Let's not forget Councilwoman Martin that you were part of these decisions with the previous City Manager form of government, for it was the City Manager that did the hiring and offered the pension packages that we see today! It also was you and your former Council members that AGREED with the City Managers and approved their policies, SO WHO IS TO BLAME when these packages come to light and these people leave??
They're expensive to fly. YES they are for this out dated fleet, leave them on the ground and spend the money elsewhere like the southeast side of town!!
"Green" energy is simply incapable of replacing oil, coal, gas and nuclear. It isn't developed to a commercial point and can only survive (and even then for only a short time) when the Government uses our tax dollars to subsidize it. For the life of me, I can't find the power to invest taxpayers' money in business anywhere in the Consitution.
Not a sole is against solar, what they are against is subsidized solar! For over thirty years we have subsidized the solar programs from the Federal level on down and YES that is our money from the FEDS! If you want solar, then pay for it in full as an investor, place it on your house, business or buy it from a solar garden and reap the benefits from the investment that you made if there is one from KW not purchased from the local Not-for-Profit Citizen owned utility. Everyone points to the AFA and their new solar array that is saving them from PURCHASING KW from CSU, we are not rebating them money from our local utility for installing and maintaining this array! If the solar gardens (as a business) want to sell the KW produced then do it at the local cost to produce a KW hour from our local power plants using coal or natural gas. The cost of solar is going down daily and I challenge the industry to as true entrepreneurs, make your product competitive, find the private investors/banks borrow the money and build your business and the industry, the Future is Calling!
Just got to love Frank Aries the PT Barnum of land development, he never even signed a paper for his loans with the S&L's on this property and convinced the City to annex it! Now it has become a 21,000 acre buffer for the City, no one can afford to develop this property under the Aries Annexation agreement of 1988 the legacy costs are way to high! We only can hope that the new City Council will tackle this issue and amend the agreement of 1988!
Patrick, love your response have read all of these and they still do not explain how this contract has gone from "Neumann’s device is estimated to cost less than $20 million. No operational costs were provided. " in 2008 to 121 Million plus, please simply show us and the ratepayers how this occurred??? In other words just SHOW US the MONEY and where it was spent! That is all that we are asking, for if this is our venture capital as a City owned utility spent for this technology then we as the ratepayers are the venture capitalists, Neumann systems is working for all of us, open the books!
So Pam, what has happened from 2008 until now with Neumann Systems where is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for Colorado Springs Utilities and the ratepayers, remember this article. Where is the World-wide market producing a potential 700 Billion dollar market as stated in this article? Where and who are the clients stepping up to the plate to purchase this other than our local ratepayer owned Colorado Springs Utility. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Board of Utilities it is time after almost five years to produce a forensic financial report of how and where our money as ratepayers has been spent with this company Neumann Systems as they develop and install this new technology on our plants.
It is our understanding as ratepayers that our City Utility has never missed a payment to Neumann systems. It has never been made public to our knowledge but is this contract with Neumann a cost plus contract for this technology and if so is there a ceiling that has been established? How much have they (Neumann Systems Group) spent of our money to hire and pay for public consultants such as Patrick Davis with set it straight and what are they paying for their new C.E.O. How have the costs escalated and why (note the 20 million dollar projected cost quote here in this article "Neumann’s device is estimated to cost less than $20 million. No operational costs were provided. ")
We the ratepayers expect our City Utility to provide the lowest cost rates in the most cost effective and environmentally responsible way, partnering with a firm (with financial guarantees for that firm) and new technology just may not prove to be the most cost effective way, so once again please make the financial details of this agreement (forensic) available to the public (the ratepayers).
Local invention may help clean up coal plants
February 11, 2008 12:33 AM
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By PAM ZUBECK
A local scientist has teamed up with Colorado Springs Utilities to test an invention that could revolutionize the power industry and save the planet at the same time.
Air Force Academy graduate David Neumann, who holds a doctorate in physics, has developed a process he says he believes will scrub 90 percent of pollutants spewed by the city’s coal-fired electric plants for a fraction of the cost of other processes under development.
Neumann won’t discuss details of the method because patents are pending and competition in the potentially explosive market is fierce.
If successful, the new chemical treatment would mean thousands of coal-burning plants worldwide could sharply curtail carbon emissions — one of the biggest contributors to global warming.
That, in turn, would make the future of energy less complicated and uncertain in the arena of renewables. Renewables can’t provide the lion’s share of the world’s power because they provide intermittent electricity that is impossible to store.
The Department of Energy’s 2008 energy outlook estimates the use of renewables will increase by only 2.5 percent in the next 23 years.
By 2030, the use of coal will constitute 55 percent of the nation’s fuel, up from 49 percent last year.
The chief reason: There’s an estimated 300-year supply of coal in known reserves in the United States alone, the Energy Department said.
But with that growth will come a surge of roughly 500 million metric tons of emissions, the Energy Department predicts.
That’s why Neumann said it’s essential to develop a way to make coal plants burn cleaner. It’s also why Springs Utilities wants to give his invention a try.
“I would like to contribute to solving the global warming problem,” Neumann said. “It’s not realistic to eliminate fossil fuels in the next 50 years. We have this huge investment in infrastructure. Unless you want to shut down the world economy, we will be burning fossil fuels.”
Drew Rankin, Springs Utilities general manager for energy supply, said a method of removing carbon emissions would “liberate” coal as an acceptable long-term fuel source.
“We’re not doing this for fun,” Rankin said of testing Neumann’s device. “I believe there’s a high potential for impact to our customers.”
Standards for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions will be toughened in coming years. Control technology is in place for nitrogen oxide and particulates, but not for sulfur. Removing sulfur dioxide will require massive investment in scrubbers.
Installing equipment at one unit alone at the Martin Drake Power Plant will cost an estimated $65 million, plus $5 million a year in operational costs.
Neumann’s device is estimated to cost less than $20 million. No operational costs were provided.
A potentially more expensive problem is carbon. While not yet regulated, many in the industry say carbon emissions soon will be subject to limits, carbon taxes and other measures designed to force coalplant owners to find ways to lower their contribution to global warming.
Those taxes could total roughly $150 million a year for Springs Utilities, or about 16 percent of the city-owned agency’s current annual budget.
So far, there is no proven technology for removing carbon, but Neumann said he believes his invention will handle carbon as well as the other pollutants.
He also said his unit would be 20 times smaller than other versions being tested, which can cover acres.
“Carbon dioxide is very real for gas-fired plants as well,” Rankin said. “So it would help solve a lot of challenges if it should work.”
After achieving success in lab tests, Neumann approached Springs Utilities about testing the process on one of the city’s power stations.
Neumann is no novice. After retiring from Space Command in 1994, he started Neumann Systems Group Inc. and has done research and development on high-powered lasers for defense contractors.
He and his associate, Tom Henshaw, who holds a doctorate in physical chemistry and did research at the Air Force Academy, decided to work on a way to adapt their laser business to pollution control.
Rankin said Utilities’ investment so far has been minimal — adding pipes to divert the exhaust stream between the baghouse where ash is collected and the induced draft fan that pushes the emissions out of the stack.
The testing, which begins today, will attempt to remove emissions on the equivalent of one-tenth of 1 megawatt at a 46-megawatt unit at Drake. In other words, the testing will start on a small scale.
Neumann said he’s working on a process to neutralize the byproduct so residual material can be fed into the city’s wastewater system and be treated at the Las Vegas Wastewater Treatment Plant, just like any other waste. All byproducts of the tests, however, will be contained and analyzed, Rankin said.
In April, the city hopes to step up the test to 2 megawatts.
Testing is crucial. Not only will it either prove or disprove the efficacy of the process, it also will show how power-intensive the process is. Some scrubbing processes reduce a power plant’s output by 10 percent.
Rankin hopes the test will lead to a way to reduce the cost of retrofitting coal plants, considering 70 percent of the city’s energy comes from coal.
“My level of optimism is high,” he said. “It will be proven or disproven by the testing. What I’m positive about is the methodology. The scientific approach gives me strong confidence.”
For Neumann, the tests could pave the way to a gold mine.
Analysis by his other company, Envirolution Systems, suggests a market potential of $700 billion worldwide for existing coal plants alone.
“It could be the first homegrown billion-dollar business in Colorado Springs,” he said.
CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0238 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more: http://www.gazette.com/news/neumann-32981-…
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