Morton Solar statement on Centerpoint Energy's rate increase for solar farms
We know that the power grid needs to be paid for and we need utility companies to keep it reliable for all of us. And, we believe that our current EDG rate of $0.09 per KWH, for excess power being fed back to the grid is an economically good rate for the consumer and CenterPoint since they can resell the EDG power to your neighbor at $0.17 per KWH. This helps the solar customer pay their fair share of the grid maintenance, lowers the loads on the overall power distribution system, and also lowers emissions. Therefore, the more distributed power on the electrical grid, the lesser the costs will be for massive power grid and power plant construction which will save farmland.
But, we also want the public and especially farmers to understand that the more distributed energy installed on the power grid, behind the meter, will reduce the need to cover such large swathes of farmland with solar panels. And, generated power at the point of use, such as on your own rooftop, reduces the need to build new power lines and transformers. Yes, the existing ones need to be maintained, but more distributed power and point of use energy storage will lessen the risk for grid outages and greater expense later. But, installing solar generation at the point of use reduces the massive line losses from conducting electricity through hundreds of miles of powerlines. And, we pay for the wasted energy due to line loss resulting in millions of dollars.
From an overall economic standpoint, we are all much better off more distributed generation than centralized generation. And, keep in mind that solar owners still get to offset the the bulk of their generated power at retail rate, and this rate will keep increasing as always. We can hope that CenterPoint and other utility companies will see the economic benefit to themselves of distributed generation and be able to use some of the public funding (that they receive from all of us) and use it to pay a higher EDG rate. And, if enough of us write letters to our Senators, Congressmen, Mayors, and State Representatives, we might be able to get a better EDG rate at 75-85% of retail rate.
So, let's get this started and start saving farmland. There are now much better federal tax incentives to help all of us go solar. For farmers themselves, there is new USDA REAP Grant funding to pay up to 50% for solar projects. And, there are now extra tax credits for being here in coal country which is called an Energy Community!
So, you are not helpless with your energy future. You can choose to take action either by installing your own solar and/or writing letters to your state representative requesting a better EDG rate that will still allow the utility to maintain the power grid. But also paying the fair share of what distributed solar is really worth to the benefit of all of us.
And, we believe that God gave farmer's sunlight for more than just growing corn.