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Renewable energy certificates could be “shell game”, Mulliner questions  

Credit:  By Dan McLeister for The Independent, The Elmhurst Independent, www.theindependentnewspapers.com ~~

“The whole thing could be a shell game with power suppliers not really producing green energy,”

Mark Mulliner (7th Ward) made that comment about renewable energy certificates which the City is considering purchasing as part of an electric aggregation plan to save residents and small commercial businesses money on electric power purchases.

Tom Hoover, a consultant for the City, explained “We can’t hook up the wind to a power cord. But we can help facilitate green energy by purchasing renewable energy credits and blend it in to the delivery of energy to customers. We can’t bring a green power line into the home. This is legitimate.”

Those comments by Hoover brought a laugh from some members of the City’s Finance Committee, which has been given the authority the City Council to make decisions requiring quick action to respond to events in the electricity market.

The Committee is expected to finalize a plan of governance at its May 14th meeting, which will follow the May 7th public hearing, the second of two sessions for citizen comments. (The first public hearing was held on April 23rd. See separate story in this edition of the Elmhurst Independent about what was said at that meeting.)

If the electricity market rates are favorable, the City could make a purchase before the end of May. Voter approval of the March 20th referendum does not require the City to make a purchase.

Mulliner responded to the consultant “I don’t want this to be a shell game.”

Hoover then stated “There is no other way unless you put a wind turbine in the City square.”

Mulliner added “There is somebody in the middle making money.”

Hoover responded “I don’t know who it is. My guess is traders. I call them the old boys club which moves power around.”

Then Mulliner asked who owned the wind farms with wind turbines which are numerous in places like Southern Illinois and Southern Indiana?

Stephen Hipskind (4th Ward), chairman of the Finance Committee, said it included a combination of companies and farmers who usually lease the land on which the wind turbines are built by electricity suppliers in places like Nebraska as well as Illinois and Indiana.

The alderman said that more renewable energy certificates should create more demand for more green sources of power like wind turbines. “That is the beauty of it. I am amazed. But we will never have 100 % of any power sources.”

Scott Levin (5th Ward) wondered how many people understand how the system works.

Mulliner added that he was concerned about people’s understanding of what is going on.

Hipskind noted at the April 23rd meeting that there is another public hearing which could include a lot more information.

Source:  By Dan McLeister for The Independent, The Elmhurst Independent, www.theindependentnewspapers.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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