BIDEN 30,000 MW OFFSHORE WIND SYSTEMS BY 2030; AN EXPENSIVE FANTASY

The Biden administration announced on October 13, 2021, it will subsidize the development of up to seven offshore wind systems (never call them farms) on the US East and West coasts, and in the Gulf of Mexico; a total of about 30,000 MW of offshore wind by 2030.

 

Biden's offshore wind systems would have an adverse, long-term impact on US electricity wholesale prices, and the prices of all other goods and services, because their expensive electricity would permeate into all economic activities.

 

The wind turbines would be at least 800-ft-tall, which would need to be located at least 30 miles from shores, to ensure minimal disturbance from night-time strobe lights.

 

Any commercial fishing areas would be significantly impacted by below-water infrastructures and cables. The low-frequency noise (less than 20 cycles per second, aka infrasound) of the wind turbines would adversely affect marine life, and productivity of fishing areas.

 

Production: Annual production would be about 30,000 x 8766 h/y x 0.45, capacity factor = 118,341,000 MWh, or 118.3 TWh of variable, intermittent, wind/weather/season-dependent electricity.

 

The additional wind production would be about 100 x 118.3/4000 = 2.96% of the annual electricity loaded onto US grids.

That US load would increase, due to tens of millions of future electric vehicles and heat pumps.

 

This would require a large capacity of combined-cycle, gas-turbine plants, CCGTs, to cost-effectively:

 

1) Counteract the wind output variations, MW, aka grid balancing

2) Fill-in wind production shortfalls, MWh, during any wind lulls

 

Such lulls occur at random throughout the year, and may last 5 to 7 days in the New England area.

 

These URLs provide examples of similar wind/solar lull conditions in Germany and New England

 

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/analysis-of-a-6-day-lu...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-plus-solar-plus-st...

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-and-solar-energy-...

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/playing-russian-roulet...

High Costs of Balancing the Grid with Increased Wind and Solar

The ANNUAL grid balancing costs are entirely due to the variations and intermittencies of wind and solar, because the OTHER power plants have to operate far from their efficient modes of operation, 24/7/365. They experience:

 

1) More up/down production at lower efficiencies, which have more Btu/kWh, more CO2/kWh

2) More equipment wear-and-tear cost/kWh, due to up/down production

3) More-frequent plant starts/stops, which have high Btu/kWh, high CO2/kWh

 

Increased wind and solar also requires:

 

- Increased hot, synchronous (3,600 rpm), standby plant capacity, MW, to immediately provide power, if wind/solar generation suddenly decreases, or any other power system outage occurs.

- Increased cold, standby plant capacity, MW, to provide power after a plant’s start-up period.  

 

When wind and solar were only a very small percent of the electricity loaded onto the NE grid, those balancing costs were minimal, sort of “lost in the data fog”

 

When wind and solar became a large percent, those balancing costs in the UK became 1.3 BILLION U.K. pounds in 2020, likely even more in 2021, 2022, etc.

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/grid-balancing-costs-sky-rocket-in-the-uk-due-to-increased-wind

 

Those balancing costs should have been charged to the Owners of wind and solar systems, but, in reality, they were politically shifted to taxpayers, ratepayers, and government debts.

 

Those balancing costs are in addition to the various government subsidies, which are also politically shifted to taxpayers, ratepayers, and government debts.

 

Now you all are finally beginning to see just how wonderful wind and solar have been, and will be, for your pocketbook.

 

Energy systems analysts, with decades of experience, saw this mess coming about 20 years ago, but all-knowing legislators and bureaucrats ignored them, because they were pressured into aiding and abetting the harvesting of federal and state subsidies for RE businesses.

Turnkey Capital Cost: The turnkey capital cost for wind systems, plus offshore/onshore grid extension/augmentation would be about 30,000 MW x $5,000,000/MW = $150 BILLION, excluding financing costs. Biden’s excessive inflation rates, about 7% at present, surely would increase that cost.

 

Area Requirements: The 8-MW wind turbines would be arranged on a grid, spaced at least one mile apart (8 rotor diameters), about 1 sq mile per wind turbine. The minimum sea area requirement for 30,000/8 = 3,750 wind turbines would be 3,750 sq miles, or 2,400,000 acres

Electricity Cost/kWh: Based on the real-world European, mostly UK and German, operating experience in the North Sea and Baltic, such highly subsidized wind turbine systems:

1) Last about 20 years

2) Have high maintenance and operating costs, due to the adverse marine environment

3) Produce electricity at an “al-in” cost of about 2.25 times NE wholesale prices. See Appendix

The “all-in” wholesale prices of the offshore electricity of new systems are calculated at about 17 c/kWh, without cost shifting and subsidies, and about 9 c/kWh, with cost shifting and subsidies. The shifted costs and subsidies would result in:

 

1) Increased tax burdens on taxpayers

2) Increased household electric rates on ratepayers

3) Additions to federal and state government debts.

4) Additional burdens on the owners of traditional generators, because their power plants have to counteract the wind output variations, 24/7/365; the more wind (and solar), the greater the electricity quantities involved in the counteracting, plus their plants have to spend more time on standby, and are required to have more-frequent start/stops. See URLs and Appendix

 

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/grid-balancing-costs-sky-rocket-in-the-uk-due-to-increased-wind

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-name-of-the-game-regarding-wind-and-solar

 

NOTE: These rates compare with the average New England wholesale price of 5 c/kWh, during the 2009 - 2022 period, 13 years, courtesy of:

 

1) Abundant, domestic, natural gas-fueled CCGT plants, that have: 1) low-cost/kWh, low-CO2/kWh, extremely-low particulate/kWh

2) Domestic, uranium-fueled nuclear plants, that have low-cost/kWh, near-zero CO2/kWh, zero particulate/kWh

3) Long-lasting hydro plants, that have low-cost/kWh, near-zero-CO2/kWh, zero particulate/kWh

 

NOTE: Cost shifting and subsidies have not yet affected NE wholesale prices, because the percent of new RE (mostly wind and solar) on the NE grid is very small, after 20 years of subsidies.

The image shows the negligeable “contribution” of wind + solar to the NE grid load, during 2021, after 20 years of subsidies!!

 

Wind and solar became significant in Germany and Denmark after more than 20 years of subsidies, resulting in:

 

- Politicians excessively allocating RE costs to households, thereby greatly increasing household electric rates.

- Politicians keeping industrial rates artificially low for international competitiveness reasons (a hidden trade subsidy). See URL

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/german-household-electricity-prices-reach-new-record-high-in-2021

Biden Offshore Wind Systems Benefitting Europe

 

Almost the entire physical supply and installation of the 30,000 MW of offshore wind systems would be provided by EU companies, because they have the required expertise and the domestic onshore facilities and seagoing facilities, due to building at least 25,014 MW (end 2020) of offshore systems, starting in 1991. See URL

https://windeurope.org/about-wind/history/

 

The offshore wind turbine industry is trending towards wind turbines with capacities of 8 to 12 MW.

European experience indicates, the larger-capacity wind turbines require more maintenance/kWh, and have more downtime/kWh.

 

Currently, EU companies have capacity to install 8 to 10 MW offshore wind turbines, at a rate of about 1,500 MW/y

Adding 30,000 MW of very expensive offshore wind systems, would be of primary benefit to Europe which would:

 

1) Make oodles of money financing, designing, building, assembling, operating and maintaining, replacing, almost all of the wind turbine systems, and

2) Permanently saddle the US, a trade competitor, with much higher energy costs, than at present, and

3) Continue to benefit from the significant US annual expenditures for defending Europe.

The US is falling into the EU very expensive, debilitating trap.

 

BTW, Europe must have wind and solar, because it imports huge quantities of energy (mostly from unfriendly countries), whereas the US is nearly energy independent

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-plot-is-thickening...

US Offshore Wind System Experience

US production capacity of large, up to 10 MW, wind turbines, is practically non-existent; only GE is active in that space.

 

It would take years to create US sites for producing offshore wind turbines.

It would take years to build the sea-going ships and specialized cranes to transport, assemble, and service the wind turbines.

 

Duplicating the EU onshore and seagoing facilities in the US, PLUS implementing 30,000 MW of offshore wind systems in less than 8 years, 2022 to 2030, at a rate of 30,000/8 = 3,750 MW/y, would be physically impossible.

