DEEP-WATER FLOATING OFFSHORE WIND TURBINES IN MAINE

The Norwegians have about 60 years of experience building and servicing oil/gas rigs and laying undersea electric cables, gas lines and oil lines all over the world.

 

They have invested billions of dollars in specialized deep-water, Norwegian harbors and facilities for assembly of oil/gas rigs and invested in specialized sea-going heavy lifters, and specialized sea-going tugboats to tow the oil/gas rigs from Norwegian building sites to oil/gas production sites. The heavy lifters and other ships perform services all over the world.

 

Norway companies want to expand their business by building and servicing and providing spare parts for floating wind turbines for deep-water conditions all over the world

 

NOTE: Norwegians advocating expensive floating wind turbines that depend on the randomness of wind and produce high-cost, variable, intermittent electricity for other people, such as Jane and Joe Worker/Ratepayer, is highly hypocritical, because the Norwegians get 98% of their electricity from their own hydro plants, which produce low-cost, steady electricity (not variable, not intermittent). The Danes advocating wind turbines and boasting about their high percent of wind on their grid is similarly hypocritical, because the Danes have been increasingly using the storage reservoirs of Norway’s hydro plants for decades.

First Experimental Floating Wind Turbine in Norway

 

Equinor (formerly Statoil, a Norwegian government controlled company) launched the world's first operational deep-water, floating large-capacity wind turbine in 2009. The turbine trade name is “Hywind”.

 

The wind turbine consists of a 120 m (390 ft) tall tower, above the sea water level, and a 60 m (195 ft) submerged extension below the sea water level, with a heavy weight at the bottom to keep the wind turbine steady and upright, even with very high waves and strong wind conditions. The design was tested and perfected under storm and wind conditions simulated in a laboratory. 

The 2.3 MW turbine is mounted on top of the tower. It was fully assembled in a deep-water harbor near Stavanger, Norway.

 

It was towed to a site 10 km (6.2 mi) offshore into the Amoy Fjord in 220 m (720 ft) deep water, near Stavanger, Norway, on 9 June 2009, for a two-year test run, which turned out to be successful.

 

First Commercial Floating Wind Turbine Plant in Scotland

 

Hywind Scotland project is the world's first commercial wind turbine plant using floating wind turbines.

 

It is located 29 km (EIGHTEEN MILES) off PeterheadScotland to minimize visual impacts from shore.

It has five Hywind floating turbines with a total capacity of 30 MW.

It is operated by Hywind (Scotland) Limited, a joint venture of Equinor, Norway (75%) and Masdar, Kuwait (25%).

 

In 2015, Equinor received permission to install 5 Hywind turbines in Scotland.  

 

Manufacturing started in 2016 in Spain (wind turbine, rotor), Norway (tower, underwater base, assembly), and Scotland (various parts)

The turnkey capital cost was $263 million for five 6 MW turbines, or $8,767/kW.

They were designed to float on the surface, with about 180 m (600 ft) above the sea water level and 80 m (265 ft) submerged below the seawater level.

Total steel weight is about 2300 metric ton, total ballasted weight is about 20,000 metric ton.

Heavy weights in the bottom of the submerged parts serve to keep them steady and upright.

The turbines were assembled at Stord in Norway in the summer of 2017, using the specialized Saipem 7000 floating crane, and then towed to the north of Scotland by sea-going tugboats.

Make sure to see the videos showing the crane assembling the entire wind turbine.

Nothing like that exists in Maine, or in the rest of New England.

That means offshore wind turbine assembly and servicing would largely be performed by foreign companies, which already have built the infrastructures and other facilities during the past 25 years.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUlfvXaISvc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmkA6hbJ_j8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQVU7UaMuck

The huge, sea-going, specialized, crane (14,000-metric ton lifting capacity) is required for partial assembly on land and final assembly in an area close to shore with a very deep harbor, before towing, fully assembled, to the site.

 

The finished turbines were towed to Peterhead, Scotland. 

Three cup anchors hold each turbine in place.

About 2400 meter of chain is required, weighing 400 metric ton, for each turbine.

The Hywind Scotland project was commissioned in October 2017.

 

Hywind Wind Turbines for Demonstration Purposes in Maine

 

Hannah Pingree and other Maine's wind bureaucrats in state government are engaging in mindless prattle, eager to do the bidding of various multi-millionaires and foreign companies that may be providing some wining/dining boondoggle trips to “view the Hywind turbines” in Norway and Scotland.

 

The turnkey cost of those two Hywind turbines would be about $10,000 per kW, versus NE ridgeline wind at $2,000/kW, and regular offshore, south of Martha’s Vineyard, at $4,000/kW.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/iso-ne-study-of-1600-mw...

 

That would be at about $120 million for a two 6 MW Hywind wind turbines, plus whatever facilities would need to be built in Maine to support the project.

 

The turnkey capital cost of the wind turbine plant in Maine would be much higher, because Maine does not have the experience of the Norwegians and the specialized equipment and specialized ships, and other facilities. It would be very costly to build those facilities and ships in Maine, or elsewhere.

600-ft Tall Hywind Turbines Highly Visible From Mohegan Island, Plus Infrasound

The 600-ft tall Hywind wind turbines would be highly visible from Mohegan Island, if they were located TWO MILES east of the island.

At that distance, the problem would not be just cyclical, audible noises keeping people awake, but also low frequency infrasound, which can travel many miles, and passes through walls of houses, and can be felt but not heard, and has been shown to have adverse health impacts on people and animals.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-turbine-noise-adve...

The FAA-required aviation beacons would be clearly visible during nighttime. BTW, they would need to be located about 15 - 20 miles away from Mohegan Island to be unobtrusive to the Islanders.

Here is a research report of daytime and nighttime visibility of wind turbines that are about 3 to 4 MW and about 500 ft tall. See URL with photos.

http://visualimpact.anl.gov/offshorevitd/docs/OffshoreVITD.pdf

 

“Study objectives included identifying the maximum distances the facilities could be seen in both daytime and nighttime views and assessing the effect of distance on visual contrasts associated with the facilities. Results showed that small to moderately sized facilities were visible to the unaided eye at distances greater than 42 km [26 miles (mi)], with turbine blade movement visible up to 39 km (24 mi). At night, aerial hazard navigation lighting was visible at distances greater than 39 km (24 mi). The observed wind facilities were judged to be a major focus of visual attention at distances up to 16 km (10 mi), were noticeable to casual observers at distances of almost 29 km (18 mi), and were visible with extended or concentrated viewing at distances beyond 40 km (25 mi).”

 

One has to feel sorry for all the residents of Mohegan Island, but the bureaucrats in Augusta, Maine, do not care about that, because there are not enough votes to stop them. Those bureaucrats are hell-bent to use federal and state grants, subsidies, taxpayer and ratepayer money of already-struggling Joe and Jane Worker to save the world, and to enrich a host of multi-millionaires seeking tax shelters. See Appendix.

Some Questions

 

Who are these Aqua Ventus multi-millionaire owners pushing for this expensive project?

How much would be the subsidies?

What would be the energy cost/kWh?

How long would the project last before it would have to be repaired?

How would it be repaired?

Would any special ships, facilities be required?

Does Maine have the required, at least 100-meter, deep-water port?

Is anyone looking at the entire picture on an A to Z basis, or are Maine bureaucrats just dreaming/prattling about castles in Spain?

Does anyone think the Norwegians would not want to make money to maintain/service and provide spare parts for their Hywind wind turbines?

 

Extremely Adverse Impact on CMP Electric Rates

 

LePage’s energy director, Steven McGrath, has focused exclusively on the cost of electricity from the demonstration project.

 

The rate is at least FOUR TIMES above wholesale market value, reflecting the custom design and experimental nature of the platforms.

 

It would start at 23 cents per kilowatt-hour in the first year, escalating at 2.5% per year to 35 cents after 20 years.

 

The PUC estimates it would add up to $208 million over the term, or about $10.5 million a year from Central Maine Power ratepayers. Maine Aqua Ventus had calculated the extra cost would add 73 cents a month to the average household electric bill, in the first year of operation, more thereafter..

  

That is a total rip-off, because Massachusetts pays only an average of 8 - 9 c/kWh over the life of the project.

Main bureaucrats need to learn from Governor Baker.

 

NOTE: The above prices should be compared with NE wholesale prices, which have been about 5 c/kWh since 2008, courtesy of abundant, domestic, low-cost, low-CO2 electricity from gas at about 5 c/kWh, and low-cost, near CO2-free electricity from nuclear at about 4.5 - 5.0 c/kWh.

 

This project is insanity on STEROIDS.

 

One has to feel sorry for the already-struggling Joe and Jane Workers in Maine who will ultimately pay for all this.

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/04/01/effort-to-build-offshore-win...

NOTE:

Dear Mr. Greg Kesich, Editor Portland Press Herald

 

(Mr. Greg suggested I write an op-ed regarding the referenced PPH article, so here it is.)

 

This op-ed is in reference to an article on floating wind turbines off the coast of Maine in the Portland Press Herald, dated 20 May 2019.

https://www.pressherald.com/2019/05/20/our-view-blown-off-course-ma...

 

The article states, Statoil had proposed a $120 million demonstration project for two 6 MW Hywind turbines ($10,000/kW) off Boothbay Harbor, but that Governor Page had rejected it. As you recall, his main reason was the higher electricity prices Joe and Jane Worker/Ratepayer would have to pay for 20 years.

 

The article states, Statoil instead took its project to Scotland, where it has invested more than $200 million for five 6 MW Hywind turbines. After some checking, the actual turnkey cost turned out to be $263 million.

 

Scotland got the turbines at $8,767/kW in 2017, but Maine would have gotten the same turbines at $10,000/kW.

 

The article states, “.....and given that country (Scotland) a head start on establishing itself as developer, manufacturer and exporter of offshore technology. Such potential was recognized by the wind energy task force, which was created in 2008 by Gov. John Baldacci and released its findings in December 2009.”

 

That statement is highly naive and unrealistic. Norway has invested billions of dollars in infrastructures to develop specialized facilities and seagoing ships for shallow-water and deep-water wind turbines during the past 10 - 15 years. Norway has absolutely no intention of establishing Scotland and Maine as competitors. See note.

 

The Scotland/UK actual contributions to the project were:

 

1) Scotland making some parts that were shipped to Norway for assembly

2) Scotland providing the site 18 miles from shore to minimize visual impacts from shore.

3) The UK providing a subsidy of 18.5 c/kWh, plus Statoil selling electricity at about 6.5 c/kWh on the wholesale market, for a total wholesale cost of 25 c/kWh for 20 years. This compares with New England wholesale prices averaging about 5 c/kWh since 2008.

4) The Scotland people paying higher prices/kWh for low-value, variable/intermittent electricity for 20 years that requires the services of other generators for peaking, filling in and balancing year-round. Statoil had to provide a 1.0 MWh li-ion battery system, at a capital cost of about $700,000, to help smooth the flow of the variable electricity from Hywind to minimize disturbances of the Scotland grid.

NOTE: If Maine government would have insisted Statoil would build significant infrastructure in Portland, ME, or elsewhere in Maine, Statoil, if willing to do so, would merely have increased the cost of the electricity, c/kWh, to cover its additional costs.

NOTE: Massachusetts has signed contracts for 800 MW of offshore wind turbines south of Martha’s Vineyard. If the state government would have insisted the consortium of European companies would build significant infrastructure in New Bedford, MA, or elsewhere in Massachusetts, the consortium, if willing to do so, would merely have increased the cost of the electricity, c/kWh, to cover its additional costs. However, Governor Baker insisted on lowest electricity cost, as that would benefit all of Massachusetts, not just New Bedford, etc. Counting votes is important. See URL.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/iso-ne-study-of-1600-mw...

NOTE:

School Students Playing with Floating Wind Turbines

 

The main objective with floating wind turbines is to isolate the wind turbine from any wave action, including 30 - 40 ft waves. That can only be done with a long, submerged extension of the wind turbine mast, with a heavy weight inside the bottom of the extension (ballast) to keep the wind turbine steady and upright.

 

Dr. Habib Dagher, Executive Director of the Advanced Structures & Composites Center, should have watched the youtube video, and then given proper instructions to teachers all over Maine, so those teachers could have educated these students regarding the physical requirements, to ensure these students would not waste their valuable time and money building inappropriate models. See URLs and watch both videos.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmkA6hbJ_j8

https://www.wabi.tv/content/news/Students-compete-to-build-most-sta...

CO2 Reduction due to Wind Turbines Much Less Than Claimed

 

The Irish Grid

Studies of operating conditions of the Irish grid performed a few years ago showed, at 17% wind on the grid, about 55% of the CO2 was reduced due to wind, instead of the claimed 100%. At higher wind percentages, the percent CO2 reduction would be even less.

 

NOTE: The mantra often promulgated by pro-wind folks is one MWh of wind displaces one MWh of other generation, and as wind uses no fuel there is no CO2, but other generation does use fuel, so that CO2 is avoided. That turned out to be of advantage to pro-wind folks, but is, in fact, highly simplistic.

 

In Ireland, there were years of denial and ignoring of various studies by independent energy systems analysts. Dr. Fred Udo was one of the early analysts of the Irish grid to point out the discrepancy. He was ignored at that time. Another study showed the gas turbines operated near 40% efficiency at 17% wind, whereas, at zero wind, they operated at near 50% efficiency. At that time, the Irish grid had only a minor connection to the UK grid. 

 

The undeniable tip-off was Irish gas imports, which had been predicted to decrease as wind would increase, but had, in fact, not decreased as much as predicted. After much back and forth, the government finally launched an inquiry, which revealed the inefficient operation of the gas turbines at part load (more Btu/kWh, more CO2/kWh), and their more frequent start/stop operations (high Btu/kWh, high CO2/kWh), all due to the variable, intermittent output of the wind turbines.

 

Since that time, the Irish grid acquired large capacity connections to the UK and French grids to spread the “discrepancy” over a much larger grid area, which makes it nearly invisible. A Brussels PR problem solved. See URL.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fuel-and-co2-reductions-due-to-wind-energy-less-than-claimed

The New England Grid

Future wind on the NE grid is planned to be about 20% by 2035, i.e., higher than the 17% in Ireland a few years ago, and the NE grid has only minor connections to nearby grids, the same as Ireland a few years ago.

At the higher wind percentages, the NE percent CO2 reduction would be even less than 55%, i.e., expensive or inexpensive, variable/intermittent wind is no panacea regarding reducing CO2 and ameliorate global warming.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/high-demand-and-low-win...

DUCK Curves: DUCK curves due to daytime solar, a minor problem in not-so-sunny Ireland, would impart an additional worsening of grid stability problems after solar would become a significant percentage on the NE grid at noontime in the future.

Dealing with the down ramping in the morning as solar is increasing, and the up ramping in the afternoon/early evening as solar is decreasing would impart additional cost/kWh on owners of traditional generators. They likely would be compensated by means of capacity payments by ISO-NE. Those payments should be charged to the disturbers, the solar system owners. However the payments likely would be socialized, i.e., charged to ratepayers/taxpayers.

NOTE: If solar system owners were required to install batteries, then the down/up ramping would be avoided, but that would place a cost burden on solar system owners and there would be no end to their complaints.

Multi-Day Wind/Solar Lulls: Also, during simultaneous wind/solar lulls, which occur at random throughout the year, and may last up to 7 days, a full complement of traditional generation plants and energy storage sources must be available, 24/7/365, to serve NE demand, including future EVs and heat pumps. That storage must be replenished in a timely manner to serve a second lull, which may occur a few days after the first lull. See URLs.

