New Elizabeth Area Chamber members attended lunch provided by Intermountain Rural Electric Association Oct. 30 at Spring Valley Golf Club in …
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New Elizabeth Area Chamber members attended lunch provided by
Intermountain Rural Electric Association Oct. 30 at Spring Valley
Golf Club in Elizabeth. Bruff Shea, District 5 director, and Stan
Lewandowski of Intermountain Rural Electric Association informed
new members of the status and future of the company.
Lewandowski focused on speaking about the positive aspects of
coal-fired plants, while informing the crowd of the high expense of
renewable energy efforts.
He said even though the other energy companies are turning away
from coal-fired plants and working toward renewable energy sources,
IREA will not go in that direction. He said the major concern for
other companies is the CO2 emissions caused by coal-fired plants,
but the high costs of renewable energy sources outweighs the
He said both solar and wind energy are expensive and will only
last up to 25 years. A reason for the expense is the storage of the
energy and the back-up for gas-powered plants.
“When the wind is blowing and the sun is shining it’s fine,” he
said. “But when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing,
what are you going to do? You are going to back it up with a
high-cost gas-powered plant.”
He said rates will increase 50 percent to 70 percent in the next
five years if coal-fired plants are shut down, even though there is
an ample supply of coal.
Lewandowski said he sees no future for either solar or wind
power and those who choose those energy sources should have to pay
for them. IREA will not give rebates or subsidies to customers who
use renewable energy sources, but instead can buy renewable
“We need an energy future and we are not going to work with
renewables,” he said. “We need focus on coal-fired and nuclear
Both Shea and Lewandowski assured the crowd of the stability of
IREA and asked them to contact them with any concerns in the
“We appreciate our customers and we really truly believe our job
is to provide service at a low cost,” Lewandowski said.
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