HIGH COSTS OF WIND AND SOLAR AND SOLAR/BATTERY SYSTEM COMBOS

New England wind and solar electricity generation is much more expensive, c/kWh, than elsewhere in the US; wind electricity cost in the US south is even higher than in New England. See URLs and table 2.

 

Here is a partial list of the various subsidies for wind and solar that artificially lower their electricity costs. Those costs would be much higher without subsidies, and higher still with the addition of the costs of:

 

1) Peaking, filling-in, and balancing the variable, intermittent wind and solar, 24/7/365, by the traditional generators

2) Grid expansions and reinforcements.

3) Storage systems. Cost items 1), 2) and 3) are not shown in table 2.

 

It would be appropriate to charge the owners of wind and solar systems for the costs of:

 

- The grid expansions and reinforcements, and storage systems to accommodate their wind and solar systems

- The traditional generators to operate less efficiently, because they are required to operate in ramp up/ramp down mode, at part load (instead of steadily and closer to base-load) to perform peaking, filling-in and balancing to provide the varying electricity difference = (demand, at a certain time - variable wind and solar, at that time). See Note.

 

NOTE: A car, if operated at varying speeds, has lower mileage and more wear and tear, than a car operated at a steady speed. The same is true for traditional electricity generators.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-true-cost-of-solar-...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-true-cost-of-wind-e...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-reality-of-wind-ene...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/a-very-expensive-offsho...

 

Subsidies and Cost Shifting are the Lifeblood of Wind and Solar: The prices, c/kWh, of wind and solar power purchase agreements, PPAs, are significantly reduced, mostly due to the various subsidies and cost shifting onto the general public of:

 

- Variability and intermittency

- Grid expansions and reinforcements  

- Storage systems

 

Various Subsidies for Wind and Solar: Because of the various subsidies and cost shifting, taxpayers and ratepayers are forced to pay 1) higher monthly electricity bills, 2) higher prices for goods and services, and 3) higher taxes. Here is a partial list:

 

- The federal ITC, 30% of the qualified portion of the turnkey capital cost. The federal ITC is an upfront, tax credit that can be applied against any of owner’s taxes.

- The state ITC, usually a percentage of the federal ITC. The state ITC is an upfront, tax credit that can be applied against any of owner’s taxes.

- The federal production tax credit, PTC, of 2.4 c/kWh for the first 10 years of operation, a subsidy of 2.4/5 = 48% of the US average wholesale price. No wonder owners are crowing about underbidding traditional generating plants. For example, in areas with good winds, low construction costs and low operation and maintenance costs (Texas, Great Plains), if an owner’s cost is 7.3 c/kWh and he deducts 2.4 c/kWh as PTC, then his bid price could be 4.9 c/kWh, which is sufficient to get the contract, in most cases, and “competitive” with traditional plants. 

- The federal and state tax savings due to rapid depreciation write-offs in about 5 to 6 years, much more rapid than normal utility equipment write-off schedules of 10 to 20 years. Having tax savings earlier, instead of later, is financially more advantageous.

- The exemption of equipment purchases from the state sales tax and from the education property tax.

- Selling wind electricity at generous feed in tariffs of about 9 - 10 c/kWh in areas with high capital costs and low capacity factors (CFs), such as New England.

- Selling solar electricity at generous feed in tariffs of about 13.5 - 14.5 c/kWh in areas with high capital costs and low capacity factors, such as New England.

- Selling renewable energy credits, RECs, which lower the utility purchased RE energy cost by up to 50%.

- Loan guarantees by the federal and state government, which lower the interest rate of the funds borrowed from private entities, because the federal and state government assume the risk of the loans.

 

Wind and Solar a Boon to Multi-millionaires: Warren Buffett, considered one of the outstanding investors of all-time, has stated: “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”. Buffett has investments in multiple wind sites, as do many other multi-billion dollar entities. Buffett and his cohorts hire tax accountants/lawyers to refine the subsidy-milking art form, as well as PR pros and RE lobbyists to continually increase the milking, via higher RPS targets and renewed subsidy periods.