 

The mantra often promulgated by pro-wind folks is “the wind always blows somewhere”. However, weather systems tend to be 500 to 1000 miles long and wide. Any surplus wind electricity would have to come from at least 1000 miles away, which would require high voltage DC lines, as the transmission losses of high voltage AC lines would be too large, plus it would require very robust connections between the NE and nearby grids. Dealing with the wind/solar lull problems would impart additional cost/kWh that likely would not be charged to wind turbine owners but to ratepayers/taxpayers.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-and-solar-energy-l...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/high-demand-and-low-win...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/analysis-of-a-6-day-lul...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/large-scale-solar-plant...

APPENDIX 1

Insulating/Sealing Energy-Hog Houses a Much Better Alternative for Maine

 

It would be much better to use the money to deep retrofit the existing housing of already-struggling Joe and Jane Worker, so it would be highly sealed/highly insulated, and thus become suitable for heat pumps, even on colder days.

 

Regarding heat pumps, the current irrational practice in Vermont, Maine, etc., has been to install subsidized heat pumps in energy-hog houses, which has resulted in about a 34% displacement of fuel oil, on average, with the other 66% provided by the traditional heating system. Having two heating systems definitely is not a money saver for anybody!! That practice should not be subsidized. The subsidies for heat pumps in energy-hog houses should be stopped. See URLs.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fact-checking-regarding...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-baseless-claims...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/heat-pumps-oversold-by-...

 

APPENDIX 2

High Efficiency Gas Turbine Plants a Much Better Alternative for Maine

 

One 60% efficient, 80 MW gas turbine plant, built by GE in the US, turnkey capital cost about $100 million, would produce 80 MW x 8766 h/y x 0.85, capacity factor = 596,088 MWh each year for about 40 years.

 

Two 6 MW Hywind wind turbines, built in Norway, turnkey capital cost about $100 million, would produce 12 x 8766 x 0.45 = 47,336 MWh each year for about 20 years.

 

A replacement set of two Hywind wind turbines would be required during years 20 to 40. The turnkey capital to remove and reprocess the old turbines, and replace them with new ones was not determined. It likely would be well over $75 million (2019$).

 

The gas turbine plant would produce 12.6 times the annual electricity of the wind turbines, and that plant would last about 40 years, and that electricity would be high-value, steady, 24/7/365, dispatchable electricity, not the variable, intermittent electricity that requires other gas turbines to inefficiently vary their outputs up and down (more fuel/kWh, more CO2/kWh) to accommodate the variable wind electricity to the NE grid.

 

On top of that, the gas turbine electricity would be from low-cost, low-CO2, clean-burning natural gas, at a price of only 5 c/kWh, but the variable, intermittent Hywind wind turbine electricity (that requires baby sitting by the other generators at a cost/kWh) would be starting at 23 c/kWh, in the first year, and would be increasing at 2.5%/y for 20 years.

 

As I said before, the floating wind turbine scheme is insanity on STEROIDS.

 

Maine pro-wind bureaucrats need to have their heads examined, or fired for incompetence, and pro-wind legislators need to be voted out of office.

 

Plant

 Capital cost

Capacity

CF

Period

 Life

 Lifetime Production

 $million

h/y

year

MWh

Gas turbine

100

80

0.85

8766

40

23,843,520

1st Wind turbine set

100

12

0.45

8766

20

946,728

2nd Wind turbine set

?

12

0.45

8766

20

946,728

Total wind

 

 

 

 

 

1,893,456

Times

 

 

 

 

 

12.6

APPENDIX 3

Hydro-Quebec Electricity a Much Better Alternative for Maine

 

The H-Q electricity supply is an order of magnitude cleaner than the Vermont supply. Google this URL to obtain the 2017 facts.
http://www.hydroquebec.com/sustainable-development/energy-environme...

 

Table 5/H-Q

2017

GWh

Hydropower generated 

177091

Purchased

44006

- Hydro

31610

- Wind

9634

- Biomass and waste reclamation 

2021

- Other

741

Total RE generated and purchased

221097

 

NOTE: Gentilly-2 nuclear generating station, plus three thermal generating stations (Tracy, La Citière and Cadillac) were shut down.

 

Hydro-Quebec Export Electricity: H-Q net exports were 34.4 TWh/y in 2017; provided 27% of H-Q net income, or $780 million, i.e., very profitable.

 

H-Q export revenue was $1,651 million in 2017, or 1641/34.4 = 4.8 c/kWh.

See page 24 of Annual Report URL.

This is for a mix of old and new contracts.

Revenue = 1641

Net profit = 780

Cost = 1641 - 780 = 861

Average cost of H-Q generation = 861/34.4 = 2.5 c/kWh

 

GMP, a monopoly utility in Vermont (77% market share), buys H-Q electricity, at the Vermont border, for 5.549 c/kWh, under a recent contract. 

 

GMP buys at 5.549 c/kWh, per GMP spreadsheet titled “GMP Test Year Power Supply Costs filed as VPSB Docket No: Attachment D, Schedule 2, April 14, 2017”. That reference has mysteriously disappeared.

 

H-Q is eager to sell more of its surplus electricity to New England and New York.

 

Canadian hydro electricity is at least 50% less costly per kWh than ridgeline wind and large-scale field-mounted solar, both of which need to be heavily subsidized to make their electricity appear to be less costly than reality.

 

GMP sells to me at 19 c/kWh, per rate schedule. Consumers pricing for electricity is highly political. That pricing is implemented by rate setting, taxes, fees, surcharges, etc., mostly on household electric rates, as in Denmark and Germany, etc.

