That's what has me puzzled about Pacific Power, like any other business, needs to generate more revenue than incurred expenses to survive. It is in the business of making electricity and then selling that at a profit (selling electricity for MORE than it costs to produce). And yet if you put in a solar power array, Pacific Power is willing to pay you 4-5x the going rate to buy that electricity. What? Yeah, that's what I think. Who in their right mind would pay 5x the going rate to buy something that they make below the market rate.
Is electricity generated by solar panels more powerful than electricity generated by coal or hyrdo? Of course not. Matter of fact solar is far less efficient than either of those by a magnitude. Yet Pacific Power is paying solar "farms" 4-5x the going rate. Not only why, but how do they do that and stay in business?
Well first they must be making a very healthy profit. Normally I would cheer such an effort. One thing our economy needs is profitable businesses. Profitable businesses are job and wealth creators. But I'm not cheering for Pacific Power for their profits. Why? Because they don't operate in a free market. Instead they are a regional monopoly. If you don't think so, tell me who else you can get your electricity from in the Basin. Answer no one. It's Pacific Power, generate your own or live like it is 1911 — not great choices. Because of this regional monopoly Pacific Power's pricing is controlled by a Public Utility Commission, or PUC. The PUC is a group of appointed officials that either allows or disallows Pacific Power to raise prices each year. Right now the going rate for electricity buyers (all of us) is high enough that Pacific Power can cover their expenses and still pay people who put in solar power arrays 4-5x the going rate.
We are being overcharged to do something Pacific Power wants to do — install solar power. That's the only way the math works. Now if Pacific Power wants to encourage people to install solar, that's fine — but not on our dime. Right now we are being overcharged, or in a sense taxed, without representation. It is clear that solar power doesn't add up. Solar power doesn't pay for itself, so all sorts of government and corporate subsidies must be issued to get people to have solar make sense. This is not how America works. This is how soft-tyranny works. "The government will pay you $7,500 to buy an electric car it produces". This is just wrong as it makes government the kingmaker of what businesses and what techologies win or lose. America is built on free-markets and competition. The best business and the best technologies win and it benefits all of us. Government is only concerned with maintaining and growing its power (influence). They do not care about what is best for all, just what is best for them.
In a time when each Basin resident needs every nickel and dime they can find under the couch cushion, we are being overcharge to install solar power arrays that degrade over time and are useless in 20 years. This operation, where a company is in bed with government, is called one of two things: Crony Capitalism or Fascism. I'll let you decide which applies.