 

NOTE:

Wind ITC and Wind PTC decrease in 2017, 2018, 2019, and expire in 2020.

Solar ITC decreases in 2020, 2021, and expires in 2022.

 

Comparing LCOEs of Wind and Solar with Traditional Plants: Studies comparing levelized costs of energy, LCOEs, of wind and solar plants with those of traditional plants are invalid, if:

 

- The various subsidies and the cost shifting are not properly accounted for.

- Useful service lives are assumed too long for wind and solar and too short for traditional plants.

- Capacity factors, CFs, are assumed too high for wind and solar and too low for traditional plants.

 

Benefits of Subsidies for Solar Systems: In Vermont, a solar system, field-mounted, 2000 kW, turnkey capital cost about $5.9 million, produces about 2794 MWh/y, and has revenues of about $365,000/y under the VT Standard Offer program.

 

As a result of the various subsidies, about $3.5 million of the $5.9 million turnkey capital cost is returned to owners in the first 6 years as:

 

1) Federal and state taxes not paid

2) Federal and state ITC cash gifts

3) Price bonus above midday wholesale.

 

See table 1. A similar table would apply to wind projects.

 

 

Table 1/Year

1

2

3

4

5

6

6-y total

 

State tax not paid

42996

78104

41169

18803

18337

1227

200636

 

Fed tax not paid

161996

294270

155112

70845

69087

4623

755933

1

Total tax not paid

204992

372374

196281

89648

87424

5850

956569

 

State ITC cash gift

185714

185714

 

Fed ITC cash gift

1190475

1190475

2

Total ITC cash gift

1376189

1376189

 

Total tax subsidies

1581181

372374

196281

89648

87424

5850

2332758

 

 

Paid to owners for electricity

2158559

 

Wholesale cost at 6 c/kWh

993507

3

Price bonus above wholesale

1165052

 

Total subsidies

3497810

 

Table 2 shows typical costs for wind and solar in New England. The first three rows are from NE power purchase agreements. The last row is the feed-in price paid by GMP, which is about the same as the subsidized cost of generation.

 

Table 2

Subsidized

Unsubsidized

Ridgeline wind

9 - 10 c/kWh

About 15 c/kWh

Offshore wind

18 - 20 c/kWh

About 25 c/kWh

Utility-scale, field-mounted, solar

13.5 - 14.9 c/kWh

About 20 c/kWh

Residential rooftop

19 c/kWh

About 25 c/kWh

H-Q hydro, per latest GMP contract

5 - 7 c/kWh

No Subsidies

New England Wholesale Prices The annual average wholesale price of New England electricity has been about 5 c/kWh since 2009. At night it may be about 3 cents. At midday, it may be about 6 cents, and at late afternoon/early evening (peak hours), when wind and solar usually are minimal, it may be 7 to 8 cents, with rare short-time spikes to higher values. See URLs.

 

New England Solar Much More Expensive Than Elsewhere: Pro-RE interests are claiming solar (heavily subsidized) is competitive with fossil in some very sunny areas of the US (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, etc.). 

 

However, that is far from reality in not-so-sunny, variably cloudy New England, as proven by energy prices of the 4 competitively auctioned Standard Offer projects in Vermont.

 

Standard Offer is a Vermont solar system subsidy program that pays high feed-in rates, on top of other federal and state subsidies, to attract capital investment from mostly out-of-state multi-millionaires with risk-free tax shelters.

 

Table 3 shows the results of the 4 auctioned Standard Offer projects, and of the recently commissioned Elizabeth Mine project. See URLs.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-speed-renewable...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/from-brownfield-to-gree...