  

In the real world, any independent energy systems analyst would deem Biden’s offshore wind scheme a total fantasy.

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/high-costs-of-wind-solar-and-battery-systems

 

Additional URLs for information

 

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-and-solar-provide-50-percent-of-future-new-england

https://www.boem.gov/sites/default/files/renewable-energy-program/What-Does-an-Offshore-Wind-Energy-Facility-Look-Like.pdf

 

APPENDIX 1

 

BLOCK ISLAND WIND NEAR RHODE ISLAND; DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

 

Block Island Wind, BIW, is the first commercial offshore wind farm in the US, located 3.8 miles from Block Island

See Note.

 

The five-turbine, 30 MW project was developed by Deepwater Wind.

Oersted, a Danish company, acquired Deepwater Wind in 2018

Five 6-MW turbines, total height 589 ft, were designed by Alstom Wind, a division of Alstom-Haliade, a French company

They can withstand a Category 3 storm.

 

Gulf Island Fabrication, in Louisiana, which has experience building oil rigs in the Mexican Gulf, built the structural-steel support structures, and erected them at the site.

 

Power is transmitted from the turbines to the on-shore electric grid, via a 21-mile, submarine power cable, buried under the ocean floor, making landfall north of Scarborough Beach in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

 

The system connects New Shoreham, a small town on Block Island, to the grid for the first time.

This allows it to stop using diesel generators

 

Construction began in 2015

Construction was completed in August 2016.

Production was officially started in December 2016. 

 

Deepwater Wind's five turbines stand in the water off Block Island, R.I, the nation's first offshore wind farm.

 

Production: The graph shows production, MWh, and capacity factors, from commissioning December 1, 2016 to October 1, 2021. The low values for the second half of 2021 were due to several malfunctions.

Production was 104,351 MWh in 2017; 112,362 MWh in 2018; 117,792 MWh in 2019; 120,229 MWh in 2020

The average operating capacity factor for the 2018, 2019, 2020 period was 0.441, which is less than the predicted capacity factor of 125,000/(8766 x 30) = 0.475

This wind electricity is low quality, i.e., variable/intermittent, wind/weather/season-dependent.

 

The additional wind production would be about 100 x 0.118/115 = 0.102% of the annual electricity loaded onto the NE grid.

That NE grid load would increase, due to tens of millions of future electric vehicles and heat pumps.

 

Turnkey Capital Cost: Deepwater Wind, owns and operates BIW. The turnkey capital cost was $300 million, or $10,000/MW. This cost may not include the cost of on-shore grid extension/augmentation

https://oceanactionagenda.org/story/offshore-wind-makes-u-s-debut-o...

 

Based on the real-world European off-shore operating experience, such systems would last about 20 years.

 

Area Requirements: The five, 6-MW wind turbines were arranged in line, spaced at least 1/2 mile apart.

 

Exorbitant Wholesale Prices Charged by Developers: In 2009, the State of Rhode Island designated Deepwater Wind to begin the BIW wind project. In that year, Deepwater Wind signed an agreement to sell the BIW electricity to National Grid 

 

The turnkey capital cost was high, because there was near-zero competitive bidding.

  

Per the Deepwater Wind/National Grid power purchase agreement:

 

- 24.4 c/kWh during Year 1

- Escalating at 3.5%/y for 20 years;

- 48.7 c/kWh during Year 20. See Note

 

Those prices are only a fraction of the “all-in” cost of offshore wind. See Appendix and URL

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-na...

  

APPENDIX 2

 

This appendix has three parts; each part describes a Hywind floating offshore wind turbine project

 

PART 1; Hywind Floating Wind Turbine in Norway; Demonstration Project

 

The Norwegians have about 60 years of experience building and servicing oil/gas rigs and laying undersea electric cables, gas lines and oil lines all over the world.

 

They have invested billions of dollars in specialized deep-water, Norwegian harbors and facilities for assembly of oil/gas rigs and invested in specialized sea-going heavy lifters, and specialized sea-going tugboats to tow the oil/gas rigs from Norwegian building sites to oil/gas production sites. The heavy lifters and other ships perform services all over the world.

