Friday, November 8, 2013

Actions Have Consequences; Follow-Up On Electricity Rates And Consequences; "Bud" Could Close Its Malt Plant In Moorhead, MN, If Utility Rates Continue To Go Up

Regular readers will remember this post:
A look at the cost of electricity in the 57 US states. When you get to the link, click on the second presentation, an Excel spreadsheet.
  • North Dakota is third cheapest at 8.58 cents/kwh.
  • Idaho, with its hydroelectric power, is cheapest at 7.87 cents/kwh.
  • Washington State, also with hydroelectric power, is second, at 8.28 cents/kwh.
New York State, which bans fracking, and hates coal, but loves wind, pays 18.26 cents/kwh, more than twice what North Dakotans pay. 
Minnesota, at 11.35 cents/kwh is in the middle of the pack, about 24th.

So, idle chatter? Idle statistics? To some folks, these numbers actually mean something. These numbers mean something to Anheuser-Busch. The Fargo Forum is reporting:
If utility rates keep going up, Anheuser-Busch – one of Moorhead’s largest utility customers – would consider closing its malt plant.
The Moorhead Public Service Commission conducted a rate hearing Thursday after proposing to increase electricity rates 3.5 percent and water rates an overall 3 percent in 2014.
General Manager Bill Schwandt said the goal is to not increase electricity rates in 2015 or 2016, but water rates could go up as much as 5 percent in 2016 as fire protection is phased in.
While the impact on water bills of some residential customers would be less than $1, large MPS customers, such as the Anheuser-Busch plant would be paying thousands more.
According to Anheuser-Busch, a 5 percent increase in water fees would cost the company $25,000 to $30,000 on top of the $550,000 it pays annually.
But Minnesota likes that expensive wind energy. As long as the wind turbines are planted out-of-state.

With regard to water, Don notes this:
In comparison, the Cargill malt plant in Spiritwood, ND, which is about 100 miles west of Moorhead, processes about 28 million bushels each year. The North Dakota Spiritwood plant has a wastewater treatment plant on site and does not have to pay water fees

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