 

Table 3

Start

Type

Production

Capacity

Rate

Paid

Auctioned SO Projects

 

 

MWh

kW

c/kWh

$/y

Champlain Valley Solar Farm

Jul 24, 2015

Solar

2,794

2000

14.41

402,615

Otter Valley Solar

Aug 30, 2017

Solar

2,769

2180

13.38

370,492

Pownal Park Solar

Dec 30, 2016

Solar

2,794

2200

10.96

306,222

Sudbury Solar

Apr 18, 2016

Solar

2,540

2000

14.40

365,760

Total

 

10,897

8,380

13.26

1,445,090

Regular SO Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Mine

 

Solar

8,675

7000 DC

14.90

1,292,575

 

ECONOMICS OF GMP’S STAFFORD HILL “MICROGRID/ISLANDING” PROJECT

Microgrids and islanding are the wave of the future, as envisioned by GMP. Such setups include solar systems combined with battery systems, plus heat pumps for building heating and cooling, Powerwall 2.0 batteries at user premises, demand management by turning on/off user appliances, and, in the somewhat distant future, the management of EV batteries. 

 

Other Measures Should Come Before Microgrids and Islanding: Long before the GMP vision could possibly be realized at an acceptable cost, it would be much wiser, and much more economical, to first insulate and seal almost all buildings to be close to “zero-net-energy” or “energy-surplus”, and to have almost all light duty vehicles as high-mileage hybrids, such as the Toyota’s Prius hybrid, rated at 52 EPA Combined.

 

Those two measures would actually reduce the energy bills of already-struggling households and businesses, and would significantly reduce the CO2eq emissions associated with the building and transportation sectors, which emit about 65% of Vermont’s 8.3 million metric ton of CO2eq emissions.

 

Vermonters have absolutely no need for EVs (and associated charging stations all over the state), which perform poorly in winter, on muddy dirt roads, with snow on roads, and going uphill. How many all-wheel-drive EVs and 4-wheel drive EVs are being marketed? Regarding EVs, the wisest approach would be to wait at least 5 years.

The Need for Battery Systems: With many solar systems on a distribution grid, their output would become highly variable/irregular during variable cloudy weather, as already is the case in southern California and southern Germany. Battery systems are required to quickly “smooth” the variations/irregularities. The levelized cost of those battery systems is not charged to solar system owners, the disturbers of the grid.

 

See Figure 13 of the second URL. It shows the extremely variable output (blue line) of the Stafford Hill solar system, which is entirely due to variable cloudiness. Without batteries, or some other quick-acting regulating system, the local grid would be unstable and various items of equipment would shut down.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/solar-energy-does-not-r...

http://www.sandia.gov/ess/publications/SAND2017-6164.pdf

Stafford Hill solar/battery system combo, owned by GMP

Battery system: 4 MW/3.4 MWh; turnkey cost $5.345 million; $1572/kWh

Battery system operated to deliver 2 MW for 1.7 hour, for a total of 3.4 MWh

Solar system: 2.5 MW DC/2.0 MW AC; turnkey cost $7.155 million

Total = $12.5 million

 

NOTE: The Sterling Municipal Light Department started the operation of its solar/battery system combo a few months after the Stafford Hill solar/battery system combo. See URL.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/solar-energy-does-not-r...

 

Sterling, MA, solar/battery system combo, owned by Sterling Municipal Light Department

Battery system: 2 MW/3.9 MWh; turnkey cost $2.7 million; $692/kWh

Battery system operated to deliver 2 MW for 1.95 hour, for a total of 3.9 MWh

Solar System: 2.4 MW (existing); turnkey cost about $7.0 million

Total = $9.7 million

Stafford Project Economic Payback

 

Solar System: The solar system part of the project has estimated federal and state tax savings due to rapid 5-y depreciation and due to the federal and state ITCs, i.e., up front cash gifts. See table 4.

