Question of the Week 3

by | Aug 2, 2022 | Question Of the Week, Journalism, Question of the Day

The answer to last week’s question is “B” Louisiana. Much of New Orleans and the area around the city is below sea level. Officially, the lowest elevation in Louisiana is minus eight feet. The other states listed as possible answers have some interesting geography:

A. Colorado – Rocky Mountain high for sure! The lowest point in Colorado is the Arkansas River

valley at 3,350 above sea level. Colorado’s low point is more than twice as high as Cadillac Mountain.

B. Louisiana and California are the only states with dry land below sea level.

C. New Mexico – 13,166-foot-high Wheeler Peak, the highest elevation in New Mexico, is interesting because the tree line occurs at ~12,000 feet. In Maine the tree line is around 4,000 feet.

D. Florida – the highest point in Florida, “Mt Britton”, is a mere 345 feet above sea level.

E. Alaska is home to the highest mountain in the USA. At 20,320 feet, the giant mountain almost four times higher than Katahdin; so high, it has two names: Mt McKinley and Denali.

This week’s question: The recent heat wave has caused an increase in demand for electricity. The increased demand has led to an increase in the wholesale price of electricity. In Maine, customers will not see this spike in their bills until next year. Today, customers in Maine pay about 10 cents per KWh. The cost of Transmission and Distribution (T&D) adds another 10 cents. So, with taxes etc, the total cost is over 20 cents per KWh. But this question is about the cost of the electricity only. On Sunday July 24th, the weather was hot and sunny. According to ISO New England, what was the wholesale price for electricity at 3PM?

A. eight cents per KWh because the sun us shining and solar power is cheap.

B. ten cents per KWh because the wind is blowing and wind power is cheap.

C. fifteen cents per KWh because the Seabrook nuke plant is offline and there is not enough solar and wind to offset the lost generation.

D. eighteen cents per KWh because all the solar, wind, natural gas, hydro-, and nuclear-powered generators are not enough to meet the demand. So, ISO is paying NextERA to run its oil generators, including those on Cousin’s Island.

-Randall Poulton


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