Monday, September 29, 2014

"PARADISE" john prine

Here's a report when considering if Prairie State is a deal Painesville should be involved in.
I have condensed the report the full report can be viewed at

This report was from Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

No Evidence of a Turnabout at Prairie State
By David Schlissel

Prairie State's actual operating performance during the eight month period from January through August 2014 was 18 percent lower than it's owners had budgeted. The average 64% capacity factor, far below the 78.5%  factor the owners had predicted.

During the month's of May through August it operated at 26% below plant owners budgeted. These months are the peak summer months when it is all important the plant preform at it's peak.

64% what grade would that be? 2012 58%, 2013 60% ( I guess they haven't got all the bugs out?)

Prairie State's operating costs for the first 8 months of this year were approximately $4 million dollars more than was budgeted or 24% higher than was budgeted.

We paid 40% more to purchase power from PSEC than buying energy from PJM wholesale markets.
least we forget about added cost of transmission and congestion costs.

The findings did not find any reason to believe a turnabout was in PSEC future. And that PSEC will be much more expensive then if Painesville bought off the wholesale market for many years.

Still we don't need to do anything, Right? Just sit on our hands and pay the man.

Now I have heard we took a gamble, like a farmer can't predict how much rainfall he will receive in a season. There right but a public body such as a city administration or council should never have taken this type of 'gamble' with public funds, we can't pave streets with electric profit's but we can pay shysters for stupid deals. 

When they put out contracts for roads, bridges,  building they get firm contract. Do you think the bridge on Shamrock Blvd. was a 'take or pay' contract?
Private corporations and individuals can make deals like Prairie State but not public entities. No back out, no  guarantee's just it's yours live with it. If the voter's of Painesville would have been given the opportunity to vote on this do you think it would have passed? I still believe it's was proposed in a poor way by the administration, millions on the line 30 year contracts, yeah let's vote. The only way you presently can get out of this contract is to move out of Painesville Power's area.

Now another chilling thought....

Could Painesville Power owe AMP-OHIO over $1,000,000.00 in levelization costs by the end of the year? I believe it will even be higher than that figure. Now if your curious you should contact a council person and ask what the figure is presently. They can find out very easily.

Oh, the song; Paradise will explain who I hold the most responsible for this fiasco.

Friday, September 26, 2014

"ONLY GOD KNOWS" beach boys

And I believe he's also confused.

The continuing saga that is Prairie State.

 First to councilman DeLeone the plant for the first eight months of 2014 ran at an efficiency rating of 64% I see know way that with that number the "levelization" numbers will come down, I expect it to increase exponentially . Can't wait to hear the final 2014 number.
Councilman Fodor "it not a good deal now, but maybe in 10 years?" I don't know what crystal ball your looking into but by the same logic I could say "This deal will be even worse in 10 years?" I just have a different crystal ball.
Councilwoman DiNallo check around other AMP-OHIO as well as many Prairie State communities have moved forward on this item, did any of them choose to check-in with Painesville's council?
Councilwoman Jenkins maybe you could put some of the environmental education to work and inform other members what the end result will be.
Councilman Fitzgerald maybe you could arrange a tour of the Prairie State Energy Campus to enlighten yourself as well as the rest of council?
Council-President Hach could you show some leadership and direction on this matter to your council?
Councilman Flock please stay the course, your on to something. Presently you seem to be the only one on council with any concerns to Painesville's pocketbook.

Now back to what's going on a Prairie State this month; Marc Gerkens  AMP-OHIO CEO has taken the position as interim Chief Executive Officer of Prairie State this month? Seems since May no one has wanted the job. Now Gerkens and staff went to  Paducah, Kentucky and were met by some very disappointed citizens. They were lucky they weren't run out of town on a rail. Guess like Painesville Marc will mark Paducah off  as a destination.

Fulton, Missouri "Due to one of Fulton's power sources under performing, the city has a just-under $500,000 deficit year to date." Wonder if Mike's has a  cousin who is a councilman in Fulton? Hope spring eternal. Can't wait to see Painesville deficit at the end of the year.

Batavia aldermen have agreed the city should ask Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to investigate a coal-fired power plant in downstate Illinois that is a supplier of energy to the city. Guess who? Mrs. DiNallo did anyone from Batavia call and check with Painesville before sending the request?

I guess it comes down to a few simple questions

Peabody Coal is one of the largest power producers in the United States. I hope we can agree that they practice capitalism to the ninth degree. That said if this was such a win win for these participating communities and deals like this don't come around all the time, electric power will skyrocket why did Peabody sell all but 5% of Prairie State? The stockholders should have been furious.

