Today’s Chicago Tribune carried an article reflecting a reality that will become more and more common as time goes by. The article is titled “Deerfield files suit against ComEd” in their Friday, April 18 edition. Deerfield is a suburb of Chicago and ComEd is the local electrical distribution company that provides power, a wholly owned subsidiary of Exelon. ComEd’s “solution” is to raise rates to fix the problem, while Exelon’s stock is at an all-time high due to the money that they make selling power that costs them very little to generate (our broken regulatory system in Illinois at work).
The city of Deerfield claims that their electrical supply is unreliable. They state that they have had 1,377 outages between 2000 and 2007 and only 13% of these outages were weather related. These outages typically caused flooding due to shut off sump pumps, food to become spoiled, and are a general nuisance.
This type of activity will grow more common in the future, since lack of continuity in generation causes a lot of the outages (poorly run and maintained distribution and transmission systems also contribute significantly to these outages). I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future homes had built-in back up generating capacity, especially high end homes, to insulate them from at least short term fluctuations in the grid.
NEW JERSEY NUCLEAR PLANT
New Jersey is also considering building another nuclear plant, their first plant since 1973, according to this article. While I applaud Corzine (their governor, the guy who got into a car accident without a seat belt & almost died) for trying to do this, the odds of this plant ever seeing the light of day are near zero. The NIMBY’s are already going nuts – from the article:
“Environmental groups were sharply critical of Mr. Corzine’s 15-year energy plan. Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, said the governor “needs to step up and lead New Jersey to a cleaner, greener future with more wind, solar and better energy efficiency goals.”