A recent Op-Ed by Del. Richard (“Rip”) Sullivan lauds the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) which mandates requiring the construction of wind and solar electricity facilities in Virginia.
His editorial criticizes a recent decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding the price which can be charged by renewable electricity suppliers in the interstate market.
He claims the FERC decision assaults “basic free market competition”.
In essence, FERC’s new rule states that when electricity generated by renewable providers is sold in interstate markets, the price must reflect all of the subsidies provided by Virginia to these suppliers, so that these suppliers will not compete unfairly with electricity generated by existing sources.
And what a vast array of renewable electricity subsidies there are: production tax credits, investment credits, property tax exemptions, rebates, loan guarantees, residential tax credits, job creation credits – the list goes on. FERC stated, that failure to consider the impact of these subsidies would result in obvious price distortion, and violate the FERC mandate to assure that prices are “just and reasonable and not discriminatory or preferential”.
Sullivan is upset, as the primary patron of VCEA, this will prevent solar and wind being the sole providers of electricity in Virginia. Think California!
What is “renewable” electricity costs to consumers without these subsidies?
Sullivan states that under the FERC Order, we “will suddenly be forced to supply wind electricity at an artificially inflated price, twenty times higher than the maximum price” allowed by FERC.
Twenty times higher! Without all the subsidies, renewable generated electricity costs consumers twenty times more than electricity supplied by existing sources.
This letter originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch