Trump admin slaps solar, wind operators with retroactive rent bills

The Interior Department had stopped charging the rents at the end of 2018 to review company complaints that former President Barack Obama’s administration had increased them too much, making them uncompetitive with rents on private property. The Interior Department declined repeated requests to comment on the outcome of that review, or the issuance of the retroactive rent bills. A budget document on the Interior Department’s web site shows it expects to collect $50 million in rent fees for wind and solar projects in 2020, up from $1.1 million in 2019 and $21.6 million in 2018.

The Trump administration has ended a two-year rent holiday for solar and wind projects operating on federal lands, handing them whopping retroactive bills at a time the industry is struggling with the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, according to company officials.

The move represents a multi-million-dollar hit to an industry that has already seen installation projects canceled or delayed by the global health crisis, which has cut investment and dimmed the demand outlook for power.

It also clashes with broader government efforts in the United States to shield companies from the worst of the economic turmoil through federal loans, waived fees, tax breaks and trimmed regulatory enforcement.

U.S. power plant owner Avangrid Inc, majority owned by Spain’s Iberdrola, received a bill for more than $3 million for two years of rent on its 131-megawatt Tule wind project on federal land near San Diego, according to spokesman Paul Copleman.

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Comment by Willem Post on Tuesday

The Production Tax Credit for wind is 2.5 c/ kWh.

This was scheduled to be reduced to 40% of 2.5, or 1.0 c/kWh

But, by means of shenanigans, it is now scheduled to be reduced to 60% of 2.5, or 1.5 c/kWh, plus projects can be started a year later, than before to still get that increased subsidy.

It is always nice to know some insiders high up in government!!

Comment by arthur qwenk on May 22, 2020 at 9:38pm

Avangrid  can start conserving for their new rents by paying less for  ex-governor John Baldacci (Baldacci was elected vice chair of the board of Avangrid in 2015).

Word has it he was getting paid $200,000 for this).

As a cost saving to Avangrid, we all recommend they pay him what he is worth  =    0

Comment by Willem Post on May 22, 2020 at 5:02pm

Those Spanish, foreign companies had been free-loading for years on federal lands.
I am sure Spain would never allow that.
It is about time they pay the rent.

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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