Set off by Massachusetts' Senator Markey and Senator Warren's introduction of legislation, (read TAX AND RATE INCREASE), to promote offshore wind, I set out to review and Blog information about America's First Offshore Wind project consisting of 5 offshore wind turbines, DeepWater Wind.
ENTER MARKEY and WARREN with bill, (tax AND rate hike plan)-
Senate – bill introduced re offshore wind tax credit
Senator Markey (D-MA) introduced a bill (S. 1102) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for an investment tax credit related to the production of electricity from offshore wind. Official text of the bill is not yet available, but Senator Markey issued a press release explaining the measure. (5/11/17) [https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senators-markey-and-whitehouse-and-rep-langevin-lead-legislation-to-harness-offshore-wind-energy].
House – bill introduced re offshore wind tax credit
Representative Langevin (D-RI) introduced a bill (H.R. 2413) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for an investment tax credit related to the production of electricity from offshore wind. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (5/11/17).
Courtesy Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 15 May 2017
America's first offshore wind MISTAKE, DEEPWATER WIND
'The First Offshore Wind Farm in the U.S. Just Shut Down a Diesel Plant'
THE FACTS (wind energy requires a back-up energy source)
Moore says Deepwater’s bid acknowledges that wind is intermittent. It includes provision for back-up power supply through regional transmission operator ISO-New England, which serves Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
FROM NECN News-
“We, the smallest town in the smallest state in the United States, have the very first offshore wind farm and we should be so proud,” Nancy Dodge of the Block Island Power Company Board said earlier this month.
Her enthusiastic comments came as Block Island turned off its diesel generators, and started using offshore wind power as its source of electricity. That switch officially happened on May 1 after years of planning and development.
“This is the start of something much bigger and we will always be able to say Block Island was the first,” added Jeffrey Grybowski of Deepwater Wind, the company leading the charge on the years long, multi-million dollar project.
Back on Block Island, distance to land was also an issue. Some residents, like Rosemarie Ives, say that their once pure views of the Atlantic will never be the same following the installation of the man-made turbines so close to shore.
Ives and others also protest the speed with which the Block Island wind project received regulatory approval.
“It went so fast, through the federal process and the state process,” says Mary Jane Balser, the owner of Block Island Grocery.
“I can’t even get a mowing permit from Coastal faster than they got the permits to put that wind farm in,” she adds, referring to the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council.
Opponents of the project, who overall still support a move to clean energy sources, point to political connections between Rhode Island and Deepwater Wind’s Chief Executive Officer as one possible reason for what they call a “fast track”.
Jeffrey Grybowski served as Chief of Staff to former Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri. He left his post just before the administration, in 2008, named Deepwater Wind Rhode Island’s preferred developer of offshore wind power. By that time Grybowski was practicing corporate law at a firm representing Deepwater Wind. Grybowski later joined Deepwater in 2010.
Balser goes on to say she believes Block Island was chosen for the first in the nation wind farm because of its small, transient population.
“There were bigger motives. Get the first one in the ground where you’ll have the least amount of legal opposition and then, wham, build on it everywhere else,” she says.
“I feel the whole financial picture of this was unfair, not thorough enough, and the people here were used,” she continued, warning those living near future projects to follow proceedings closely.
Balser says she asked countless questions about the finances of the projects, but was never given detailed answers by the company nor the state of Rhode Island.
Initially, Deepwater Wind told residents on Block Island that they’d save 40% on electricity bills with the switch to wind.
Now officials say the savings may be closer to 25%. That would save an average consumer about $30 per month.
Balser isn’t even convinced of that, saying, “I will not save any money, and neither will anyone else.”
An unexpected price increase of the undersea cables bringing energy from the turbines to land accounts for some of the lost savings.
“There were a number of areas where we encountered rocks, and so that made the complexity of installing the cables higher, the costs went up,” explains Brian Gemmell of National Grid, the company in charge of that part of the project.
National Grid and Deepwater both say things like that offer valuable “lessons learned” as similar projects are built out in Massachusetts.
The other issue is the high price of power generated.
Right now, National Grid pays Deepwater Wind 24 cents per kilowatt hour generated.
