Offshore wind project hits rough water in New England

Offshore wind project
hits rough water in
New England

America’s first major offshore wind project is caught in a crosswind.

The Federal Regulatory Energy Commission declined this week to rule on a waiver that would have eased the wind developer’s entry into New England’s electricity market.

The decision, or lack thereof, prompted an unusual round of public sniping among FERC commissioners on Twitter and highlights the simmering tensions in New England, where state climate ambitions are straining against the structure of the region’s wholesale electricity markets.

Some environmentalists and regulators said the incident illustrates the entrenched opposition to renewables from the regional grid operator, ISO New England, and federal regulators.

“Whether it’s intentional or not, ISO New England is running a system and maintaining a system that is designed for fossil fuel generators,” said David Ismay, an attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation. “To date, it has acted as if it sees renewables and other clean technologies as a threat to that system.”


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Comment by Willem Post on February 10, 2019 at 6:31pm

ISMAY of the CLF: “Whether it’s intentional or not, ISO New England is running a system and maintaining a system that is designed for fossil fuel generators,” said David Ismay, an attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation. “To date, it has acted as if it sees renewables and other clean technologies as a threat to that system.”

Yes, wind and solar COULD be a threat to the system, but as an RE lawyer you likely would not understand the threat in the same manner as an energy systems analyst, or a grid operator, with 20 to 40 years of experience.

Here is some info you need to read to be up to par.

HIGH LEVELS OF WIND AND SOLAR REQUIRE ENERGY STORAGE

 

Wind and solar proponents claim a MWh of wind displaces a MWh of fossil generation, and therefore fossil generation is equivalent to wind and solar. That is very far from the truth. Wind and solar needs all sorts of crutches to have a measure of viability on the grid.

 

High levels of wind and solar, say 40% to 80% of US grid annual load (the rest supplied by other sources),could not ever stand on their own, without the US grid having:

 

1) Gas turbine plants and

2) Reservoir and run-of-river hydro plants, and

3) CSP plants with at least 12 hours of storage and

4) A US-wide HVDC overlay grid (as above described), and

5) Energy storage of about 100 TWh (at 40% wind and solar) to 250 TWh (at 80% wind and solar).

 

All would quickly vary their outputs, as needed, to compensate for:

 

1) The quickly varying outputs of wind and solar, including very low outputs of wind and solar, which occur at random at least 30% of the hours of the year, according to minute-by-minute generation data posted by various grid operators, including ISO-NE.

 

2) The minute-by-minute varying electricity demand throughout each day.  

 

NOTE: During high winds,

Turbine rotor blades are feathered when winds exceed allowable speeds.

The turbine output would be maintained at about 95% of rated output.

Such conditions are very rare in most US area, may be up to 100 to 150 hours per year.

The average output of all US wind turbines is about 33%; it varies with the windiness of the year.

 

Energy Storage: If high levels of wind and solar were built out to 80% after a few decades, and the gas turbine, nuclear, coal and oil plants were closed down (according to Green New Deal wishes), and with existing reservoir and run-of-river hydro plants, and with existing other sources, the US grid would require about 250 TWh of storage to cover:

 

- 5 to 7 day wind/solar lulls, which occur often and at random

- Seasonal variations (storing wind when it is more plentiful during fall, winter and spring, and when solar is more plentiful in summer, so more of their electricity would be available in summer when wind usually is at very low levels). See URLs.

 

That storage would need to have a minimal level at all times (about 10 days of demand coverage), to cover multi-day, scheduled and unscheduled equipment and system outages and unusual multi-day weather events, such as a big snow fall covering the solar panels, simultaneous with minimal wind conditions.

 

Energy Storage System Capital Cost: One TWh of storage costs about $400 billion, at $400/kWh, or $100 billion at a Holy Grail $100/kWh. See URL

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

 

Battery Charging and Discharging Losses: Any electricity passing through storage has about a 20% loss, on a high voltage AC-to-high voltage AC basis, to be made up by additional wind, solar and other generation.

 

Battery Capacity Losses: Batteries lose about 10 to 15% of their capacity, kWh, during their lifetime, which means additional capacity has to be installed to offset that loss.

 

Battery Lives: The useful service lives of lithium-ion batteries is at most 15 years. In about year 15, the used-up batteries would need to be replaced with new ones.

 

Electric Vehicle Charging and Resting Losses: Any electricity fed to EVs and plug-in hybrids has about a 20% charging and resting loss, from wall meter to “in battery”, as indicated by the vehicle meter, to be made up by additional wind, solar, and other generation. See URLs

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/electric-cars-lose-rang...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/tesla-model-3-long-term...

 

Additional sources of information:

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/daily-shifting-of-wind-...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/new-england-will-need-t...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-example-of-elec... ;

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/nuclear-a-more-rational...

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

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/synapse-study-of-new-en...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/land-and-sea-area-for-v...

.

Comment by Willem Post on February 9, 2019 at 12:09pm

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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 -- Mahatma Gandhi

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