If the reason that the plant can't operate at higher then 65% is due to the poor coal onsite then why would it ever run at a higher efficiency? ( maybe bringing in coal from Kentucky, West Virginia)

Does anyone on council or in the administration have a clue what this contract has cost Painesville above what we could have bought on the open market.

Does anyone believe the process of this contract was fully vetted with the people of Painesville why not?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Found this article on a website and thought it might interest some readers.

“Have you heard about Painesville, the little city that could?”

Envious New Yorkers, such as myself, who are involved in green energy solutions often mention this small city, by our standards, about 30 miles Northeast of Cleveland, OH that has embarked on an ambitious program to expand its renewable energy portfolio through energy storage and wind.

Most large urban areas are having enough difficulties getting their programs even considered, but Painesville‘s now-retired forward-thinking City Manager, Rita McMahon, and the city council made the decision to reduce its carbon footprint and has moved on it in a bold, but conscientious way. The major difference between New York City and Painesville is that utilities need to satisfy their investors; municipalities are directly responsive to its taxpayers.

And the City Council has many dedicated, talented people involved with this project. Katie Jenkins, for instance, a relatively new council member, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies, Masters of Public Administration, and earned a certificate in Local and Urban Management. She is passionate about reducing the carbon footprint, “We just have to do this for the sake of our environment”.

Another City Councilperson, Lori DiNallo, is a self-styled fiscal Conservative who is just as passionately interested in the financial benefits to the city, accountability, job growth, as well as diversification of their green energy portfolio.
So what initially sparked all this conversation concerning Painesville in the Empire State? Simple: Energy Storage.

“Energy storage is a big deal,” former Energy Secretary Chu said in 2010, noting that the federal government had already put over $620 million into demonstration projects.

One of these ‘Smart Grid’ demonstration projects, partially funded by these grants, is Painesville. They will be installing a cutting-edge eight hour an 8 megawatt hour (MWh) vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) for Painesville’s Municipal Power Plant as part of the ‘Smart Grid’ which, according to the DOE, generally refers to a class of technology people are using to bring utility electricity delivery systems into the 21st century, using computer-based remote control and automation.

“It’s a regenerative fuel cell, like a hydrogen fuel cell, that takes electricity from wind, solar, or conventional fossil power plants, stores it in the battery system through electrolyte”, explains Norma Byron, President of Ashlawn Energy, the company that is designing, manufacturing, and installing, the VRFB. She goes on, “The vanadium is the active element that stores the electricity in charged liquid”. Vanadium is a chemical element that occurs naturally in about 65 different minerals , in fossil fuel deposits, and resembles a hard, ductile, silver-gray metal.

Pretty heady stuff, but then, what would you expect from a woman who had already set up manufacturing of hydrogen fuel cells for the Department of the Army? That’s what brought Ms. McMahon’s attention to Ms. Byron.

“Through my fuel cell manufacturing experience in Painesville for the Department of Defense, I gained a high regard for the skills and work ethic of the people, but I was ready to make a change to something more positive than ammunition, and energy storage just seemed to be a logical step for the community. I simply approached Rita (McMahon) and she carefully considered my proposal.”

Byron founded Ashlawn Energy in 2008 and based it in her hometown of Alexandria, VA. The city of Painesville then partnered with the company to win the DOE Smart Grid Demonstration Project, one of 16 projects, selected from 150 applicants and funded half the project, which covered the R&D costs. You see what I meant about the, ‘little town that could’?

Both were also committed to keeping the manufacturing in Painesville and Ashlawn agreed to hire over 200 permanent advanced technology and other jobs for the area.

It seemed like a win-win situation.

But with all good things there have been a few challenges:

DiNallo described a major setback with the other half of the funding that was supposed to come from former Gov. Strickland and the State of Ohio through Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) “There was a change in administration and Gov. Kasich withdrew all funding for the OAQDA. This left us with an unexpected shortfall, which has delayed the project, and put the city in a different position. Norma is finding and evaluating alternative private funding. DiNallo continued, “Power has its own language and we are currently finalizing a revised contract to make sure that the city is in the best position.”

Power does, indeed, have its own language and Byron, the Virginian, has been driving to and from Painesville for the many council meetings in order to make herself available for any technical questions that might arise or needed clarifications.

Jeff McHugh, the Electric Power Superintendent of Painesville Municipal Power Plant has been anxiously awaiting the end of the contractual process between Painesville and Ashlawn. According to DiNallo, “The electric department has been working tirelessly for this.”

McHugh totally gets it. As the head of a coal-fired plant, he understands, from that perspective, the many benefits of energy storage such as enhancing generation, transmission, distribution, peak shaving, ‘black starts’, and saving money. The battery will help, environmentally, by significantly reducing greenhouse gasses. “We’ve already built the building, and it is ready for the battery,”

After the contract is finalized, the City Council will vote on the project, this time under the administration of Anthony Carson, Jr, the new City Manager; a positive vote will give the ‘green light’ for Ashlawn to get its own financing.