That price goes up annually, landing at nearly 48 cents per kilowatt hour in 20 years.
The average price of electricity right now in New England is 16 cents per kilowatt hour.
"An accident occurred where construction barge collided with the jacket foundation at the site. This collision dented one of the four hollow legs of the foundation."
10 Sept 2015
"ABS Group published a report highlighting the Health and Safety problems at DeepWater Wind. The issues include near misses, dropped objects, loss of control of suspended loads, employees working under suspended loads, improper placement of safety equipment, and rescue skiff."
2 Dec 2016
"The Block Island Times announces that turbine number two has been damaged, due to what the project’s developer is calling “human error.” DeepWater Wind, said the turbine will be offline temporarily, but will be operable for commercial operation in the near future. According to DeePWater Wind, the damage occurred during testing of the wind farm, some time after construction was completed on Aug. 18, 2016. “During recent tests, General Electric learned that as a result of human error a drill bit left inside the generator of turbine number two caused some damage.”
12 Dec 2016
"Commercial operations began, on finalization of power contract between DeepWater Wind and ISO New England, the operator of the region’s power grid. Only for of the five turbines came on line, as turbine two broked down in early November during routine testing, after a 6-inch drill bit, left behind during assembly, was found in a gap between the turbine’s generator and direct-drive system, causing damage to magnets in generator."
17 Jan 2017
"The repair of turbine 2. That was damaged when a dril bit was left in the generator, began. The work was completed in the first week of February."
Block Island Times
US First DeepWater Wind transmission cable needs to be reburied
Although the interconnection between the National Grid and Block Island substations is expected to be completed by April 1, there is a problem with the cable that will need to be addressed sooner than that. Recent surveying of the cable revealed that some of it is not buried at the required depth of six feet below the surface of the ocean floor.
In some areas, concrete pads have been placed over sections of cable to protect it, but that has not been deemed feasible for the section just offshore of Fred Benson Town Beach. Starting 200 feet from shore, the next 80 feet of cable are currently only three feet below the ocean, and will need to be reburied.
Associated Press - Jennifer McDermott -
March 2, 2017
A turbine isn't spinning at the nation's first offshore wind farm, but repairs are expected to be complete soon. ...There was an issue with a cable connection on the turbine, but it should be back up within days, said Paul Murphy, the company’s vice president for operations and engineering. The same turbine previously was taken offline while its generator was repaired after a drill bit was left inside.
Cable installation and repair cost $$$$
Cable problems, (more than 70 of wind project insurance claims), repair average cost is U.S. $6,450,630.08. Subsea Cable Installation cost averages $6 million per mile per Sue Tierney Analysis Group
2017-03-07 - 2017-03-09
Cable damages remain an ongoing issue with average costs of € 5 million per repair. Submarine cable repairs account for more than 70 % of all insurance claims of installed wind parks.
Offshore wind turbines are corroding internally & externally & industry is challenged to fix the problems.
Here is a letter from Hawaii addressed to the Narragansett Town Council that denied DeepWater Wind's cable landing in Narragansett. This letter was also sent to Fishery Nation. Please note that Hawaii has had considerable experience dealing with these LLCs, DeepWater Wind formed by First Wind. We were warned before construction what to expect.
Aloha Fishery Nation,
If Town of Narragansett shoots down cable access it moves up to near
Quonset Point however most people are missing the boat with DeepWater
Wind and Block Island demonstration offshore wind farm (5 ea 6MW wind
turbines) 30MW name plate project.
What most people don’t know is State of Hawaii has been exploring
alternate energy since 1960s and at one time had the world’s largest
wind turbine in test operations. If it deals with alternate energy it
has been tested and documented in Hawaii. HI is an international
alternate (green) energy testing center. All except for offshore wind
farms which was state-wide rejected as cost prohibitive, damaging to
ocean environment and endangerment to marine life, high cost of
maintenance, unsightly and artificially driving electric rates higher
(they wanted $0.20/Kwh. Purchase Price Agreement (PPA) when burning
diesel fuel cost $0.09-$0.11/Kwh.). HI does have wind farms but they
are land based also HI has U.S. patents for interfacing wind farms to
legacy electrical power grids (grid with no modern smart grid
In 2007 President George W. Bush tasked the Department of Energy (DOE)
to work with State of HI to lower dependence on imported oil and to
become a model of low carbon footprint to rest of the nation. As such
State of HI enacted the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative which requires
state-wide reduction of imported oil 70% (40% alternate energy and 30%
energy efficiency) by year 2030. Currently of 100% imported oil HI uses
40% to power buildings and 60% for transportation.
HI has a number of firsts in the world, first in the nation alternate
energy project demonstrations to commercial production on the record
books and is constantly adding to the portfolio. It is awesome living
here in HI being on the cutting leading edge of alternate energy
HI is unique in the United States in that 6 of the main 8 islands have
their own standalone electrical power grids not inter-connected to each
other with a high volume of various alternate energy resources feeding
into the individual power grids. Remaining 2 islands one is private and
other was used by military for bombing practice and is off-limits to
According to the DOE no utility power company in the world has
completed a test to determine how much fluctuating (non-firm power)
alternate energy can be allowed on a legacy electrical power grid
before grid destabilization and protective shut down. Currently
Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) allows the industry de-facto standard
of 15% alternate energy on a legacy grid before expensive additional
safeguards are required to be implemented.
2012 State of HI, University of Hawaii, Natural Energy Laboratory of
Hawaii Authority (NELHA), HECO, DOE, and two foreign countries and
scientists formed a signed partnership to utilize State of HI power
grids real-time under normal loads to; a) fully test and document over
the next two years how much fluctuating (non-firm power) alternate
energy can be allowed on a legacy electrical power grid before grid
destabilization and protective shut down, b) Fully test and document
over the next two years electric grid smart grid components and
life-cycle, c) Fully test and document over the next two years electric
grid smart grid components security requirements; d) Fully test and
document over the next two years how electric grid smart grid
components change a legacy power grid and e) fully test and document
over the next two years how much fluctuating (non-firm power) alternate
energy can be allowed on a smart grid electrical power grid before grid
destabilization and protective shut down. Testing should be completed
around 2015 or 2016 with international published results.
Some points about Block Island, Block Island Power Co. (BIPCo),
DeepWater Wind and electric power:
1. BIPCo has a legislative charter to be the exclusive distributor of
electricity on Block Island and supplies the electricity by operating
2. Wednesday, January 28th, 1998, The E.P.A. and the U.S. Department of
Justice announced that they have settled a civil case with the BIPCo
regarding the utility's violations of the Clean Air Act that began in
1981. BIPCo must install nitrogen oxides (NOx) scrubber on all and
illegally installed diesel generators or install an undersea power
cable from mainland (RI) power utility company and remove diesel
generators plus pay a $90,000 fine.
3. A National Renewable Energy Laboratory “A Preliminary Analysis of
Block Island Power Company’s Use of Clean Distributed Resources to
Provide Power to Its Customers” Technical Report was completed August
4. BIPCo opts to install nitrogen oxides (NOx) scrubber on all and
illegally installed diesel generators at a cost of approximately $42
million verses approximately $40-$47 million to have undersea power
cable installed. This thought to or estimated to effectively protect
investor rates of returns. If BICo had installed a cable then it would
have to try and recoup the cable cost from Block Island only residents
after it had just purchased new diesel generators and there are hints
of problems with current underground diesel fuel storage tanks.
5. BIPCo operates a legacy power grid designed to be powered by
firm-fixed diesel generators providing fixed voltage, fixed ampacity
and fixed frequency (Hz). Maximum peak power demand is approximately
11MW. It is neither cost effective nor prudent catastrophic maintenance
wise to operate diesel generators at 50% or lower of rated power demand.
6. DeepWater Water offshore wind power turbines provide constantly
fluctuating (non-firm power) alternate energy power voltage, ampacity
and frequency (Hz) due to constant changes in wind direction and speed.
7. DeepWater Wind indicates in statements they can power Block Island
up to 90% of power needs and allow National Grid to supply 10% of power
via undersea cable and sell excess power to National Grid from wind
farm (Jeffrey Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind is blowing smoke in
everyone’s ears because he doesn’t know as it has not been tested nor
accomplished on a small island scale).
