The hidden cost of solar farms

I’m responding to the Aspen Times editorial of Aug. 30, 2019, “Solar farm proposal should get county commissioners full support.”

In my previous letter of July 31, I reminded your readers that we’ve had minor ice ages spaced as frequently as 11,000 years. Chicago was covered with ice stacked a mile high that many years ago. My second point was personal, in that my Diemoz, Cullet and Vallet families left Europe in circa 1900, settling in Woody Creek, a special place, reminding them of the mountains they left in the Valle d’ Aosta. Woody Creek should not be molested.

Today’s letter provides a third reason to reject this project. Pitkin County and Aspen is one of the wealthiest enclaves in our nation, with up to 60 billionaires owning homes and property; the millionaires are beyond anyone’s ability to count. The electric rate subsidies they will receive from every single one of our nation’s taxpayers are large. The U.S. Government Energy Information Administration published the Federal Taxpayer Subsidies, excluding state subsidies, in dollars per megawatt per hour for the year 2016. I was not able to locate 2017’s data.

A single megawatt of energy will light 1,000, 1,000-watt light bulbs for an hour. The subsidies per megawatt hour for solar is $43.75, wind $5.75, coal $1.04, nuclear $0.46, and natural gas had no subsidy. The cost to all consumers of electricity will remain nearly the same, with or without this subsidized project. I’m confident the majority of Pitkin County’s citizens, especially the affluent, will be embarrassed to receive such a substantial subsidy.

Floyd Diemoz

Glenwood Springs