First of all, if the United States went 100% green tomorrow, it would not change the world’s temperature more than 1/10th of one degree. Nevertheless, let’s talk about the cost of going green.
Tesla Power Wall Batteries have 14 kWh’s of storage.
The average HEC monthly peak demand is about 6KW, at 4KW the Tesla power wall would last 3 ½ hours.
From 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. you would need 5 power walls to get off the grid and if they are being charged by solar, this assumes no cloudy days and no rainy days. We have a member who tried to go off the grid and after experimentation on batteries, he concluded he would need 67 kWh’s of storage (that would be 5 Tesla Power Walls).
The typical solar capacity is about 18% in Missouri. That means that of the 24 hour day you’re getting generation 18% of the time.
If you triple your solar needs to cover cloudy days so that you cannot only use the solar power, but also store the solar power into extra batteries, and if you double the batteries to cover this extra storage, that would mostly get you off the grid.
A 12KW system $27,000 tripled $81,000 plus 5 Tesla power walls doubled at $7,000 each is $70,000, gives a total cost of $151,000 and the batteries only last 10 years at best.
Associated is our generation cooperative that you own. Our HEC prorated share of Associated’s assets are $7,400,000. Central is our transmission cooperative that you own. Our HEC prorated share of Central’s assets are $5,023,597. HEC’s assets are $26,000,000. So you and your HEC neighbors have invested a total of $38,423,597 in your cooperatives 3 Tier System.
So to start all over with a solar/wind/battery system for HEC based on today’s prices would cost $528,500,000 ($151,000 x 3,500) just to serve Howard Electric’s 3,500 members with solar/wind/batteries.
That’s compared to $38,423,597 that we currently have invested today.
The poles, wire, power plants last 30 – 50 years.
The solar/wind lasts 20-30 years and the batteries (the biggest cost) only last 10 years at best.
If we were to switch over to wind/solar/batteries your bill would be 10 – 15 times higher than it currently is.
According to an MIT study done for California the cost of being 100% green goes from 4.9¢ per kWh (for generating cost) to $1.61 per kWh, 32 times higher. So for the average home of 1,100 kWh’s that monthly bill goes from $53.90 to $1,771 just for generation costs. After adding in distribution costs once again, that works out to 10 – 15 times higher than current costs. These California batteries for California would total $2.5 trillion according to MIT.
HEC’s most expense power right now is wind power. When the wind doesn’t blow we save money, because we can use coal or gas which have a much lower average price.
But the biggest cost added in going 100% green is the batteries.
With that said, Bill Gates’s “Breakthrough Energy Ventures” is trying to develop aqueous sulfur flow batteries with far longer duration, at 1/5 the cost where lithium-ion batteries are likely to land. Right now that’s very speculative.
But even if they are successful….., even if they are successful, the typical monthly bills would still likely be in the $800 - $900 monthly range, versus the average current bill of $167.
We can’t afford the Green New Deal.