 

The household rate setting is influenced by the need to protect/promote “State RE policy objectives”,which include highly subsidized, expensive microgrids, islanding, batteries, and overly expensivenet-metered solar (GMP cost of 21.813 c/kWh), and uneconomical heat pumps. See URLs and Appendix

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/green-mountain-power-co...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fact-checking-regarding...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-baseless-claims...

 

Here are some additional sources of information:

 

http://www.hydroquebec.com/sustainable-development/energy-environme...

http://news.hydroquebec.com/en/press-releases/1338/annual-report-2917/

http://www.hydroquebec.com/data/documents-donnees/pdf/annual-report...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/increased-canadian-hydr...

APPENDIX 4

Improper Use of Heat Pumps in Energy Hog Houses in Vermont and Maine

 

A typical “Vermont mix” house, 2000 sq ft, requires for space heating about 64000 Btu/h at -20F outdoor and 65F indoor (85F temperature difference), and requires for space cooling about 20,000 Btu/h at 100F outdoor, and 70F indoor (30F temperature difference).

 

Heat pumps would provide about 32% to 34% of the heat during the heating season, with the rest provided by the conventional system and would provide 100% of space cooling.

 

Government heat pump programs, such as in Vermont and Maine, which subsidize the installation of heat pumps in such houses would have unacceptable outcomes, if the goals were significant energy cost savings and CO2 reductions. See URLs.

 

Proper Use of Heat Pumps in Highly Sealed/Highly Insulated Houses in Vermont and Maine

 

A highly sealed/highly insulated house in Vermont, 2000 sq ft, requires for space heating about 17000 Btu/h at -20F outdoor and 65F indoor, and requires for space cooling about 5,000 Btu/h at 100F outdoor and 70F indoor (30F temperature difference). Heat pumps would provide 100% of space heating and cooling.

 

Such a house would be about 10% more expensive than a “Vermont mix” house, because it would require an R-20 basement, R-40 walls, R-60 roof, triple-glazed windows (R-7 to R-10) and insulated doors (R-8 to R-10), and its leakage rate would have to be less than 0.6 air changes per hour, ACH, @ -50 pascal, as verified by a blower door test.In Vermont, about 1% of all housing is highly sealed/highly insulated.

 

These URLs describe what happens, if heat pumps are installed in energy-hog houses in Vermont and Maine

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fact-checking-regarding...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/heat-pumps-oversold-by-...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-baseless-claims...

APPENDIX 5

Wind and Solar Subsidies Provide a Bonanza for Wall Street

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-more-wind-and-solar...

 

This URL shows wind and solar prices per kWh would be at least 50% higher without direct and indirect subsidies. They would be even higher, if the costs of other items were properly allocated to the owners of wind and solar projects, instead of shifted elsewhere. See below section High Levels of Wind and Solar Require Energy Storage.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/economics-of-tesla-powe...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/large-scale-solar-plant...

http://www.usu.edu/ipe/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/UnseenWindFull.pdf

This URL shows about 2/3 of the financial value of a wind project is due to direct and indirect subsidies, and the other 1/3 is due to electricity sales.

http://johnrsweet.com/Personal/Wind/PDF/Schleede-BigMoney-20050414.pdf

 

- Indirect subsidies are due to federal and state tax rebates due to loan interest deductions from taxable income, and federal and state MARCS depreciation deductions from taxable income.

 

- Direct subsidies are up-front federal and state cash grants, the partial waiving of state sales taxes, the partial waiving of local property, municipal and school taxes. See URLs.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/excessive-subsidies-for...

https://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/pdf/subsidy.pdf

 

Any owner, foreign or domestic, of a wind and/or solar project, looking to shelter taxable income from their other US businesses, is allowed to depreciate in 6 years almost the entire cost of a wind and solar project under the IRS scheme called Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System, MARCS. The normal period for other forms of utility depreciation is about 20 years.

 

Then, with help of Wall Street financial wizardry from financial tax shelter advisers, such as BNEF*, JPMorgan, Lazard, etc., the owner sells the project to a new owner who is allowed to depreciate, according to MARCS, almost his entire cost all over again. Over the past 20 years, there now are many thousands of owners of RE projects who are cashing in on that bonanza.

 

Loss of Federal and State Tax Revenues: The IRS estimated the loss of tax revenues to the federal government for the 5y period of 2017 - 2021. See “Energy” heading in URL

The next report would be for the 2018 - 2022 period

https://www.jct.gov/publications.html?func=select&id=5

 

The indirect largesse, mostly for wind and solar plants^ that produce expensive, variable/intermittent electricity, does not show up in electric rates. It likely is offset by taxes and added to the federal debt.

Most of the direct federal subsidies to all energy projects of about $25 billion/y also do not show up in electric rates. They likely were also added to the federal debt.

 

Most of the direct state subsidies to RE projects likely were added to state debts.

 

The additional costs of state-mandated RPS requirements likely were added to the utility rate base for electric rates.

 

* BNEF is Bloomberg New Energy Finance, owned by the pro-RE former Mayor Bloomberg of New York, which provides financial services to the wealthy of the world, including providing them with tax avoidance schemes.

^ In New England, wind is near zero for about 30% of the hours of the year, and solar is minimal or zero for about 70% of the hours of the year. Often these hours coincide. Where would the electricity come from during these hours?

