plan to put your plan into play before you assume you will avoid sharing cost by taking consumer load away from the grid.

There were requirements to purchase excess generation, wind and solar etc. back when utilities got equalizing tax relief for the extra cost. This was a way for government to cover costs for encouraging development of new technologies. Understand that when a utility buys power at the retail cost or any amount higher than otherwise available, the utilities' consumers get the privilege of covering the higher cost paid out to the costlier suppliers. Sounds like good green Eco until the big players want to play by themselves and leave the costs for the rest.

I was right in the middle of California learning the hard way. Please understand I am looking out for you in your endeavor and want to see you succeed. To this end I am encouraging you to not be surprised by some realities of the market after all your investment in the product.

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#32
In reply to #25

Re: electricity generation

12/10/2008 3:49 PM

Hey Howdy,

Obviously you know what yer talking, writing, about. What's your experience in the power generation business? Why do you have all this knowledge? Do you have PE degree or ME degree? Where are you located? Yer right I have a project and I'm working on it and will build it in the appropriate place. Where all the factors are in my favor. Wanna jump on board? You'll hav'ta sign a non disclosure form, not that that's worth anything. The idea is copyrighted. Patent Pending is in the process.

worldwidepowerbrokers@live.com

happy trails

jazz

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: electricity generation

12/11/2008 7:58 PM

Construction super to elec contractor to 23 yrs Utility metering, field and management, specifically being the entity that validated the meeting of the utility requirements for these installations has given me a bit of insight into your specific situation.

It doesn't hurt to have a keen interest in all things and an insatiable hunger for truly understanding how things work.

I will send email with greater detail since you have caught my attention with the brilliance of your overall idea as I imagine it. Right now I owe my wife a movie night out.

regards, CJ

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#10

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 9:52 AM

You should hire a "Know it all" to check out your "un-educated" scheme because while it is possible to produce 2MW at 120V, it is not cost effective. You will not be paid enough to pay for the copper needed to distribute that current. This is why utilities use high voltage distribution and them bring it down to 120/240 near the consumer.

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#37
In reply to #10

Re: electricity generation

12/15/2008 11:32 AM

Please excuse my error/ thought mistake. I will generate the power necessary as to the requirements of the local utility I build in. Typos do occur, once in a while. I mean really just read a few of these entries and see how many you can count. Typos and thought mistakes. Ya'no once ya press the send key it's gone and everybody should really proof read first.

at any rate

happy trails

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#11

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 10:28 AM

To sell power back to your local power company you must contact them for a copy of thier standards. In the US - the most capitolist of all nations - these standards often differ even between power companies that operate within a hundred miles of each other. For instance, in my locality I have two providers that have different standards for how an over-head triplex drop should be attached to a house. It would be very bold for anyone here to state as fact what standards are dictated by power companies in Orlando, FL.

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#24
In reply to #11

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 8:57 PM

Good Answer. Each power company has their own standards.

Dragon

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#13

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 11:52 AM

The comments below assume that your facility will be locate in the USA.

IF your jurisdiction has a net metering program (the Orlando area is served by a municipal utility, which may be exempt from the state requirements), and IF you meet all of the interconnect requirements for protection, reliability, voltage levels, etc.:

- 2 MW is not large enough to sell openly on the grid. You could try, but I doubt you'd get any bidders for that small of a chunk. Just the cost of transmission to get it from your plant to your customer would probably eat up all your profit. In most jurisdiction, you'd have to connect at 69KV or above to do this, which really runs up your startup cost. Plus, as a new entry, you'd have to have SOLID GOLD credit for anyone to take a risk buying from you.

- You could sell to your local utility. If you put all your capacity back into the utility, you'd have to provide the equipment to connect at distribution primary voltage (12.47KV or 34.5KV for Orlando). Again, the startup costs are pretty steep. The net metering scheme in Florida was only approved 6 months ago (March 2008), so it likely still has some bugs. I couldn't find anything on the Orlando Utilities website indicating they allow net metering. However, for any place in Florida which does allow it, payment works this way:

  • The power you send back into the system is credited on your monthly bill at the retail rate.
  • Every 12 months, there is a "settle-up" process where the utility calculates how much they saved in avoided costs by not having to generate (or purchase on the open market) that amount of power at the time it was used. Your bill is then adjusted for the difference between the retail price and the avoided cost.
  • Except for occasional peak load periods, the avoided cost is always less than the retail cost, so once a year you'll end up with a pretty hefty charge on your account. You'd have to run some real-world estimates to determine whether the overall result is a cost or benefit to you.

- To sell directly to a consumer of your choice, you would have to get the power to them. That means you're either back to the open-market scenario, or you build your generation at their site. Since you're not a regulated utility, I'm not certain that selling directly to a consumer would even be legal. At the very least, you'd have to register with NERC as a Load Serving Entity.

- If your generation was at the customer's site, you could probably have a contract directly with them for generation behind their meter, However, your customer would then have to comply with all the utility and state requirements for connecting to their distribution system.

