Renewable energy firm heads to Maine’s high court to fight CMP’s $1 billion transmission line

A large solar and wind power company is appealing the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s granting of an important certificate for Central Maine Power’s proposed hydropower corridor from Canada through western Maine.

Please read the full article here:

Views: 88


You need to be a member of Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine to add comments!

Join Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine

Comment by Willem Post on May 12, 2019 at 3:57am

Cost Shifting is the Name of the Game Regarding Wind and Solar


Cost shifting is rarely mentioned, identified or quantified. Those costs, as c/kWh, could be quantified, but it is politically convenient to charge them to:


- Ratepayers, via electric rate schedules, and/or added taxes, fees and surcharges on electric bills

- Directly to taxpayers, such as carbon taxes and user fees.

- Directly to federal and state budgets and debts


No cost ever disappears. Eventually, the various costs would increase the prices of energy and of other goods and services.

Efficiencies improvements elsewhere in the economy may partially, or completely, offset such increases.

However, RE subsidies would divert capital from other sectors of the economy, which likely would result in fewer improvements in efficiencies.


Cost Shifting: Here is a partial list of the costs that were shifted, i.e., not charged to wind and solar plant owners, to make wind and solar appear less costly than in reality to the lay public and legislators.


1) The various forms of grid-stabilizing inertia (presently provided by synchronous gas, coal, oil, nuclear, bio and hydro plants).


2) The filling-in, peaking and balancing by traditional generators (mostly gas turbines in New England), due to wind and solar variability/intermittency, 24/7/365. The more wind and solar on the grid, the larger the required up/down ramping capacity of the gas turbines, which imparts added costs to owners for which they likely would not be paid:


- Less annual production to cover power plant costs, which jeopardizes the economic viability of the plant


- Inefficient remaining production (more fuel/kWh, more CO2/kWh), due to up/down ramping at part load, which further adds to owner costs, and reduces less CO2 than claimed. See URL


- More wear and tear on the gas turbine plants, which further adds to owner costs


NOTE: All of this is quite similar to a car efficiently operating at a steady 55 mph, versus a car inefficiently operating at continuously varying speeds between 45 mph to 65 mph.


3) Any battery systems to stabilize distribution grid with many solar systems. They would quickly offset downward spikes due to variable cloud cover. See URL.


4) Any measures to deal with DUCK curves, such as a) daily gas turbine plant down and up ramping, b) utility-scale storage and c) demand management.


5) Grid-related costs, such as grid extensions and augmentations to connect the remotely distributed wind and solar, and to deal with variable/intermittent wind and solar on the grid. Those grid items usually are utilized at the low capacity factors of wind and solar, i.e., a lot of hardware doing little work.


6) Utility-scale electricity storage (presently provided by the world’s traditional fuel supply system).


The above 6 items are entirely separate from the high levels of direct and indirect subsidies. They serve to make wind and solar appearto be much less costly, than in reality. See sections 1 and 2 and Appendix.


All that enables wind and solar proponents to endlessly proclaim: “Wind and solar are competitive with fossil and nuclear”.


Example of Cost Shifting: For example, to bring wind electricity from the Panhandle in west Texas to population centers in east Texas, about 1000 miles, $7 billion of transmission was built. The entire cost was “socialized”, i.e., it appeared as a surcharge on residential electric bills.


Example of Cost Shifting: Often the expensive grid connection of offshore wind plants, say from 20 miles south of Martha's Vineyard, across the island, and then to the reinforced mainland grid, is not included in the capital cost estimates, i.e., all or part of it is provided by the utilities that buy the electricity under PPAs to make PPA-pricing appear smaller than in reality. That cost is “socialized”, i.e., it appears as a surcharge on residential electric bills, or is added to the rate base.


Wind and Solar Wholesale Prices in NE: Here are some wholesale prices of wind electricity RE folks in New England, especially in Maine, do not want to talk about. They would rather dream RE fantasies, obfuscate/fudge the numbers, and aim to convert others to their dream scenarios, somewhat like religious missionaries. See table 2.


Comments on table 2:


Indirect subsidies are due to loan interest deduction and depreciation deductions from taxable incomes.

Direct subsidies are due to up front grants, waiving of state sales taxes, and/or local property (municipal and school) taxes. See URL.


Table 7

Direct/Indirect subsidies

Cost shifting

NE Wind

NE Solar











Owner price to utility



  17 - 19

22 - 26

Owner price to utility



 15 - 17

20 - 24

Owner price to utility



 8.5 - 9

10.5 - 12.5

Comment by Willem Post on May 9, 2019 at 12:04pm

The transmission line from Hydro-Quebec providing 98% hydro power, that is STEADY, ALWAYS  THERE, UNLIKE WIND AND SOLAR WHICH DEPEND ON THE NEW ENGLAND WEATHER, should be built at soon as possible.

That electric city would cost about 6 c/kWh, one hell-of-a-lot less than highly subsidized VARIABLE/INTERMITTENT wind and solar at 9 c/kWh (ridgeline wind) and 12 c/kWh (field-mounted solar)

Hydro-Quebec Electricity Generation and Purchases: Google this URL for the 2017 facts. The H-Q electricity supply is an order of magnitude cleaner than the Vermont supply.


Table 6/H-Q



Hydropower generated 




- Hydro


- Wind


- Biomass and waste reclamation 


- Other


Total RE generated and purchased



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

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


That is about 50% less than ridgeline wind and large-scale field-mounted solar, which are heavily subsidized to make their electricity appear to be less costly than reality. 


GMP sells to households at 19 c/kWh, per rate schedule, including taxes, fees and surcharges. Pricing for electricity is highly political. That is implemented by rate setting, taxes, fees, surcharges, etc., mostly on household electric bills, as in Denmark and Germany, etc. The rate setting is influenced by protecting State government “RE policy objectives”, which include highly subsidized, expensive microgrids, islanding, batteries and net metered solar and heat pumps.

Comment by Art Brigades on May 9, 2019 at 11:19am

*Wyman is a peaker not a beaker.

Comment by Art Brigades on May 9, 2019 at 11:08am

Newsflash:  Next Era might call itself a "renewable energy firm" because they wanted to use the NECEC corridor to throw up a few wind projects in the Sugarloaf-Bigelow area. They intervened and failed at trying to get the PUC to force NECEC to allow converters (on-ramps) for the proposed wind. But in their press release they probably didn't mention that the huge reason they oppose NECEC is because they own Maine's largest power plant, oil-fired Wyman Station in Yarmouth. Wyman is a beaker that will suffer lower prices and possible closure when NECEC goes online. NextEra also owns Seabrook Nuclear plant, which stands to lose at least $20 million per year just because of the market suppression that NECEC will cause in New England. Hope these facts were included in the BDN article (which is behind a pay wall).

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."


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 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?" 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.”

Not yet a member?

Sign up today and lend your voice and presence to the steadily rising tide that will soon sweep the scourge of useless and wretched turbines from our beloved Maine countryside. For many of us, our little pieces of paradise have been hard won. Did the carpetbaggers think they could simply steal them from us?

We have the facts on our side. We have the truth on our side. All we need now is YOU.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

 -- Mahatma Gandhi

"It's not whether you get knocked down: it's whether you get up."
Vince Lombardi 

Task Force membership is free. Please sign up today!

© 2019   Created by Webmaster.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service