May 2023 Newsletter

Not In My Back Yard ?

We have been building roads, sewer plants and many other large community projects for years. Yes, the government can come in and force you to sell your land for projects deemed as for the public good. Now with the White House push and billions from congress, renewable energy is receiving a giant push on a national level.

Most wind resources that are efficient come from mid-America. Texas, north to the Canadian border. A wind turbine needs connections to power lines/grid to bring its power to market. While a farmer might be tempted to lock in a yearly annuity for up to 25 years of potential payment of $5,000, depending on size, from each wind turbine on their property, some just do not want the blinking red light all night long or the constant whooshing noise the blades make when they are turning. Worse, many do not want to allow the right of way for their neighbor’s wind turbine’s power lines to go through their property. Especially when it means they have the annoyances of turbines and not any income. This is just on a local level. On a national level this wind generated electricity needs to go east, usually crossing state lines. Between local and state laws, and ordinances, no big national transmission lines have been built in the last 10 years. Farmers with land adjacent to large power lines are generators prime targets for turbine farms. Most of the easy access wind farms have been built. All across the west NIMBY has slowed wind farm installations although overall it is still growing.


Got electricity, no place to sell it ?

It does no good to generate electricity when you cannot hook up to a power line to sell it. Since we have not approved any large interstate transmission lines lately the U.S. Congress is pushing the idea of moving power along the right of way of Interstate Highways and railroads underground. Large amounts of electricity moved underground for long distances must be High Voltage Direct Current to be efficient enough to be practical. The reason for DC vs AC is technical and not feasible until lately when DC transformers were made possible and cheaper. Most of our equipment for long distance above ground transmission is AC for now. SOO HVDC link is a project between Iowa and Illinois seeking approval using Canadian Pacific’s right of way. This is the first interstate DC underground electric transmission project to get this far. Many have pointed out that this is simpler because it involves a private company who owns the right of way. Interstate highway laws and regulation are intertwined between states themselves along with federal bureaucracies. Congress and the politics of it all have, for whatever reason, made permitting of major projects of almost any kind take years if not decades to get approved. Efforts have been made to speed up permitting, but so far, no progress.

Here in Georgia, we have a Solar Project on I85 with 2600 solar panels near La Grange. It produces 1 megawatt of electricity when the sun is fully out. It is one of the first projects in the nation to use cleared land on internet right of ways for solar energy. As time goes on, we will see many more underground DC lines and solar panels on interstate right of ways because people just do not want power lines and large solar panel installations in their backyards.



The current administration has set 2035 as a goal for when they want all U.S. power from clean sources. That is not that far away. One part of the clean energy equation has been nuclear power, and in order to even come close to this goal more will be needed. The manufacturing and installation of smaller nuclear energy plants has picked up steam. Just this week Westinghouse energy announced a new small reactor design they hope to be building by 2025. The current small nuclear reactors under construction are in China, Russia and Argentina. NuScale got final approval of their small nuclear design and plan to build a 6-reactor project in Idaho by 2030. It will put out approximately half of a typical reactor. Plant Vogel’s 2 and 3 new nuclear plants will come on line hopefully sometime this year. They are in the final testing phases and loading of fuel.

I hope our country can navigate to cleaner energy without putting everyone out of business. It will take an everything power generation strategy to get there.


Thanks, Andy McClung CFP TM  

 RE: Canary Energy Jeff St.John; RAY right of way solar; Wall Street Journal Jennifer Hiller





2023 Market Results

S&P 500                          +7.8%

NASDAQ Composite   +17.1%

Dow Industrials            +1.4%

Russell 2000                 +.04%

World ACWI                +8.1%

Source Wall Street Journal 05/9/23

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