Morning Brief: Ex-DOE Secretary Rick Perry’s natural gas scam fails, Net metering at risk in Florida


Back in 2016, President-elect Donald Trump broke with the loose tradition of appointing energy experts, scientists and industrialists as the head of the Energy Department and instead named Texas Governor Rick Perry as secretary of energy. Perry famously was unable to recall the name of the DOE, one of three departments he wanted to eliminate in 2011 — the same department he ended up heading.

Here’s Perry’s tale of criminal self-aggrandizement in an attempted Ukrainian natural gas scam, presented in a long-form piece (audio version also available) from ProPublica.

“Rick Perry came to Washington looking for a deal, and less than two months into his tenure as energy secretary, he found a hot prospect. It was April 19, 2017, and Perry, the former Texas governor, failed presidential candidate and contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” was sitting in his office on Independence Avenue with two influential Ukrainians. “He said, ‘Look, I’m a new guy, I’m a deal-maker, I’m a Texan,’” recalls one of them, Yuriy Vitrenko, then Ukraine’s chief energy negotiator. “We’re ready to do deals,” he remembers Perry saying. The deals they discussed that day became central to Ukraine’s complex relationship with the Trump administration, a relationship that culminated in December with the House vote to impeach President Donald Trump. Perry was a leading figure in the impeachment inquiry last fall. He was among the officials, known as the “three amigos,” who ran a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine on Trump’s behalf.” Read it here

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy & Floridians for Solar Choice held a well-attended webinar on how net-metering is at risk in Florida. The webinar discussed how a utility front group and the PSC have the potential to trigger rulemaking at the Florida PSC that could upend net-metering laws Floridians benefit from, whether rooftop solar owners or not. The webinar also advised attendees on actions they can take in advance of the September 17th workshop that the Florida PSC will be holding to discuss customer-owned renewable generation, including net-metering. You can find the net-metering webinar recording and the slide deck here.

“I see a lot of numbers in a day – prices, volumes, heat rates, spreads, shape values, and many more. Sometimes the numbers are harmonious with one another. Sometimes there is dissonance. In the last couple of weeks, if the numbers that I’m looking at were musical notes, they would sound more like a third-grade school band concert than the New York Symphony. Nothing gets under my skin faster than what I call a “jacked up vendor curve.” What is that you ask? There are a small number of “bankable” curves put out by large energy analytics shops. These vendors publish hourly curves going out through 2050. Some provide 8760 hourly values for each year. They have an hourly price for hour ending 13 on January 16th 2042 and a different hourly price for Hour Ending 13 on January 23rd 2042 (one week later). I can barely figure out what I’m wearing tomorrow (ok, that’s a lie, it is shorts, a t-shirt, and a hoodie), but these folks have a sense for how market conditions will change week to week 20 years in the future. Strikes me as an acute case of false precision…By the year 2041 the around the clock value in SP15 is close to $70 per MWh, the solar-weighted value close to $50 per MWh, and the solar shape value is right around 70% of the round-the-clock value…And that, my friends, is where the dissonance sets in.” Source: EnergyGPS

Audi Field, the home of Major League Soccer club, D.C. United, has partnered with New Columbia Solar, a D.C.-based solar energy company, to complete a 627.8 kW-sized solar system across the stadium’s canopies and rooftop. Construction was completed in May of 2020 with the assistance of Commonwealth Power. This is the second-largest solar installation at any Major League Soccer dedicated venue and the 5th largest solar installation ever in Washington, D.C. The addition of more than 1,700 solar panels to the 20,000-seat stadium will generate over 787,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy on-site, and nearly 20 million kilowatt hours over its expected 25 years of operation. Source: New Columbia Solar

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: