BDN - Is Maine’s electric grid ready for a lot more renewable power? Regulators need to find out now

Following is a fairly incredible revelation, i.e., that in essence, the $1.4 billion MPRP (Maine Power Reliability Program, aka, the "CMP upgrade") was built, after all, for wind and solar.

From the BDN:

CMP posting BDN refers to:

It's an amazing revelation because at the time CMP and its media hand maidens stressed that our 40 year old lines were aging and population growth (there was relatively none) made the $1.4 billion expenditure necessary.

At the time, wind project opponents warned that the MPRP had little to do with replacing old lines because they were old. Rather, we called it exactly what we thought it was, a free gift to the already heavily subsidized wind industry, without which they couldn't ship their product out of state. And who paid for it? We did, the ratepayers.

It seems obvious that the reason they obscured the real reason for the $1.4 billion ratepayer borne expense was they did not want the average citizen to know the true costs entailed with wind. Also, at the time they told Mainers not to worry as Maine ratepayers would pay only 8% of the $1.4 billion as we only represented 8% of ISO-New England, i.e., the grid. What they failed to say was that perhaps $30 billion of similar projects in New England were likely to materialize (to accommodate renewables) and that Mainers' 8% of $30 billion would be $2.4 billion.That is a lot of money per rate paying household or business.

So they tell us wind is free. And the grid in essence accepts this BS and lets wind bump other bidders like natural gas. But add the transmission cost, the giant subsidies, the capacity payments, the inefficiency of the natural gas plants that have to ramp up and down to infill for wind's skitter (inefficient like a car in stop and go traffic) and the money paid for REC's which ultimately get passed on to consumers, and what we have is a grossly expensive non-dense, non-dispatchable power source raping ratepayers and taxpayers.

From the "green press" - you can't make this stuff up *

".............If humans are going to inhabit the Earth for millennia to come, they will need to either adapt to new climate realities or develop effective measures to mitigate the effects of a warming environment. Since genetic adaptation takes hundreds if not thousands of years while the worst effects of a warmer planet are happening now, relying on adaptation of our species is unlikely to be effective. That leaves decarbonizing human activities as the only sensible path forward.................."

* Name of the article is: "America’s Electrical Grid Has A Transmission Problem — How To Move Electricity From Here To There?"

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Comment by Penny Gray on February 24, 2021 at 12:35pm

"But wind energy is a symbol of what we should be doing!"

Comment by Jim Wiegand on February 23, 2021 at 11:29am

If humans are going to inhabit the Earth for millennia to come, they will have to solve problems.

But with criminals and sociopaths running the show, science has been put in the toilet, making this task impossible.

Comment by Long Islander on February 23, 2021 at 10:52am

Dense greenies don't comprehend dense fuels.

Comment by arthur qwenk on February 23, 2021 at 10:37am

These "Greenies" need Psychiatric help, but certainly , they must not be allowed to bankrupt a nation  and cause suffering  for their emotional imbalance (raison d'etre) and lack of scientific education concerning thermodynamics and the physics of energy creation and utilization. There is no free lunch!

This  is a well planned   post "Cold War" (look it up Greenies)  power ploy utilized by the "know it all" elitists to mold  the economy of the left, who would do a real service to humanity if they were to  pick up  a shovel instead , get a seedling and plant it wherever the Renewable Scam has ruined the environment .

The perpetual  motion machine does not exist, Dense Reliable Fuels Rule, Non-Reliable  Renewables can never replace Reliables  and at the same time advance modernity.

This ideologically based  Green theology  will only cause great expenditures and societal retrogression. 

Comment by Willem Post on February 23, 2021 at 9:39am

Monitoring/Recording Electricity Data


The output of every electricity plant, which has a name and a number, in every state, is monitored/recorded, on a minute-by-minute basis, in real-time, by the regional grid operator, such as ISO-NE


The electricity drawn from a regional grid by a utility, such a GMP drawing from the NE grid, is monitored/recorded, on a minute-by-minute basis, in real-time, by the grid operator.


All that data is forwarded to the Energy Information Administration, EIA, a department within the US Department of Energy.


The data can be obtained by the public, but that requires some complex Googling.


Account Settling Procedures


Every utility has power purchase agreements, PPAs, with owners of electricity power plants.

Such agreements cover MW, MWh, timing and prices, $/MWh

The grid operator uses the monitored/recorded data to debit the utility account and to credit the owner account, based on the terms of the PPAs.

Comment by Willem Post on February 23, 2021 at 9:38am

Wind Turbines in Colder Regions


As standard equipment, the wind turbines in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, etc., have heaters for the rotors and blades, and for the big box, aka nacelle, on the top of the tower. To avoid freeze-ups and dangerous ice throws.


There are a variety of cold weather and anti-icing technologies used on wind turbines in the coldest regions.

These technologies help prevent the buildup of ice on turbine blades, detect ice when it cannot be prevented, and remove ice safely when it is detected.”


The sensors tell which blades have ice on them and which ones don’t.

When ice is detected, heating elements inside the blades turn on to melt the ice.


For safety reasons, the turbines are shut down while the heating elements melt off the ice.

That way, there’s no chance of ice flying off spinning blades, potentially damaging the turbines or, worse, striking someone on the ground, she said.


Once the ice is removed, the turbines are turned back on and the blades can safely spin in the wind again.


In Texas, wind turbines are not equipped with such de-icing packages, because operators never expected to need them


Turbines in Texas are built for the type of temperatures they usually see in Texas; 110F, not 10F


Texas needs to freeze-proof its power plants and wind turbines, to ensure greater reliability of service.


NOTE: The image is of Bernie Sanders in Texas. “High and dry! What, me worry? I used to be a poor hippie from Brooklyn, NY City, but now I am a multi-millionaire, with 3 houses and a tax-free BS Foundation, riding on private planes wherever I go, thanks to campaign contributions, speaking fees, etc., diverted to my tax-free BS Foundation”

Comment by Willem Post on February 23, 2021 at 9:36am

Subsidies and Cost shifting is the Name of the Game for Wind and Solar


From 2006 to 2019, wind and solar generators in Texas received about $19.4 billion in subsidies and benefits from taxpayers and consumers. It is estimated generators will receive another $15.9 billion over the next decade. In 2018, about 28% of renewable generators’ income comes from subsidies. Investors have flocked to these subsidies. And why shouldn’t they? Free money and subsidized transmission from the government makes for a very attractive return on investment.


Warren Edward Buffett


For example, 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”


The image shows the subsidies for wind and solar.


Comment by Willem Post on February 23, 2021 at 9:34am

Texas Snow Storm Event


California imports about 30% of its annual electricity to cover any electricity short-falls; it has major connections to nearby grids. This mode of operation sufficed, until the US Southwest had a major, multi-day, heat wave; during heat waves winds are minimal. As a result, electricity supplies, from mostly coal-fired plants, to California were curtailed by the exporting states. The result was rolling black-outs for several days, with 115F temperatures, because California had closed 15 of its 19 Pacific Coast, highly efficient, low-CO2, minimal-polluting gas plants.

None of this had anything to do with the California grid.


Texas does not import electricity, because it has minor connections to nearby grids.

New England imports about 19% of its electricity, because it has major connections to nearby grids.


The New York Times, February 20, 2021, displayed a graph, based on EIA data, of Texas electricity production by source, a few days before, and a few days after, the major winter snow storm, which started early evening, February 14, 2021.


Gas plant output was about 43,000 MW. The output became about 29,000 MW about one day later, a 33% reduction (largely due to piping freeze-ups), then output went up and down, at an average of about 29,000 MW, to counteract changes of other sources.


Coal plant output was about 11,000 MW. The output became about 8,000 MW about one day later, a 27% reduction (largely due to piping freeze-ups), then the output was about 7,000 to 8,000 MW


Wind plant output was about 9,000 MW, from an installed capacity of 30,904 MW, about 15,000 wind turbines; the capacity factor was 9000/30904 = 0.29. The output became 1,000 MW about one day later, an 89% reduction (largely due to freeze ups of 12,000 MW of capacity, about 12000/30904 x 15000 = 5,825 wind turbines), then the output increased to 4,000 MW for about a day, then decreased to about 1,000 MW, etc., due to wind-velocity variations. The relatively few wind turbines on the Texas Gulf Coast were unaffected by the snow storm.


Nuclear plant output was about 4,000 MW. The output became about 3,000 MW about one day later (largely due to piping freeze-ups), a 25% reduction


Solar plant output was near zero. The output increased to 3,000 MW, from and installed capacity of about 13,000 MW, on the following midday, then to near-zero again, etc.


None of this had anything to do with the Texas grid.


The image shows the installed capacity of each major source, MW, including estimates for 2021.


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.”

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 -- Mahatma Gandhi

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