EV Battery Plant requires Refiring a Coal Plant for Power

EV are quickly becoming a boomerang to the head of Leftists. I have reported on various backfires on EV, that should cause panic to the Green Weenie crowd.

For example, car manufacturers are scuttling plants, as well as production of EV. Apparently consumers don’t want to buy the cars having seen the real data. The cars are more expensive to operate than their gas-guzzling cousins.

Next, rental agencies are canceling orders for EVs. It seems that people not only don’t want to buy the cars, but they don’t want to rent them either. That’s a real problem, because many people rent cars to determine what they may buy next.

But things keep getting worse for the EV market. Because EVs require batteries. And those factories need power. Lots of it.

In the case of a battery factory in Kansas, they actually had to refire a coal plant due to the electricity needs of the plant.

The Institute for Energy Research reported,

A new electric vehicle battery factory in Kansas needs so much energy that the state is delaying the retirement of a coal plant to make sure the facility has enough power. The $4 billion Panasonic electric vehicle battery factory is located in De Soto, Kansas. Panasonic broke ground on the facility last year. The Japanese company is slated to receive $6.8 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act, which has been pouring billions into electric vehicles and battery factories as part of its effort to transition America to electric vehicles. The factory will require between 200 and 250 megawatts of electricity to operate as electric vehicles require enormous amounts of energy to manufacture.

Yes, this is one of Biden’s pet projects. And as you can see, Biden’s initiative already needs help from the industry he’s been trying to kill since he was placed in office.

Interestingly, Joe Biden chastises businesses for getting tax breaks, while he’s giving $6.8 billion for one factory. More on the tax incentive in a bit. But let look at the next surprise: there will be no net energy savings.

Green Energy by the numbers

The dirty Green Energy secret? EVs produce net positive pollution.

A 15-pound lithium-ion battery holds about the same amount of energy as a pound of oil. To produce that battery requires 7,000 pounds of rock and dirt to obtain the minerals that are needed for its manufacture. The average EV battery weighs around 1,000 pounds. The mining and factory processing needed to produce an electric vehicle results in a lot more carbon dioxide emissions than a gas-powered car, so electric vehicles have to be driven around 50,000 to 60,000 miles before there is a net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The federal government requires batteries to be warranted for at least 8 years or 100,000 miles. After that, if the batteries need replacing, more energy demand would be required.

But other problems exist beyond the manufacture of batteries. Like charging the cars. The article continues,

Besides the energy needed for industrial activity, there will be more demands placed on the grid to charge the electric vehicles. That energy is unlikely to come from solar panels and wind turbines, which are weather-driven and provide power intermittently. While renewables are a source of “auxiliary supplemental power,” they need a solid base load to ensure the reliable energy supply such factories require.

As for the Kansas battery plant, Evergy serves the plant energy. The utility company declared that the 4 million-square-foot Panasonic facility creates “near term challenges from a resource adequacy perspective.” Beyond the sheer magnitude of load and load factor, Panasonic’s construction schedule, and, in turn, its energy needs, are being planned on a very aggressive schedule. With energy needs starting to ramp in 2024 and full load requirements by 2026, there is urgency to procure capacity and energy to fulfill the expected energy usage schedule. As a result, the utility will continue to burn coal at a power plant near Lawrence, Kansas, until at least 2028, delaying plans to transition units at the plant to natural gas.

All this comes at a cost.

I mentioned that Biden often blames industry for receiving tax breaks. Well look at what his little green energy debacle will cost Kansans. Yes, in the form of tax breaks.

Evergy plans to ask for a rate increase next year to help pay for the additional infrastructure required to meet the Panasonic battery plant’s anticipated demand for electricity, after approval of a pending rate hike request. The demand created by the Panasonic battery factory is expected to double that of Evergy’s current largest customer in the state and require two new substations, upgrades to three current substations and work on 31 miles of transmission lines.

Did you get that? This plant requires double that of the utility’s largest client. The article continues,

The possibility that Kansas ratepayers may be asked to help shoulder the burden of providing Panasonic with power comes as the company is already expected to receive as much as $8 billion in federal, state and local incentives and support for the battery plant. Kansas is providing $829 million in state incentives to the company and De Soto has committed to another $200 million in local property tax incentives. Panasonic will likely qualify for a discounted electric rate offered to economic development projects.

Team Biden is doing all it can to make this project successful for Panasonic. But at what price to the consumers?

Evergy, which services eastern Kansas and western Missouri, announced in April it would ask the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to approve raising rates by 5.9 percent in some areas in Kansas and up to 24.9 percent in a region that includes Topeka, Wichita and western parts of Johnson County. The commission is expected to make a decision by late December and public hearings are ongoing. The potential rate hike related to Panasonic would be on top of the other proposed increase. The utility company’s documents filed with the KCC do not provide an estimate of the size or scope of the possible rate increase related to Panasonic and the allocation of costs among customers is currently undetermined. The potential increased rates, however, follows a longstanding pattern in Kansas of asking residential payers to foot the bill for corporations.

You can read the rest of the article at the original site. But for now, that the repurposed coal plant will likely operate for some time. Because citizens in Kansas will demand cheaper energy.

 

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