 

https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy17osti/68227.pdf

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/tax-equity-investors-b...

 

Warren Buffett Quote: "I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire's tax rate," Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. "For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit." 

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/nancy-pfotenhauer/2014/05/12/e...

APPENDIX 6

Comparison of  California, US and Vermont Electricity Prices, All Sectors

 

It is important to understand no cost ever disappears. The key issue is allocation (a.k.a., follow the money), which often implies politics, and realizing state and federal energy policy objectives.

 

Only a part of the costs of RE projects is added to the utility rate base. The other parts are paid for by: a) increasing taxes, fees and surcharges, and/or 2) increasing prices of goods and services, and/or c) adding to federal and state debts. Thus any increase in rates reveals only a part of the cost picture.

 

The weighted average US prices includes high California prices and quantities, a major component of the weighted average. Table 1 shows the weighted average US price including California. See URLs

 

http://www.neo.ne.gov/statshtml/204/204_2017.htm

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/California/

 

If California were removed, it would lower the US average. A comparison of California versus that lower US average shows California rates, all sectors, increased 28.36% and US rates (wo/California) only 5.45% during the 2010 - 2018 period.

 

California’s irrational/over-the-top/expensive RE efforts are demonstrating, the more highly subsidized RE, the higher the electric rates. But that is only a part of the cost picture, because not all costs end up in the rate schedules.

 

Vermont: The Vermont rates, all sectors, as posted by EIA, do not include the Efficiency Vermont surcharge and the Electric Assistance Program fee tacked onto electric bills by politicians to finance pseudo-social programs.

 

The EV surcharge has been increasing from about 6% in 2010 to about 8.0% in 2018 for most households.

 

If EV and EAP charges were added, Vermont rates increased 16.34% and US rates (w/tiny Vermont) only 7.63% during the 2010 - 2018 period. See table.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/efficiency-vermont

 

Year/All sectors

CA

US, w/CA

US wo/CA

VT wo/EV + EAP

VT w/EV + EAP

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

2010

13.01

9.83

9.58

13.24

14.03

2011

13.05

9.90

9.66

13.80

14.67

2012

13.53

9.84

9.55

14.22

15.14

2013

14.30

10.07

9.74

14.61

15.62

2014

15.15

10.44

10.07

14.57

15.62

2015

15.42

10.41

10.02

14.41

15.46

2016

15.23

10.27

9.89

14.46

15.57

2017

16.06

10.48

10.05

14.60

15.77

2018

16.70

10.58

10.11

15.09

16.33

Increase, %

28.36

7.63

5.45

13.97

16.34

 

Household Electric Bill With and Without Efficiency Vermont Surcharge: The GMP energy $/kWh for “households” is significantly greater than for “all sectors”. Here are the data from my recent bills.

 

1

Billing period

 

19-Apr

19-Mar

19-Feb

.

20-Dec

.

20-Oct

20-Sep

2

Usage, kWh

 

513

740

885

869

545

496

3

Total bill w/EEC, $

 

102.29

139.38

164.39

162.58

108.12

99.30

4

Unit cost, $/kWh

(3/2)

0.1994

0.1884

0.1858

0.1871

0.1984

0.2002

5

GMP energy, $/kWh

 

0.1645

0.1645

0.1645

 

0.1645

 

0.1567

0.1567

6

EE surcharge, $

 

7.03

10.15

12.13

12.28

7.70

7.01

7

Total bill wo/EEC, $

(3-6)

95.26

129.23

152.26

150.3

100.42

92.29

8

Bill increase due to EEC, %

(3/7)

7.38

7.85

7.97

8.17

7.67

7.60

 

APPENDIX 7

Germany and Denmark Household Electricity Prices: The above correlates well with this graphic, based on Eurostat data. Denmark and Germany have advanced the most along the wind and solar installation path. They have the highest household electric rates in Europe. See graphic and Appendix.

 

 

APPENDIX 8

Sequestering Combustion CO2 From Wood Chip Burning Plants Takes Decades

 

Here is some information for those who have been led to believe, or persuaded themselves to believe, wood burning is environmentally friendly.

 

Forests have aboveground and belowground new growth, which absorbs CO2 from the air and carbon, C, from the soil. Removing live trees, low-grade and high-grade, reduces CO2 absorption. In Vermont, about 50% of tree removals is used for high-grade purposes (the C stays sequestered, until some of it is burned); and about 50% is used mostly for burning (the C becomes CO2 and is released to the atmosphere), and a small quantity is used for pulp/paper mills (the C stays sequestered, unless some of it is burned).

 

Wood burning power plants (McNeil, Ryegate in Vermont) emit about 4 times the combustion CO2/kWh of high-efficiency gas turbine power plants.

 

The combustion CO2 of the first year of heating plant or power plant operation would be sequestered by re-growing trees according to an S-curve over a long period (See notes); slowly increasing during the first 1/3, rapidly increasing during the second 1/3, and slowly increasing during the last 1/3 of the period. That would be not much help to prevent the world’s climate from falling off the cliff during the next 20 to 30 years.

 

NOTE: The combustion CO2 of wood burning would be reabsorbed by new tree growth, if:

 

1) Logged forests would have the same acreage (they likely would not)

2) Forests would not further fragmented by roads or developed (they likely would be)

3) Forest CO2 sequestering capability, Mt/acre/y, remains the same (it could be less). See note

 

NOTE: Regarding the time period for sequestering the combustion CO2:

 

- 40 years is a US average. See Note.