Bottom line: You'd have to do a thorough business and engineering study to determine feasibility. The local utility where you expect to install the generation is a good place to start. If they allow what you want to do, they'll have guidelines and standards already in effect. The State Public Utilities or Public Service Commission is another good resource.

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#26
In reply to #13

Re: electricity generation

12/05/2008 1:03 AM

Hello pwr2thepeople

from me

Kind Regards....

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#14

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 12:12 PM

I was always told that (here in the USA) power companies were required by law to purchase power from consumers... can't remember who told me that...

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#22
In reply to #14

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 1:32 PM

For private or investor-owned utilities in most states, you are correct. However, the rules are frequently different for city-owned utilities. Although bulk power transmission has recently become federally regulated, all interaction between a distribution provider and the consumer is regulated at the state level. Requirements vary from state to state. For example, here in Ohio, the "home rule" provision of the state constitution means that municipally owned utilities are exempt from most regulations issued by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

While not anchored in the state Constitution, Florida law has a specific exemption to net metering requirements for municipal utilities. Some states have no exceptions, but most have some kind of similar loophole for government-owned enterprises.

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#36
In reply to #14

Re: electricity generation

12/15/2008 3:50 AM

They are

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: electricity generation

12/15/2008 12:03 PM

Guest, first, welcome to CR4 and this discussion, and thank you for contributing.

Second, the more accurate answer is;

They are not.

The requirements and circumstances are not the same in all jurisdictions, not even in the USA or even in any one state. The differences are due to the type of local power authority that is in place. Some are not regulated by the same legal oversight bodies, and some are barely regulated at all.

Federal regulation in the USA requiring purchase of renewable energy by regulated utilities was tied to tax relief that covered the higher cost (sort of), but that has changed. Now those purchases are by negotiated contract or covered in a tariff with requirements and limitations.

Note that Jazzridez indicated a wider audience for his product than you have considered when he gave "worlwidepowerbrokers" as an email during this discussion.

For instance, in California, the state has created a "Power Exchange," a daily spot market for electricity sellers and buyers. The PUC regulated utilities are strictly required to sell and buy even what they generate themselves through this marketplace, but the rules are different for the independent entities such as cities and co-ops that are not PUC regulated.

Differences on the same basis exist for US federal regulations from FERC and NERC, and 'they are' certainly does not apply in many countries.

Free unregulated access to the power grid is non-existent, though poorly regulated in some parts of the world. Somebody put up the cash, more likely financing, to create and maintain the grid, so thinking of the grid as a sort of 'toll road' rather than a public highway will help as you consider your advice to this questioner.

As for the purchase of renewable energy produced power, the state and federal regulators have increased the requirements for the regulated utilities to have renewable, alternative energy in their mix of power on the grid. This is not true for fossil fuel or other environmentally challenging sources of generation.

Note the most selected 'good answer' above states " You are entitled to use power generated on your own property, only on your own property, unless your local ordinances and bylaws allow otherwise." Added emphasis mine.

Great caveat, and probably should have been the first phrase in the sentence. since in many places, unavoidable costs payable to the grid owner are now part of the laws regarding personal self generation, even on your own property, when that generation effectively removes load from the grid on a regular basis.

Again, Guest, don't let an opposing response deter you from signing up and continuing to participate. This is what makes this forum valuable.

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#15

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 12:26 PM

BTW if you want to sell your 2,000 kW of "120/60" power either inside or outside of the local providers service territory there are also ancillary fees in addition to the tariff charged on a per kilowatt basis. These charges will include System Control, Scheduling, Dispatch, Voltage Control, Reactive Power, Frequency Response, and don't forget Imbalance Charges should you not be able to meet your 2 megawatts of 120/60 "Sustained Power." These charges are necessary to provide for a continuous balancing of resources among other things. If you don't have a purchaser for your "120/60 Sustained Power" Credit Suisse is a regular trader of Electricity on the Open Market. Why don't you just contact them, I am sure they would be willing to exercise options on your 2 megawatts of 120/60 power that let's say I guy like you can produce. They are not the "know it alls" that you will find here, they are experts.

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#20
In reply to #15

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 12:52 PM

Thanks for that and to let ya no I had a thought /typo error 660 v. Actually whatever they, the local grid regs, where I decide to build at, will dictate the power I generate.

jazz

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#19

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 12:46 PM

In most cases you would not be able to put more than 50kw on the "grid" in most residential/commercial distribution systems using a net metering scheme. As other were sure to point out, low voltage tranmission has alot of I^2*R losses, thus most utility interconnects are atleast medium voltage (>1000 V). Two megawatts would require a much larger industrial feeder to the distribution. Most industrial feed of that size are three phase and at least 480v or 600v (low voltage) or even medium voltage, 7.2kv or 13.8 kv. Even with a 3Φ480v feed, you'll need a bus capable of carring more than 2500 amps per phase.

As far as what you "get paid," that depends on what type of generation you install. Again for most residential systems, you'll be able to install up to 50kw of renewable (wind or solar only) with a new metering agreement. In which case, you "get paid" the residential price for the power you produce until you break even, then you get the power companies' avoided cost. Avoided cost in what in would cost the company to acquire or generate the same energy with no profit. Which could be less than a penny per kilowatt-hour.