 

Table 4/Year

1

2

3

4

5

6

6-y total

State tax not paid

52154

94740

49938

22808

22243

1488

243371

Fed tax not paid

196501

356950

188151

85935

83803

5608

916947

Total tax not paid

248655

451690

238089

108743

106045

7096

1160318

State ITC gift

225271

225271

Fed ITC gift

1444046

1444046

Total ITC gift

1669317

1669317

Total subsidies

1917973

451690

238089

108743

106045

7096

2829635

 

Battery System: The battery system part of the project has estimated federal and state tax savings due to rapid 5-y depreciation and due to the federal and state ITCs, i.e., up front cash gifts. See table 5.

 

Table 5/Year

1

2

3

4

5

6

6-y total

State tax not paid

38954

70762

37299

17036

16613

1112

181776

Fed tax not paid

146768

266609

140531

64186

62593

4188

684875

Total tax not paid

185723

337371

177831

81221

79206

5300

866652

State ITC gift

168257

168257

Fed ITC gift

1078570

1078570

Total ITC gift

1246827

1246827

Total subsidies

1432550

337371

177831

81221

79206

5300

2113479

GMP Riding the Subsidy Gravy Train and Getting Big Rate Increases: GMP has been befuddling legislators by promoting the dubious merits of its extremely expensive, heavily subsidized “microgrid/islanding” fantasy with solar/battery combos, while enriching itself with the associated federal and state ITCs, federal and state tax savings due to rapid depreciation write offs, and is authorized to earn 9.1%/y on its $1.433 billion rate base. All that at heavy cost to ratepayers.

 

A 5.02% rate increase for 2018 (with more such increases to come in future years) was negotiated, behind closed doors, between DPS and GMP. DPS sent the agreement to the PUC, which approved it without public hearings. DPS claimed “a team of experts that included DPS staffers and external consultants pored over thousands of GMP documents”.

 

The rate increase for residential ratepayers is $12.9 million, and for commercial, industrial and other ratepayers $16.9 million, for a total of $29.8 million. In 2017, GMP had revenues of $624 million, down from $650 million in 2016.

Regarding the Stafford Hill solar/battery system combo, 

 

GMP collects for the solar part about:
– $1.16 million as state and federal taxes not paid due to write offs in the first 6 years
– $1.67 million as state and federal ITC cash gift to immediately offset taxes on profits
– Nets 9%+/y on the solar asset. 

 

GMP collects for the battery part about:
– $0.87 million as state and federal taxes not paid due to write-offs in the first 6 years
– $1.25 million as state and federal ITC cash gift to immediately offset taxes on profits
– Nets 9%+/y on the battery asset

 

Project Payback Period:

 

1) With various grants, subsidies, federal and state ITCs, and tax benefits of 6-y depreciation write-offs, a total of 2.83 million + 2.13 million = $4.94 million, the rosy illusion is created of a payback of 5 - 6 years, as claimed by GMP in a press release.

NOTE: A study by Sandia Laboratories shows cash flow will become positive in year 8. However, table 5 in the study omits a large number of categories of annual costs. It these costs were accounted for in the table, the cash flow would not be positive until year 10 or 12., or worse, i.e., it may never be positive. See below section “Unidentified/unaccounted for gains and costs”.

http://www.sandia.gov/ess/publications/SAND2017-6164.pdf

2) Without various grants, subsidies, federal and state ITCs (which are scheduled to be decreasing), and tax benefits of 6-y depreciation write-offs, and adding in certain major costs that likely were not counted, the payback is at least 2-3 times the GMP claim, longer than the warrantee life of the batteries.

 

3) The payback may not exist, due to the annual costs exceeding the annual revenues, as shown below.

 

4) If the below cost items were fully identified and accounted for, the project would be drowning in red ink.

- GMP claiming this project has a 5-6 year payback and to not detail these costs is self-serving and deceptive.

- GMP gain items, see below, ultimately are reflected in economic costs. There is no free lunch.

