December 29, 2004

Energy laundering

[Jacksonville (Fla.) Energy Authority] has signed an agreement to buy power from a wind farm in Nebraska to meet environmental goals, though the public utility will sell the power back to the utility that generates it. ... "Although JEA will sell the power back to [Nebraska Public Power District], we will receive environmental credits for the green power our investment generates, ..." said JEA CEO Jim Dickenson.
Follow this. NPPD sells to JEA a certain amount of power presumably reflecting a certain amount of wind-powered generation in its network. JEA, being aver 1,500 miles away, can't of course use it. They sell it back to NPPD but get credit for buying "green" power anyway. They will also no doubt offer an extra charge for their customers to feel better about their energy use. And who's to stop them from selling more of this premium "clean" energy than they actually "buy" from NPPD, since they don't really have it anyway? I suppose NPPD also could provide this service to any number of customers, selling the same "wind power" over and over again. And the facility isn't even built yet. A green revolution indeed.