8. A review “Study on maximum permissible intermittent electricity
generators in an electricity supply network based on grid stability
power quality criteria” by Michael Knopp dated January 10. 2012 study
about adding wind farm to St. Vincent Island 2013:
indicates between 20% and 40% allowable maximum intermittent power on
the small island diesel power legacy electric grid before grid
9. By adding the bidirectional power cable from National Grid allows
DeepWater Wind to mask the amount of power being supplied to Block
Island from offshore wind turbines and percentage required trying to
stabilize the grid before grid trip out by National Grid plus pass the
cost of the undersea cable on to all RI ratepayers except Block Island
ratepayers who will see a reduction of rates by 40% while everyone else
electric rates rise.
10. DeepWater Wind is proposing to use Siemen’s new untested new design
and new technology 6MW direct-drive large offshore wind turbines for
the Block Island demonstration project. Three blade balanced turbines
require very expensive special ocean-going jack-up barges for
installation and maintenance.
11. Underwater supporting structures for the wind turbine farm have
never been constructed or tested for New England area North Atlantic
12. DeepWater Wind has never completed or built a project.
13. DeepWater Wind exhibits total disregard for human safety by design
to run 35KV power lines 10 ft. under the beach sand at pristine
Narragansett Town Beach where children play, dig in the sand and the
unknown interface requirements to the power grid and cable run near or
through Little League ballpark, family park and wetlands.
14. DeepWater Wind has not indicated many barrels of oil and lubricant
must be supplied and stored to each wind turbine in the water and if an
offshore electrical transformer platform will be required that possibly
would be oil filled for cooling. Storage of so much oil could pose an
ecological problem for the pristine waters of RI and Narragansett Bay
marine life in case of an accidental spill, hurricane or tropical storm
15. First Wind which is a company partner of DeepWater hooked up the
last grid power interface for a HI ground based wind farm which
suffered three fires, last one of which burned for three days releasing
toxic materials (lead) into air and burned the steel interface building
to the ground and destroyed storage units effectively taking the wind
farm totally off-line.
16. DeepWater Wind is installing nameplate 30MW of which 40% maximum
(12MW) will provide constant power to Block Island. Block Island peak
power usage average is 11MW. 30% average usable intermittent wind power
to Block Island without causing legacy grid instability would be 3.3MW
of wind power usable on the Block Island legacy power grid leaving
9.7MW being sold to National Grid’s trunk grid. In return, National
Grid would need to provide 8.7MW firm-fixed conditioned (baseload)
power via bidirectional cable to Block Island so diesel generators
could be shut down, diesel tanks drained and removed and diesel
generators sold as second-hand.
17. Block Island residents will see a 40% rate reduction and rest of
state of Rhode Island resident ratepayers would see increase in rates
(up to $0.46/Kwh) paying approximately $415 million to $430 million
surcharge for the 30MW demonstration offshore wind farm over next 20
years that will only be supplying an estimated maximum 3.3MW (unless
the legacy grid is fully upgraded to smart grid at extra cost) to Block
Island however, Block Island residents will get a free mainland (RI)
power cable installed, cheaper electric rates, less air pollution and
more dependable electric service through BIPCo and National Grid.
18. One has to answer the question; “Does having the mainland (RI)
state population pay approximately $415 million to $430 million
surcharge and additional unspecified charges and operating costs plus
creating 6 full time jobs over the next 20 years for an estimated 3.3MW
(2ea-6MW wind turbines at 28% power) of clean alternate energy for
approximately 1,000 residents a good fit and economic sense for RI?
19. One also must ask; “Is the demonstration offshore wind farm really
necessary when it will be only supplying estimated 30% power (limited
by legacy grid stability) and mainland (RI) cable is supplying 70%
firm-fixed (baseload) power?”
Hope this has provides some insight!
Am so I happy I moved out of RI!!!! The electric rates will be highest
in the nation in RI; higher than in HI if DeepWater Wind ever completes
this project and finally gets it operational within safety standards!
See attached Email sent to Narragansett Town Council.
America's first offshore wind project's benefits a "hollow" "sales pitch"