- GMP cost items not shown or mentioned are financial costs and O&M costs. They are added to the rate base.

Unidentified/unaccounted for gains and costs:

 

- The GMP gain of federal and state tax savings. See table 4 and 5

- The GMP gain of federal and state ITCs. See table 4 and 5

- The GMP gain of 9+%/y on assets

 

- The amortized cost of borrowed money for the battery system*

- The amortized cost of any other borrowed capital

- The replacement of about 75% of the battery system in about year 15, or sooner.

- Charges of GMP personnel

- Use of other GMP resources

 

* The amortized cost of borrowed money for the solar system is already reflected in the price of 13.5 c/kWh.

 

Advocating more of such heavily subsidized projects would be great for GMP, but very expensive for already-struggling households and businesses trying to make ends meet in a near-zero, real-growth Vermont economy. Such poor-return projects would build up an increasingly stronger headwind against Vermont’s economy.

 

NOTE: The project, owned by GMP, is not eligible for Standard Offer status. GMP cannot sell its electricity for about 13.5 c/kWh. However, GMP is allowed to earn 9%/y on assets. That cost is significant, but is not shown in above table, as are several other major costs.

 

NOTE: GMP, a Canadian entity, is collecting money from Vermonters to pay Canadian owners. The US debtor status was $8.3 trillion at end 2016, on which foreign entities collected at least $415 billion (5%) to pay foreign owners, foreign pensioners, etc.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cop21-flawed-trade-agre...

NOTE TO LEGISLATORS:

- Tables 4 and 5 show, GMP has been avoiding federal and state taxes and collecting federal and state ITCs.

- GMP, Standard Offer project owners, et al., want to continue the gravy train to “fight global warming”.

- The legislative largesse, however well intended, has resulted in recurring, structural, tax revenue gaps.

- Shifting subsidy costs to households and businesses has adversely impacted Vermont private sector growth.

- The knee-jerk response of plugging these revenue gaps with increases of taxes, fees and surcharges is off the table.

- Spending on wasteful government programs, even favorite ones, has to be cut.

- A unilateral carbon tax would fan the flames of the present, downward-spiraling trend.

Solar/Battery System Operating Revenue: The main sources of revenues are: 1) regulation, 2) RNS and FCM charge reduction, and 3) solar sales, as below described.

 

1) Regulation: During regulation mode, its normal operation, the quick-responding battery system may be operated at 75% charged, so it can very quickly absorb or supply electricity from and to the grid, a service traditionally performed by less-quickly responding, small capacity, diesel and gas turbine generators, which release CO2.

 

GMP claimed it was credited about $100,000 for this service by ISO-NE, during the period of 1 January 2017 through June 2017. See URL, page 62. In this article, the credit is assumed at $200,000 for an entire year.

http://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Documents/2018/WorkGroups/Hou...

 

Battery System Electricity Losses: The variable, daytime solar electricity (DC) is charged into the battery, then discharged, then converted from DC to a “smooth” AC acceptable to ISO-NE, then fed into the grid. That process has an electricity loss of about 15%.

 

At night, the batteries are charged from the grid to continue regulation mode. That process has an electricity loss of about 20%, because of the extra step of grid AC to DC conversion before charging the battery.

2) RNS and FCM Charge Reduction: The estimated 2017 ISO-NE charges for regional network services, RNS, and forward capacity market, FCM, for GMP are shown in table 5A. The RNS and FCM charges are due to increase in future years. See table 1 in URL.

http://www.sandia.gov/ess/publications/SAND2017-6164.pdf

 