Meanwhile, up the road apiece, in North Perry Village, Minnesota-based Juhl Energy will be installing two 426-foot-tall wind turbines, manufactured by GE in Colorado, to further diversify Painesville energy portfolio. It will be Painesville’s first foray into wind energy.

Yusef Orest, the Project Developer at Juhl Wind, is proud to, “benefit a community’s balance sheets” by providing a “cost-effective energy option”.

While Juhl Energy is a publicly traded company, Orest maintains it still has the grassroots and family feel. Juhl will be subcontracting jobs in the area; some temporary, for construction; some permanent, for monitoring and maintenance.

When asked if energy storage would also be beneficial to the wind turbines, Orest instantly replied, “100,000%!”

The eyes of envious New Yorkers are upon Painesville, Ohio: All American Energy City

Marye Davies

I wonder if someday Marye will write a follow up article about the "Little city that couldn't or didn't?

Presently we have built a 5000sq.ft. empty building. Juhl Energy has all of Painesville's Green Energy credits. And we got zilch!

You know after living here most of my life, Painesville reminds me of DisneyWorld Tomorrowland without ever producing any attractions. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

"POWER TO THE PEOPLE" john lennon

Well the latest chatter in the Ville' away from when we will hand out candy  on what day. Is that many are complaining about their new Waste Management Bill that's arriving in the mail today.

It seems many are being charged a late fee of $5.00 because the city changed your account number and your new account wasn't credited. You would think that Waste Mismangement would have checked on our bills after the last billing fiasco.

I love how the city can change  'MY' account number it's not their  number to change. Another badly judged move by the City and Waste Mismanagement.

Now others after explaining to Waste Mismanagement the last time that they are 'orange bag' users some got bills in the mail of over $138.00 even after the city took the name and addresses of the people who purchased bags at City Hall. What gives no communication?

Now let's get back to how and why this all transpired. First in the wisdom of a lazy city council gave all contract provisions and purchases  to the former City Manager who in turn passes it on to one of her minions . In this case Rita McMahon and former service director Kevin Lynch are the culprits. But guess what there both gone. Can't blame new service director or new city manager they had nothing to do with the contract. At the same time the 'new' council see no reason to get some of this delegated authority back. (also lazy I guess)

So when you get your bill make sure your NOT paying a late fee because someone made a boo boo.

Then take some time and ask your councilman to approve future refuse contracts. Maybe even put Trick or Treat at their discretion. I'm sure the CM won't mind.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"I WALK THE LINE" johnny cash

If you should drive through "Downtown Painesville" you will see a lot of what I call crime scene  yellow tape all along Main St. Now unless there was a major crime shooting spree downtown what could be the reason for all that yellow tape?

Well it is very dangerous and unsafe to shop or do business on the Main St. strip with all the construction going on? A total of six construction workers working on the project Thursday.

Unfortunately it has been explained to me the a woman traversing the south side of Main Street fell head first into one of the construction site and had to be transported to Tri-Point.

I hope and pray this individual is recovering and will soon be 'Shopping Downtown Painesville'......again!

Look if it's unsafe to walk along Main St. just maybe the street should be closed? Presently they have the front of the election board front door blockaded.

I only hope this accident won't be blamed on a clumsy resident? The real culprit are the city as well as the construction company.

Interesting what makes people tick in Painesville, surcharges on water bills, strange and expensive electric contracts, streets that remind people of the 1800's. No.......... one reader 'enough is enough' gripe is the changing the day kids can make dentists rich! Halloween by our city manager? Even questioning if he was God?
It's Halloween not a religious or national holiday. This is what causes someone to go ballistic? I believe this was do to a safety concern. As far as Christmas Eve I believe a personal day or floating day was used. no new paid days off.

AMP-OHIO changes St. Patrick Day maybe then I'll get a response?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"I'M TELLING YOU NOW" freddie and the dreamers

Or a least this Paducah Newspaper

This pretty much sums up the story;

August 20, 2014 / admin / Comments Off

Mapa-de-la-Ciudad-de-Paducah-Kentucky-Estados-Unidos-1919-10662PADUCAH – “The predicament Paducah Power System now finds itself in with its investment in the Prairie State Energy Campus is a lesson in why municipally owned utilities should not try to be venture capitalists.

Private companies have shareholders, and if they make a bad investment it is the shareholders who pay the price. Further, shareholders have options. They can fire management and directors for bad decisions. And they can always dump the stock.

