Windy Power

[Not submitted.  I sent an inquiry to the reporter to verify the numbers as published and it turned out she’d boggled up the numbers.  She was very nice about admitting the error.  CWLP is still paying more than cost for this stupidity, but the scale isn’t as delightfully idiotic.]

Dear Editor:

Please clarify which one of us can’t read a power bill: me, your reporter, or our mayor and utility director?

The SJ-R reported that CWLP has “negotiated” an agreement to buy 120 megawatts of wind power that they don’t need at a unit cost of $1.93 per kilowatt-hour (kwh).  My CWLP power bill shows that I’m paying approximately 9 cents per kwh, which includes all of CWLP’s direct cost, overhead AND a profit.

Hence the quotes around “negotiated.”  What kind of skill does it take to cut a deal to pay 20 times retail for something you already make and don’t need?  I would’ve paid to see that meeting.  But, since the mayor and the director tend to cut deals behind our backs, we just have to imagine…

Greenmailer: “As you know, there is a huge demand for inefficient, politically correct power; all of the technology comes from foreign manufacturers; and it requires obscene amounts of land to site these monsters.  Bottom line — we can get you 120 megawatts for… 30 times what it’s worth.”

Renfrow: “HA!  I’m not going a penny over 15 times what we sell it for!”

Greenmailer: “Whew, tough room.  Ok, honestly, we’re already getting enough subsidies, handouts, and tax breaks to make a Bolshevik blush.  Tell you what – if you pay 20 times retail, I’ll throw in some Magic Beans.”

Davlin:  “That’s ridicu – what kind of beans?”

Greenmailer (whispering): “They erase carbon footprints.”

Davlin & Renfrow:  “SOLD!”

Greenmailer: “You certainly drive a hard bargain.  Would you like to go ahead and sign the paperwork, or do you need to run it by your city council first?”

Renfrow & Davlin: “Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!”

… So, am I just reading my bill wrong?  I’d like an explanation, please.

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