Table 5A/2017

%

Vermont supply of electricity

GWh/y

6050

100

GMP supply

GWh/y

4598

76

Distribution loss

GWh/y

450.6

9.8

Billed electricity

GWh/y

4147

GMP sells electricity at

c/kWh

15.3

Revenues; per GMP

$million/y

634.6

GMP buys electricity at; per GMP

c/kWh

6.036

Cost of purchased electricity; per GMP

$million/y

250.7

Gross income

$million/y

383.9

RNS charge

$million/y

59.7

9.4

FCM charge

$million/y

57.9

9.1

Other costs

$million/y

196.2

Net income, estimated

$million/y

70.0

GMP discharges the battery system during the maximum peak hour of the year, as measured by ISO-NE, to reduce its demand on the NE grid by about 2 MW, and thereby reduce the ISO-NE-imposed Forward Capacity Market charges, a saving of about $200,000/y, similar savings as the Sterling, MA, facility. See table 6 and URL.

 

The battery system is similarly operated during the maximum peak hour of each month, as measured by ISO-NE, to reduce the ISO-NE-imposed Regional Network Services charges, a saving of about $200,000/y, similar savings as the Sterling, MA, facility. See table 6 and URL.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/solar-energy-does-not-r...

 

Table 6

Charge Reduction

Remark

Forward Capacity Market

 $200,000/y

One peak hour/year

Regional Network Services

 $200,000/y

One peak hour/month

Total

 $400,000/y

Similar to Sterling

3) Sale of Solar Electricity: The variable, daytime solar electricity (DC) is charged into the battery, then discharged, then converted from DC to a “smooth” AC acceptable to ISO-NE, then fed into the grid. That process has an electricity loss of about 15%.

 

Production = 2.5 MW x 8766 h/y x 0.145 = 3,177,675 kWh/y

Battery loss @ 15% = 476,651 kWh/y

Net sales = 2,701,024 kWh/y

Cost of production @ 13.5 c/kWh = $428,986/y

Revenues @ 6 c/kWh (average midday wholesale) = $162,061/y

Revenues of REC sales @ 3 c/kWh = $81,031/y  

LOSS: ($428,986/y, generating cost) - ($162,061/y, sales revenue + $81,031/y, REC revenue) = $185,894/y. That loss is charged by GMP to ratepayers via the rate schedules, as are all other costs.

NOTE: I have assumed a CF = 0.145, a typical average for field-mounted solar systems, but GMP reported to the EIA 2,324,000 MWh for 2016, i.e., a CF = 0.106, which appears unusually low. Less production means less revenues. Surprisingly, GMP reported no data to the EIA for 2017. See URL.

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser/#/plant/60518?freq=M&a...

4) Summary of Operations: Table 7 shows a summary of the above three items. It is clear, the total gain is grossly inadequate for a $12.5 million project, demonstration or not. Such projects decrease the efficiency of the Vermont economy.

 

 

Table 7/Annual net gain

 $/y

1

Regulation

200,000

2

ISO-NE charge reduction

400,000

3

Loss on solar sales

185,894

 

Net gain

414,106

Estimating the Annual Cost of the Battery System: This section shows an estimate of the cost of the battery system. GMP likely has a spreadsheet with such an analysis, which should be made public, but is not “for business secrecy reasons”. For my analysis, I assumed:

 

- The useful service life at a generous 15 years

- 75% of the system to be replaced in year 15

- The cost of the replacement is generously assumed to be 50% of the 2016 cost

- GMP, per statute, is entitled to earn 9+%/y on assets.

 

If replacement capital in year 15 is (5,345,000, battery system) - (0.75 *5,345,000/2, replacement) = $2,004,375 (no inflation), or $133,625/y, allocated to 15 years.

 

GMP earns 9%/y on the remaining capital, such as (5,345,000 - 133,625) x 0.09 = $469,024 for year 1, or $5,772,600 for 15 years

 

The cost per year is ($133,625, capital loss) + ($469,024, GMP 9% gain) = $602,649 for year 1, which would be slowly decreasing to $434,281 for year 15. See table 8.