- 80 to 100 years in northern climates with short growing seasons, such as northern Vermont and Maine. 

- 40 to 50 years in moderate climates with longer growing seasons, such as New Jersey and North Carolina

- 25 years between harvests of planted, fertilized, and culled forests of fast-growing pines in Georgia. 

https://www.pfpi.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/PFPI-biomass-carbon...

 

NOTE: On an A to Z basis, there would be about 15% of additional CO2 that has nothing to do with combustion, in case of wood chips, or about 20%, in case of wood pellets. This includes non-wood-burning CO2, such as from:

 

- Fuel used for managing wood lots, logging, chipping/pelletizing and transport,

- Energy to run the plant,

- Energy for decommissioning and reuse/landfill of the plant,

- Embodied energy in the A to Z infrastructures

 

 NOTE: 

- The EPA assumes sequestering of CO2 by undisturbed, healthy forests at about 1.0 metric ton per acre per year, as a US average.

Disturbed, fragmented, less than healthy forests, as in most of New England, sequester much less than 1.0 metric ton of CO2 per acre per year, due to:

 

1) Acid rain and pollution from Midwest power plants, etc.,

2) Various encroachments, and

3) Colder climate and short growing season.

 

Yet the Vermont and Maine Environmental Departments claim 1.0 metric ton per acre per year!

 

Piling up the CO2 Year After Year

 

Re-growing trees would sequester the combustion CO2 of Year 1 of plant operation over about 80 to 100 years, in New England.

 

The CO2 of Years 2, 3, 4 to Year 40 would be added to the CO2 of Year 1, and be sequestered in a similar manner, except shifted forward by a year.

 

In Year 40, there would be 40 layers of CO2 and 40 forest areas in various stages of regrowth, as a result of cutting trees for burning.

 

Year 40 is assumed to be the last year of plant operation. It is likely that plant would be replaced to repeat the cycle.

 

During Year 41 through 80, there would be 41 to 80 layers of CO2 and 41 to 80 forest areas in various stages of regrowth, as a result of cutting trees for burning.

 

Closing Down Wood Burning Power Plants

 

It would be far better for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont to shut down wood burning power plants, as time is of the essence regarding “climate change”, according to some people. See table 5 and URL.

 

- In Vermont, utilities are forced to buy wood electricity at about 10 c/kWh, as part of the Vermont Standard Offer program, and as required by the Vermont Renewable Portfolio Standard program.

- In New Hampshire a law was passed in 2018 to subsidize money-loosing NH wood burning power plants. The plants need to be base-loaded to maximize production and need to sell at about 9 - 10 c/kWh to be viable. The subsidy would impose an extra cost on ratepayers of about $25 million/y. Implementing the law is held up in various court cases for environmental reasons.

- The wholesale prices of the NE grid averaged about 5 c/kWh since 2008, courtesy of abundant, domestic, near-zero-subsidized, clean-burning, low-CO2 gas at about 5 c/kWh, and near-zero-subsidized, near-zero-CO2 nuclear at 4.5 - 5 c/kWh.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/furnaces-for-heating-an...

 

Table 5/Fuel

 lb CO2/million Btu

 Plant efficiency, %

 lb CO2/MWh

CO2 Ratio

Wood chip; McNeal/Ryegate*

213

25

2907

4.0

Wood chip; Denmark

213

30

2423

3.3

Hard coal

206

41

1712

2.4

No. 2 fuel oil

161

35

1572

2.2

Natural gas, CCGT*

117

55

726

1.0

 

*

Plus upstream CO2 (logging, chipping, transport, etc.) of about 5 to 10%, if burning wood chips

Plus upstream CO2 (logging, chipping/pelletizing, transport, etc.) of about 10 to 15 %, if burning wood pellets

CCGT = Combined-cycle, gas turbine plant

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Comment by Willem Post on May 20, 2019 at 9:47am

Paul,

I kept thinking there must be more to these floating Hywind turbines.

The enormous multi-billion dollar upstream infrastructure for Hywind wind turbines is already in place in NORWAY.

I used to live in Norway for 3 years, and visited many times, and have been to Stavanger, and have seen the oil rigs being built.

The bottom of the platform is 100 ft above the water level to deal with 100-ft North Sea waves.

They cost about $1 billion each, and are towed fully assembled to the production site.

All of it is off-the charts gigantic.

Norway has these deep-water fjords, ideal for building these oil rigs.

What would cause normally level-headed Mainers to become so dense all of a sudden to vote these weirdow people into office.

Did not they suspect the new Governor ("we cannot just do nothing") would just become a mouthpiece of the RE socialist, Bernie-loving moon-bats, hell-bent to control/reform/tax us and save the world?

Comment by Paul Ackerman on May 20, 2019 at 9:29am

The PPH is now Pravda for the moonbats.

When Reade Brower is forced to run his printing plants on power that costs 23 to 32 cents per Kwh,and is bleeding money faster than his backers can provide it maybe they'll change their insane editorial stance.

Comment by Long Islander on May 20, 2019 at 6:23am

Meanwhile, here's the view from the wind industry sock puppets at the Portland Press Herald this morning:

Our View: Getting offshore wind project back on course

"Such potential was recognized by the wind energy task force, which was created in 2008 by Gov. John Baldacci and released its findings in December 2009.

