For four years the city of River Falls squabbled over their hydropower dams. On one hand you had the anglers who wanted this half mile of river between the two dams to fish trout, on the other you had people who valued the green energy produced by the hydropower. After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultants and tech talks; after telling families with children there was no money in the budget for a public swimming pool; after testing the patience of FERC, the city decided to remove their dams and to stop producing renewable electricity. This is electricity is made without leaving a carbon footprint or throwing greenhouse gases into our air.
Now . . . now that the hydros are set to be decommissioned, the city has decided to land on this "fabulous" plan to purchase green energy. So let me get this straight, they approve of spending $12,000,000 to $20,000,000 (yes that’s millions) to remove a source of green energy, only to spend thousands of dollars per year to purchase green energy from someone else. Then pat themselves on the back for “being a leader in valuing renewable energy.” Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in that?
From following these actions over the years I know that the hydrodams create an average of 1,750,000 kWhs per year. But the city is going to decommission those hydro dams only to turn around purchase 2,000,000 kWhs per year. The city will lose approximately $75,000 per year in positive cash flow, but will now pay someone else over $13,000 per year to make the same energy the city is making now through their hydrodams. Does that really make sense to anyone?
Why not spend a fraction of the money set aside to remove the dams, to upgrade the hydros, improve the lake, and give the children a swimming pool. The city would still have money left over to do something for their people, not just those who want to fish. Thank you.