 

NOTE: GMP owning Tesla Powerwalls 2.0s, heat pumps, solar systems, battery systems, wind turbines, etc., all adds to the asset base on which it earns 9+%/y. GMP is "green", and making money to boot, while all of us are paying more. The 9+%/y is independent of any benefits from subsidies, such as ITCs, rapid write offs, etc.

 

Table 8/Capital cost

5345000

Return, 9%/y

Total cost

Year

Capital used

Remaining cap

0.09

1

133625

5211375

469024

602649

2

133625

5077750

456998

590623

3

133625

4944125

444971

578596

4

133625

4810500

432945

566570

5

133625

4676875

420919

554544

6

133625

4543250

408893

542518

7

133625

4409625

396866

530491

8

133625

4276000

384840

518465

9

133625

4142375

372814

506439

10

133625

4008750

360788

494413

11

133625

3875125

348761

482386

12

133625

3741500

336735

470360

13

133625

3607875

324709

458334

14

133625

3474250

312683

446308

15

133625

3340625

300656

434281

Replacement

2004375

5772600

 

Various grants and subsidies for the battery system would reduce above numbers similar to wind and solar systems. The total reduction would be “socialized”, i.e., spread out over Vermont households and businesses, by means of taxes, fees, and surcharges, and higher electric rates, and higher prices for goods and services. There is no free lunch.

 

The annual net gain in table 7 usually is presented as a press release to the uninformed public, legislators, etc. However, it is abundantly clear, the total of the annual battery costs would completely eliminate the gain in table 7. See below notes.

 

NOTE: Here is an example of a major cost. Amortizing the $5,345,000 battery system turnkey cost, less ITCs of $1,246,734 = $4,098,266 at 5%/y would require annual payments of $509,200 for each of 15 years, which gives another indication of costs not mentioned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on November 27, 2017 at 5:28pm

The construction of any battery system is just added environmental damage. Another scam perpetrated on the Taxpayers and Ratepayers. Though the pricing of electricity for future highs and lows / storage or release alone are a rigging of the system for what was deemed a security of energy independence from fossil fuels. The mining of materials for batteries is more destructive in CO² contribution than what is saved if a LCA is done for storage. 

In California, the short term fix is to utilize their electric vehicles as a storage while plugged in, providing the customer with the needed charge just before dawn (work hour drive) based on recorded charge requirements averaged. Thus they could drain an electric vehicle over the night, providing the customer with sufficient energy to drive 5 miles to work 3 times a week, maybe 20 miles one day a week and 8 miles the other 4 days. Seems good, until a peak hour makes it so that there is insufficient energy to regenerate sufficient power. Lack of wind, since solar produces nothing at those early pre-dawn mornings.

Lithium-Ion batteries do not last their expected life, thus requiring a more rapid changeout cycle. They explode without notice, and the new Australian Rapid Charge (5 minute) stations will contribute to the rate of incidents. Power can only be absorbed at a specific rate and each device of storage has its own unique abilities usually determined by any impurities by percentages. Trying to force a 5 minute charge may lead to an explosion.

This, in the end, is one scam built upon another scams failures since batteries have a very limited lifetime and any LCA would prove the solution to be far worse than the problem.   

Comment by Dan McKay on November 27, 2017 at 11:39am
Willem,
Just think, a wind or solar project bidding it's output at negative prices into the ISO-NE wholesale energy market, while simultaneously, receiving payment for procuring energy to charge batteries and then discharging this paid for energy back into the grid at  peak pricing times. All the while rolling in the dough of subsidization and scamming the public into thinking they have solved the intermittent problem with wind and solar.
Comment by Willem Post on November 25, 2017 at 5:08pm
Dan,

I think my article may slow things down somewhat, because under present conditions, even if the battery system is for free, it takes a lot of subsidies to have any kind of payback.