The winds in the Gulf of Maine are “one of the great untapped energy resources on earth” the task force wrote. They could fulfill a “significant portion” of Maine’s energy needs, while partnerships with the university and business community could develop new technologies “with the potential to create and sustain thousands of quality jobs.”

It was clear then that the world would need offshore wind energy to address climate change.........."

https://www.pressherald.com/2019/05/20/our-view-blown-off-course-ma...

Comment by Paul Ackerman on May 19, 2019 at 4:41pm

I thought (or rather was indoctrinated) that "acid rain" was a byproduct of coal fired power plants--first noticed in the higher elevation forests in Europe,Germany in particular comes to mind during the early '70's . Now that was when the mantra of " new ice age" or "global cooling" was all the rage,along with the ozone hole over the North Pole.

In the last 49 years the only significant trait I have noted in the local (midcoast) forest around me--mostly spruce and mixed hardwoods of lower grades-- is a proliferation of lichen growing on trees,an d the closer to the ocean it seems the worse it has become. To my eye it appears to kill an otherwise healthy looking soft maple inside of ten years,doesn't seem to do much to spruce or hemlock until the moss starts in the branches as well-- -is that all supposed to be from "acid rain"?

The more recent transplants here ( watermelons,green on the outside but soviet red on the inside) all get wound up tighter than a knot over what Pingree sends out in her newsletters -- "Ocean Acidification"  and "Ocean Warming" ,but they sure don't seem to be bothered by giant windmills as long as their view doesn't get ruined.

Comment by Willem Post on May 19, 2019 at 3:56pm

Frank,

Encroachments are not just logging roads, and clearcutting, and fragmentation due to recreation and development.

Encroachment also is about 6 decades of acid rain, and still on-going, acidifying the soil, which is good for pines, but not so good for other trees.

The other trees do not grow well, become spindly, sickly, and have short lives.

In the 1800s, thé trees were huge, typically 3 to 4 ft in diameter, floated in rafts down the rivers

Today, that would be a rarity.

It is called over harvesting, from which NE forests still have not recovered.

Then came acid rain and all the rest.

Remember, all this took place, before there was even a hint of global warming, or CO2 build-up.

Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on May 19, 2019 at 1:12pm

Excellent analysis. Please review periodically for accuracy and modify as needed. Forest sequestation data can be more accurately determined by aerial canopy studies; and complimented with stored carbon and CO2 converted via photosynthesis, i.e. how valuable is the oxygen created?    Other negative aspects of deforestation should be factored in like tempering acidic rainfall, protecting the watershed; etc. 

Comment by Willem Post on May 19, 2019 at 9:53am

Paul,

That is 600 ft above the sea surface for the rotor, plus 265 ft below the sea surface for the stabilizer.

A $100 million, 60% efficient, 80 MW gas turbine plant would produce almost 80 x 8766 h/y x 0.85, capacity factor/ 12 x 8766 x 0.45 = 68/5.4 = 13 times the electricity of the wind turbines, but that plant would last at least 35 to 40 years, and that electricity would be STEADY electricity, not the variable junk that needs other gas turbines to vary their outputs to accommodate the junk electricity to the NE grid.

On top of that, the gas turbine electricity would be only 5 c/kWh, and the wind electricity would be STARTING at 23 c/kWh, in the first year, and would be increasing at 2.5%/y for 20 years.

As I said before, this scheme is insanity on STEROIDS.

Maine pro wind bureaucrats need to have their heads examined, or fired for incompetence, and pro wind legislators need to be voted out of office.

Comment by Paul Ackerman on May 19, 2019 at 7:53am

This is a fantastic overview of the impractical and economically destructive mentality prevalent with the ideologues in the one-party rule system currently in Augusta. The industry newsletter RTO always has ads for their "stakeholder" meetings and conferences that involve this sort of grand scale "renewable" scam.

If these worthy solons and bureaucrats are so hell bent on "carbon-footprints" why is it that the gargantuan carbon footprint of the gigantic industrial scale machinery,ships,steel fabrication and smelting etc is not included in figuring out what this sort of scale production (Hywind models) will require? Just the electric welding and gas production for the base and tower fabrication of each model --close to 600 ft tall overall?-- would have to be phenomenal. I'd venture a guess that a Natural gas powered turbine plant would not even require a fraction of the material effort ,let alone the carbon footprint cost of materials. Guess which one will have a longer life span with lower maintenance costs?

Comment by Willem Post on May 18, 2019 at 10:46pm

Steve,

When I read some of those inane fools making self-serving pronouncements, I had to do some internet search, and quickly found, Norway is trying to round up suckers for its  “invention”.

Some Maine Wind bureaucrats, doing the bidding multi-millionaires and lobbyists, took the bait.

The media were told about the great things that would be happening in Maine regarding building and assembling floating offshore wind turbines, how that would create all these jobs, revitalize the Maine shipbuilding sector, etc.

That is similar to California building High-Speed railroads with federal money given to them by Obama. That whole fiasco is now kaput.

California threw in the towel, but wants to keep the money anyway. Trump wants the money returned to the US Treasury. Stay tuned.

Comment by Steve Thurston on May 18, 2019 at 7:43pm

Thank you Willem.  Keep up the great work.   

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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