April 9, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Aspen Times "Guest opinion: City cranks up spin for hydroelectric project"

(4/10/2012:  See the firing back volley from the City of Aspen's Mitzi Rapkin to Gardner-Smith's report here (and) read how Gardner-Smith handled the "correction needed" here.  Excellent job and coverage by Brent Gardner-Smith via the Aspen Daily News) 

(4/9/2012: Interestingly enough...see related coverage over on the Aspen Daily that came out this morning.  Turns out that once again the City of Aspen has 'misrepresented' their information and now needs to retract.  Hmmm....sound anything like PitCo commissioners projections on how much the Droste Property was supposed to cost?)

Maurice Emmer:
"..Or might you consider alternatives? Before spending more on the Castle Creek Energy Center, its financial viability should be proven, especially compared with alternatives. The projected generation cost of 10 to 11 cents per kilowatt-hour (bound to go up), above the market rate for clean electricity and not reflecting risks, will not be competitive.

The city's own numbers offer a solution: Taking the city's word today, half the pipeline cost (half of $3.2 million) isn't part of this project, so the total cost will be $8.9 million (without further overruns). The $3.7 million not spent yet could be avoided, and we could recover, say, $750,000 for the $1.5 million turbine the city has already bought. This would save $4.45 million or 50 percent of the total project cost. Why double down on a bad bet instead of cutting the inevitable loss?

Yes, the city will have to pay the $5.5 million of bonds. Ignoring possible savings of $4.45 million by continuing the Castle Creek Energy Center project will not avoid the obligation to pay the bonds; it will only double the cost of a boondoggle that cannot produce clean electricity competitively. How about we stop the project and use the $4.45 million savings to pay the lion's share of the bond debt?

The article admits that the city “has made mistakes.” You bet. The mistake is the Castle Creek Energy Center. The residents should not make the mistake of permitting the madness to continue...."
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