Monday, September 07, 2009

Agenda suggestions for the Sept 13th steering committee meeting

Eugene: Candidate recruitment, ballot access ACLU lawsuit and ACLU/Kevin Gray lawsuit, and his plans, and results of presentation at state AFL-CIO convention.

Sue: Report on Charleston chapter, discussion and acceptance of Charleston chapter application.

David: Treasurer's report, election deadlines info.

Scott: Discussion on progress (text to review, or perhaps a report on a mailing if we can get it together by then) on monthly mailings, update on website and Pay Pal progress report.

Gregg: Report on membership and fundraising, Duke rate hike intervention.

The Steering Committee as a whole will discuss replacing Leslie Minerd, who has resigned her position making the space available to someone else.

Rolf has indicated that he will be at the meeting, and plans to spend some time in the law library after the steering committee meeting. Marianne, and hopefully Joseph and Liz will be there as well. If you can come, please do so, and please bring friends.

There are proposals from a bunch of groups to hold anti-war demonstrations on October 17th, and the Green National Committee is considering endorsing the anti-war demonstrations. You can see the progress of the vote here. This "National Assembly" the Green National Committee is considering joining can be found at their website. The text of the proposal the Green National Committee is voting on is available here.

We should see if we can fit in time for reviewing a possible platform statement from Scott. The South Carolina Green Party is entitled to two representatives on the Green National Committee. In the meantime, the Green National Committee is considering a rule change that would allow the Green National Committee to limit posts to the Votes list to three a day. The Discussion list will apparently be left with as many messages a day as the writer chooses.


Steering Committee Meeting, September 13th, 12:00-2:00

The Steering Committee of the South Carolina Green Party will be meeting in Columbia on Sunday, September 13th, from 12:00-2:00 p.m. We will be meeting at the new Black Caucus Community Center, 2523 Read Street, Columbia, SC 29204.

All members, prospective members, and interested citizens are encouraged to attend. We will be discussing our plans to build the party and to recruit candidates for 2010.

The Community Center is near the corner of Read Street and Two Notch Road. From the State House, at the corner of Gervais and Assembly, go east on Gervais, past Bull Street and Harden Street, and then turn left on Millwood Avenue (following the signs for Highway 1). Go north 8/10 of a mile on Millwood (it turns into Two Notch Road as you pass Forest Drive), and then turn left onto Read Street. Go west on Read Street for a short while, past Harper Street, and 2523 will be on your right.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Duke postpones nuke plant

This story from Charlotte Business Journal explains that Duke is postponing plans to build a new nuclear power plant in Gaffney. This plant was first proposed back in the 70s or 80s, and shelved. Now it may be ready to be shelved again.

This follows close on the heals of Santee Cooper's decision to scuttle plans for a new coal burner near Florence.

Both these developments make our case against Duke's rate increase here in South Carolina all the stronger.

Please consider joining the Green Party as a member if you have not already done so by sending $25 dues to:

P.O. Box 5341
Columbia, SC 29250


Duke Energy's public version of its "Integrated Resource Pan and 2009 REPS Compliance Plan" was filed on Sept. 1, along with a confidential version....

Friday, September 4, 2009

Duke Energy eyes delay for Lee nuclear project [AP1000]

Charlotte Business Journal - by John Downey Senior staff writer

Duke Energy Carolinas is likely to delay construction of its proposed Lee Nuclear Station for up to three years.

Duke’s latest long-term plan, filed this week with N.C. regulators, says the startup date for generating power at the Gaffney, S.C., plant could be put off to 2021.

The delay is particularly likely if Duke can’t find a construction partner for the $11 billion plant. The utility is moving its target date as concerns mount regarding the project’s cost. Also, demand for power appears to be growing more slowly than in recent years.

Duke’s updated plans also call for delays in building the utility’s proposed Buck Steam Station and Dan River combined-cycle gas plants.

Janice Hager, head of Duke’s resource planning, says it appears that demand for electricity — not adjusted for the weather — has been flat the last four years.

Duke’s new projections call for demand growth to return to an average 1.5% per year in the long term. But the company isn’t projecting a spurt in demand once the recession ends.

That makes room for the company to delay construction of some plants that Duke has long been planning.

The biggest change involves Lee, though Hager cautions the new construction schedule isn’t set in stone.

When Duke initially proposed the plant, it aimed to open it in 2016. The company acknowledged from the outset that the startup date wasn’t firm. Over time, the targeted opening date slipped to 2018. And Duke’s new plan says 2021 might be the best target date for Lee to begin generating electricity.

Tom Clements of S.C. Friends of the Earth says Duke’s delay fits a pattern.

Utilities are coming to grips with the enormous costs of nuclear plants and slowing growth in demand for electricity, he says. Duke appears to have missed out on federal loan guarantees, and the capital markets remain skeptical of nuclear projects, he adds. “I don’t see that they have the money together yet. I think Duke has dropped back into a wait-and-see attitude to watch what the first companies in do.”

But Duke says the Lee plant is still key to its plans.

Hager says the delay will give the company additional time to seek state legislation for recovering its costs for nuclear plant construction. The company has said for several weeks that it couldn’t consider going forward with a new nuclear facility in the Carolinas unless North Carolina adopts a law that, like South Carolina’s, streamlines the process for recovering its costs.

Duke may also be able to use the time to find a construction partner for the Lee plant. Hager says having a partner to share the cost would make it possible for Duke to start construction earlier, because that would remove some of the financial risk for the company.

Duke says it will continue to need additional power plants, even though growth in the demand for electricity has slowed. The company expects to resume its traditional growth rate after the recession ends. Energy-saving initiatives such as its Save-A-Watt program won’t reduce demand enough to avoid plant construction, Duke says.

“Even if the company fully realizes its goals for (energy conservation and efficiency), the resource need grows to approximately 5,500 megawatts by 2029,” its new planning report states.

So Duke plans finish the 825-megawatt expansion of its Cliffside coal plant on the border of Cleveland and Rutherford counties. And it will build the Buck gas plant in Rowan County and the Dan River gas facility in Rockingham County.

But it will slow down in pursuing those projects.

It’s the second delay in as many years for the Buck and Dan River plants. The Buck facility was originally scheduled to start operation in two phases. The first phase was to open in 2010 and the second in 2011. Last year, Duke postponed construction of each phase for a single year. Now the company proposes building the whole plant at once and starting production in early 2012.

Meanwhile, the startup of Dan River has been postponed to late 2012. And Hager says it could be pushed to 2013.

Hager notes Duke is dealing with several uncertainties in its new long-range plan. Key among those is how much energy Save-A-Watt will actually conserve and how quickly the demand for power will rise after the recession.

A quick rebound in demand for electricity has been common following U.S. recessions. But Richard Stevie, who handles the forecasting for Duke’s planning process, says the company has intentionally been more conservative with its latest forecast.

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