“Inherently damaging” is how former Kansas State Representative and Chairman of House Energy and Environment Committee Dennis Hedke (Republican) describes Xcel Energy’s “Colorado Energy Plan” in a letter to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and copied to the Colorado State Senate majority leadership and the Independence Institute.
Hedke sent the letter certified mail and has proof showing that the PUC has received the letter, but we have not been able to locate the letter in the public comments on the PUC Website. Since the Independence Institute was copied, we have uploaded the 4-page Hedke letter including his supporting graph and citations.
Hedke warns the PUC not to massively expand industrial wind, unless Colorado wants to end up like Kansas:
…the State of Kansas, as you are probably aware, has made the very costly and inefficient decision to embrace renewable power as a substantial contributor to its electricity grid. As a result of mandated public policy dating back to the 2009 Kansas legislature, we can now relate directly to the pain of residential rates of electricity skyrocketing more than 50% in less than 8 years.
The geophysicist Hedke also takes Xcel to task for the monopoly’s absurd claim that this plan will “save ratepayers money”:
It’s unconscionable to me that Xcel Energy would make the claim that it will save ratepayers by retiring two very highly reliable and expensively retrofitted coal-fired plants at Comanche 1 and 2 (660 MW generating capacity) and replace them with 49 MW of wind capacity and 400 MW of natural gas combined cycle power, at a staggering cost of $1.4 billion, not to mention the stranded cost of $297 million still owed on the Comanche installations.
Employing strong language, Hedke concludes by urging the PUC to protect ratepayers and permanently shelve Xcel’s “inherently damaging” plan:
Commissioners, I implore you to look very hard and very long at the proposal on the table from the Xcel-led Stipulation group’s Colorado Energy Plan, and ultimately do what is right and prudent on behalf of all ratepayers in the State of Colorado. Yes, that means shelving, if not permanently, the inherently damaging Colorado Energy Plan.
On behalf of our Ratepayer Coalition, we thank Representative Hedke for his concern for Colorado Ratepayers and his courage to write this letter calling out the ridiculousness of Xcel’s claims of saving ratepayers money. We are amazed at those who continue to drink the Xcel Kool-aid, despite what has happened to our own skyrocketing electric rates and behemoth monopoly Xcel’s obscene profits at ratepayer expense.
The question remains whether our own state legislature, which Xcel and Governor Hickenlooper bypassed, has the same courage to stand up for ratepayers. Specially, will the Republican-controlled State Senate (copied on the letter) be Xcel enablers or profiles in courage?