But when a municipal utility makes a bad investment, it’s the ratepayers who are stuck. In the case of Paducah Power’s investment in Prairie State, they are stuck for 30 years. The only way out of the investment for them is to move. And in a city that already is struggling with population loss, that’s a serious concern.

As a story in Sunday’s Paducah Sun notes, the power rates now charged by Paducah Power are among the highest if not the highest in the state. They are the highest regionally by a lot.
The all-in rate for 1,000 kilowatt hours in Paducah is $147.78. In most of McCracken County, where service is provided by Jackson Purchase Energy Corp., the rate for the same amount of power is $95.58, more than one-third less. If you happen to live in the small sliver of the county served by Kentucky Utilities it is lower still at $94.29. The rate for 1,000 kilowatt hours is (rounded) $28 cheaper in Mayfield, $35 cheaper in Owensboro and Murray, $66 cheaper in Metropolis and $70 cheaper in Henderson…

But the devil was in the details. Several months ago it was learned that Paducah Power bought more power capacity than it needed at Prairie State, ostensibly to provide for future growth. The plan apparently was to sell surplus power on the open market, theoretically for a profit, thus further stabilizing rates. That gambit was turned on its ear when the shale gas boom and competition from gas-fired power plants caused wholesale power rates to fall below levels coal-fired plants could profitably match on the open market.

The kicker, though, and this is what is currently hammering Paducah ratepayers, is that Paducah Power contracted to buy a set amount of power from Prairie State whether that power is generated or not. Put another way, if Prairie State operates at below capacity or if as recently happened, an accident forces one of its two generators to shut down, Paducah Power must pay for power that wasn’t even generated, plus go out on the open market to buy replacement power.

Editorial, Paducah Sun

First off  Painesville didn't purchase anywhere near the power Paducah did, but they did purchase enough to make running the power plant an uneconomical venture. What is the logic to agreed to buy something and pay for it even if we didn't receive it? Now many will tell me on this blog. That there  is proof that many other communities bought into this bad investment. Your right and at the same time off the top of my head Columbus and Oberlin, Ohio didn't . When representatives from Oberlin showed up in the Painesville council 'peanut gallery' they were ignored. and the former city manager of Painesville called Oberlin and asked that their council people not attend Painesville meetings.
Now we are learning little by little other communities are being proactive Painesville for some reason chooses not to be. Why? To Mrs. Jenkins I for one don't care when you get the information but it appears you are more concerned with receiving the message than doing something about it. What's your position once you receive the information? To many other members of council as well as the administration please get your heads out of the sand and please address this issue head on. Drop the this and that of Painesville and do some serious work.

"TRAVELIN' MAN" ricky nelson

Seems I'm getting a lot of comments with concerns of the amount of money being spent around  the 'Golden Dome'. Well first the former police chief remodeled his office last year, now the new police is moving downstairs and another remodeling job is in the works. Administrators are moving and you guessed it more and more remodeling. It's nice to be flushed with cash? Again a happy employee's is a productive employee. ( that even in retirement doesn't want to leave)

As I have mentioned a electric director has retired and come back as a double dipper, now I have been informed an electric plant worker has retired and you guessed it he is presently planning on returning to work. So much for attrition? Must be needed to do ......

Now to our former city manager the gift that just keeps on giving.
Seems she need a new department head and found one in all places Warren, Ohio 44 miles to the southeast, well he would like to take the position but he's not moving from Warren, what to do? Well in her wisdom it made sense to supply this director with a vehicle, maintenance as well as gasoline. Let's see 44 miles time two 88 miles a day at what cost 50 cents a mile? $44.00 X  5= $220.00 a week.
Look I don't blame the director but I do the person that made this deal possible. Look no one should be forced to live in the city but now it's getting out of hand. Should city vehicles even be taken out of the county?

Our purchase of a 23 year old fire truck. Must say from when seeing it for the first time I believed just maybe we were on to something. Now we have been told that the hydraulic lifts (what makes the ladder go up) are unsafe and leaking. so from early July until possible the middle of October we will be without this truck with a repair costing  between $35,000 to $40,000 to be split with Concord Township odd why the seals went bad after the vehicle went through an expensive check? Well as they say S*# happens.

Don't even get me started on the Painesville Newsletter what was in it that people didn't already know if they were the least bit interested. Just expensive propaganda I have never known a bunch that needs to pat themselves on the back so much.

Look here are just five simple examples of how the city takes care of your tax dollars and so to some of you who wonder why I'm frustrated. I can't believe many of you aren't?.

Does anyone know what the altercation discussion between the police chief and a resident was almost at the beginning of the council meeting?

Also we learned that Painesville had $250,000 left over from the Millstone project to be used with the $303,000 grant to demolish the old hotel.

Finally Painesville changes zoning on homes without a streets? We did learn of 'paper streets.'