For large installations of either Re-newable or Dispachable Generation, you'll probably have to wait until a utility or balancing authority makes a public request for generating capacity. Then submit your proposal with costs and schedules.

If you want to install say 2MW of firm, dispatchable (fossil fuel) capacity for peaking (<30 minutes cold to full capacity) or emergency generation (<10 minutes cold to full capacity), then you might be able to get a contract and "get paid" for just having the generator. Even if you only run it once a month to prove it works. Other wise you'll have to compete with the large utility generators on a cost basis.

You will have to foot the bill for the tranmission/interconnect hardware and all the engineering to prove your interconnect meets federal reliability regulations.

Good Luck

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#23

Re: electricity generation

12/04/2008 7:03 PM

In Florida, you have a choice of using fossil fuel or nuclear power to generate power. Obviously nuclear is not an option for a small operator. Will you be able to satisfy authorities that the power you generate doesn't add to polution levels or co² emmisions? This is something that is hard to accomplish.

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#27

Re: electricity generation

12/05/2008 9:08 AM

good luck in trying to export 2MW at 120V, that's 1 large chunk of copper.... plus no one makes a 2 mw generator at 120V 1ph, at 480V 3ph, 2mw = 2400 amps per hase at 1pf........

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#28

Re: electricity generation

12/05/2008 3:41 PM

One thing that will help is if you can show that your generation is from renewable/non-ghg emitting source--2MW is NOT too small if you can place it next to or near the load--City of Austin TX has commitment to 30% of estimated 4000MW+ load be made using alternative/non-ghg/carbon neutral generation by 2020, and there will be regs in place by 2015 that new construction be 100% self generating--they just commited $2.3 billion over the next ten years to establish a 100MW carbon-neutral biomass generator, which won't come on line until 2011--they estimated the cost to them would be 0.135/kWh from this plant--a fair wholesale price is $65/MWH, so if you can offer RELIABLE, renewable generation at less that $50/MWH, you should have no problem selling, and demand is only going up--best to check with your local/state regulatory body [ie Public Utilities] to see what hoops you need to jump thorugh--do NOT expect to set it up in your backyard to run your building and sell the rest to the local utility, because most no longer are required to buy your excess--new smart-grid technology would make it reasonable to match your production with your customer consumption, if you were to become your own distributor--good luck!

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#29

Re: electricity generation

12/06/2008 2:00 AM

Read up on State and Federal Laws.

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#30

Re: electricity generation

12/10/2008 2:31 AM

It depends on where you are at. State of Idaho Idaho power has to buy by law any power you can genertate and feed the grid. Wyoming diferent story. There are alot of co/opps and city/county/burrow owned generators. I would start by asking where u intened to do this and how reliable your power generation is. How far are u from existing substations ect. 120 isn't exactly line product. Pacificorp, Idaho power, GVEA, Will buy power some places they are required buy law to and others simply because they can. How much negocieated. U could always build a sudivision and provide power to it yourself. Charge what u want. Sounds like deep water to me.

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: electricity generation

12/10/2008 2:13 PM

U could always build a subdivision and provide power to it yourself. Charge what u want.

Not as far-fetched as you might think--like I mentioned, in Austin TX the proposal is "zero energy building" by 2015--by this they mean net-zero electricity consumption, so buildings need to have some way to show they are self-generating. While I think this is taken to mean directly on-site generation, in practice I think it will mean that a builder/developer will need to show generating capacity SOMEWHERE on the local grid to offset a building's consumption. Austin is one of several urban areas undergoing a "renaissance" downtown, with several LARGE condo buildings ready or in process--none of these have near the area needed for a plant to directly produce, by any means, what will be consumed, let alone by some renewable method.

A "big-box store" like WalMart or HEB would be a perfect place to deploy two to five megawatts--in fact, a "carport" could be erected for solar modules or mirrors, providing space for shaded parking and generating renewable electricity. Similarly a developer wanting to put in housing on, say, 100 acres. Using solar PV as an example [1kW/100sf area] each acre has about 435kW of potential. 10 acres could produce 4.35MW--at an average daily use of 30.76kWh this could support about 140 homes. Yes, I understand that there are other, not insignificant, details involved but I'm trying to say that the original point is not irrelevant--two megawatts is not too small when you place it where needed. In fact, it could be a point in favor of "big box stores" to include such infrastructure in their design plans--it might make them more welcome.

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#34

Re: electricity generation

12/12/2008 12:32 AM

Hello jazzridez,

LOL they given ya the run down eh. Go on, get yer customer base form a co-op and set yer price according to what the market will bear

All these rules are designed to prevent guys like you from doing anything; so don't follow lead instead.

Many are the programs you can ascribe to coming shortly and some granting now such as civil management of energy development and projections of potential.

The amount you can be paid within the established system will be spiraling upward as the utility management companies begin investing in sustainable systems [nuke etc.].

Drop a line as you progress

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