I did not even include the cost of money, which I will amend very soon, to drown the project in red ink.
Comment by Dan McKay on November 25, 2017 at 7:03am

The electric market design is at times dynamically challenged. the instantaneous character of load/response would conceive a grid making decisions on an instantaneous basis, when, in fact, many decisions are made in an anticipatory manner, i.e. five minute settlement periods, ten to thirty minute forward reserve market, 3 year forward capacity markets. Considering how fast demand response and storage entities are coming into the market, an additional element of price distortion is unavoidable and I feel it favors the supply side at cost to the customer  and current increasing retail supply costs indicate the lag of pricing response times never catches up to savings promised by storage mechanisms. An unfavorable result of subsidization. 

Comment by Willem Post on November 24, 2017 at 12:31pm

Dan,

It was fortunate I had the Sterling study with the savings. GMP had been coy about them. Gave vague answers.

Sterling has the same 2 MW feed-in as Stafford hill. Therefore the same savings (the $400,000)

GMP has a cost of generation, 13.5 c/kWh (highly subsidized), just as do other Standard Offer projects of that size.

Reread my article, as I made some additions.

Comment by Dan McKay on November 24, 2017 at 6:39am

Wind and solar remain incompatible energy sources for a balanced electricity market, but, the scammers have solutions, a giant battery for Australia, $50 million dollars for 100 megawatts of storage that claims to power 30,000 homes for one hour. New York State is charging consumers extra for wind and solar to claim green status and spending this money to keep nuclear plants running to avoid blackouts. It looks like the answer to keeping the green is to keep scamming the green from uninformed consumers. 

Comment by Willem Post on November 23, 2017 at 11:44pm

Islander,

It would be appropriate to charge the owners of wind and solar systems for:

 

- The grid expansions and reinforcements, and storage systems to accommodate their wind and solar systems

- The traditional generators to operate less efficiently, because they are required to perform peaking, filling-in and balancing to provide the varying difference = (demand - variable wind and solar)

Comment by Long Islander on November 23, 2017 at 9:05pm

With a little googling I just found the following - for what it's worth. I skimmed the paper in less than ten minutes so I am not in a position to comment either way. All I know is wind requires massive transmission expenses, ratepayers are getting nailed with said expense and since the media are professional liars for the wind industry, the average Joe knows very little about the effects of wind on his electricity bill.

From the paper (at the following link):

https://sites.hks.harvard.edu/fs/whogan/Hogan_Trans_Cost_053111.pdf

A workable system of cost allocation commensurate with benefits for new transmission investment is within reach using available analytical tools. Cost allocation commensurate with the distribution of benefits follows directly from the information that must be produced as part of the evaluation of the investment. Transmission is inherently about moving electric power between locations, and the analysis of the value of such investment requires calculation of locational impacts on generation and load. A consistent parsing of the benefits allows for estimation of cost allocation shares that make the beneficiaries better off while respecting the principle that those in regions who do not benefit do not pay. The procedures are not perfect, but they provide a workable approximation that makes transmission cost socialization a last, not a first, resort.

Comment by Long Islander on November 23, 2017 at 4:55pm

OK, then can we substitute electric wave for electrons and make the same argument? I'm just asking what would be a "fair" method to allocate the transmission cost to each fuel source? I think it's important because if the location of wind plants is atypically distant from where consumption occurs and if it thus adds a disproportionate amount of transmission infrastructure to the grid, then it would be useful for this to be quantified in some logical manner on ratepayers' electric bills. 

Comment by Willem Post on November 23, 2017 at 1:51pm

Long Islander,

Electrons do not travel. See URL.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/popular-misconceptions-...

Lowell Mountain required $20 million to connect to the grid all of it paid by GMP. The rural grid was too weak to take the big influx of electricity.

Texas spent $7 billion to bring wind from west Texas to east Texas; the cost was charged to rate payers.

The cost of peaking, filling-in and balancing, 24/7/365, by traditional generators is also charged to rate payers.

With enough subsidies and cost shifting, even pigs can be made to fly.

First Prize

NE Book Festival

 

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 (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  http://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?"  http://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.” http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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