On Mar 31, 2015, at 12:12 PM, Peri Hartman via EV <ev@lists.evdl.org> wrote:

> Thus, if the power companies were to continue to charge the same rate for 
> electricity from pumped storage, they are making a better ROI than from 
> building out new traditional power plants.

Your analysis passes the "sniff test" for me from previous experience...but, in 
a similar vein, the _real_ competition is from rooftop solar and batteries of 
the type we're being told will be in the Chevy 
B-as-in-what-a-clueless-marketing-department Bolt and that Tesla is strongly 
hinting at will soon be coming from their Gigafactory.

With that, the grid ostensibly gets the leveling effect the power companies 
want...but at the cost of losing a customer who now no longer has any need for 
the grid at all.

My own utility, Salt River Project, just shot itself in the foot that way. 
People like me with existing solar installations are grandfathered for at least 
a couple decades -- but not if we sell the house. Everybody else...will be 
paying almost as much as they'd be paying without solar thanks to their new 
rate structure.

They missed the boat. They've bought a brief window of time between now and the 
time of cheap batteries. They _could_ have embraced the change and become the 
leading installer (and maintainer and financier!) of rooftop solar as well as 
home batteries (sell it for the benefits of the homeowner, profit from a claim 
on so much power it stores at the utility's whim). Instead, they've signed 
their own corporate suicide pact.

Once batteries *do* get cheap -- and they will very soon -- for those with 
capital to invest it'll be cheaper to drop off the grid entirely rather than 
stay connected. For new construction, solar with a battery is already cheaper 
than grid connect fees. And, every customer they so lose...well, the money they 
used to be getting from that customer now has to get spread across the 
remaining customers, with their rates exponentially increasing as it becomes 
more and more profitable for more and more people to drop off the grid.

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