The simple answer is that Chelco distributes power to its members, it doesn't produce electricity directly. However, it's really not that simple. Chelco is a part of Touchstone Energy Cooperatives which operates electrical utility coops all across the country. Touchstone also operates production facilities in our area through PowerSouth, they sell this to the distribution coops and to other utilities. If Touchstone were to explore wind energy in Northwest Florida it would be through PowerSouth, not as Chelco. Chelco is "member owned" (non-profit) and like all utility providers, highly regulated. They do have many nuanced ways around and through the regulatory loopholes. For instance, Chelco also has a "for profit" service division named CSI, you've probably seen the trucks rolling through SoWal.
Originally Posted by florida girl
Southern Company (Gulf Power) is "investor" owned and makes a profit each year. They are still highly regulated by the PSC and cut deals during negotiations for PR benefits even if they don't turn a profit. Based on all of the available data currently available our area is not a strong candidate for utility scale wind energy production according to NREL. I think the Navarre project is more PR than a legitimate expansion of energy production capacity.
My company has installed several utility wind farms in the Midwest U.S., we're currently working on a large scale project in Utah. What we think of as windy conditions here is a calm day to people in really windy areas. Maybe one day there will be advances in technology that make harvesting wind energy possible here in NWF. Right now we'd be much wiser to "invest" our resources in conservation (upgrading old buildings and facilities) and R&D for new wind turbine technology.
Last edited by 30abob; 09-12-2009 at 08:33 AM.
If you can't fix it with a hammer... you've got an electrical problem.