 

Norway companies want to expand their business by building and servicing and providing spare parts for floating wind turbines for deep-water conditions all over the world

 

Equinor (formerly Statoil, a Norwegian government-controlled company) launched the world's first operational deep-water, floating, wind turbine in 2009. The turbine trade name is “Hywind”.

 

The wind turbine consists of a 120 m (390 ft) tall tower, above the sea water level, and a 60 m (195 ft) submerged extension below the sea water level, with a heavy weight at the bottom to keep the wind turbine steady and upright, even with very high waves and strong wind conditions. The design was tested and perfected under storm and wind conditions simulated in a laboratory.

 

The 2.3 MW wind turbine is mounted on top of the tower. It was fully assembled in a deep-water harbor near Stavanger, Norway.

 

It was towed to a site 10 km (6.2 mi) offshore into the Amoy Fjord in 220 m (720 ft) deep water, near Stavanger, Norway, on 9 June 2009, for a two-year test run, which turned out to be successful.

 

NOTE:

- Norwegians advocating expensive floating wind turbines that are weather and wind-dependent, and produce low-quality, variable/intermittent outputs, at high-cost, for Maine ratepayers, is highly hypocritical, because the Norwegians get 98% of their electricity from their own hydro plants, which have steady outputs, at low-cost/kWh, near-zero-CO2/kWh, and zero particulate/kWh.

 

- Danes advocating wind turbines and boasting about their high percent of wind on their grid, are similarly hypocritical, because the Danes have been increasingly using the storage reservoirs of Norway’s hydro plants for decades, to counteract the output variations of wind.

 

PART 2; Hywind Floating Wind Turbine System in Scotland; Commercial Project

 

The Hywind Scotland project is the world's first commercial wind turbine plant using floating wind turbines.

 

It is located 29 km (EIGHTEEN MILES) off PeterheadScotland to minimize visual impacts from shore.

It has five Hywind floating turbines with a total capacity of 30 MW.

It is operated by Hywind Limited, a joint venture of Equinor, Norway (75%) and Masdar, Kuwait (25%).

Equinor received permission to install 5 Hywind turbines in Scotland in 2015.  

Manufacturing started in 2016 in Spain (wind turbine, rotor), Norway (tower, underwater base, assembly), and Scotland (various parts)

 

The turbines were designed to float on the surface, with about 180 m (600 ft) above the sea water level and 80 m (265 ft) submerged below the seawater level.

Total steel weight is about 2,300 metric ton

Total ballast weight is about 20,000 metric ton.

Heavy weights in the bottom of the submerged parts serve to keep them steady and upright.

 

The turbines were assembled at Stord in Norway in the summer of 2017, using the specialized, sea-going crane,  Saipem 7000 with a 14,000-metric ton lifting capacity. The crane is required for partial assembly on land and final assembly in an area, with a very deep harbor, close to shore.

 

The assembled turbines were towed by sea-going tugboats to Peterhead, in the northern part of Scotland. 

Three cup anchors hold each turbine in place.

Three 600-meter chains are required, total weight 400 metric ton, for each turbine.

 

The project was commissioned in October 2017.

Make sure to see the videos showing the crane assembling the entire wind turbine.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUlfvXaISvc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmkA6hbJ_j8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQVU7UaMuck

 

Turnkey Capital Cost: The turnkey capital cost was $263 million for five, 6-MW turbines, or $8,767/kW, excluding on-shore grid extension/augmentation.

 

NOTE: No such on-shore infrastructure and sea-going capability exist in Maine, or in the rest of New England.

That means offshore wind turbine assembly and servicing would largely be performed by foreign companies, which already have built the on-shore infrastructures to manufacture wind turbines, and sea-going cranes for assembling wind turbines, during the past 39 years.

 

PART 3; Hywind Floating Wind Turbine System in Maine; Demonstration Project

The concept phase of the project envisioned two Hywind floating wind turbines supplied by Norway.

The project was abandoned, because it would:

- Have a very high turnkey capital cost of about $10,000/kW

- Require extremely high payments to Owners for 20 years, to enable them to recover their capital, plus a return on investment of about 9%/y

- Have issues regarding 1) day-time visual and infrasound impacts, and 2) night-time visual impacts of strobe lights

- Adversely affect the marine life and viability of fishing areas

Turnkey Capital Cost: The turnkey cost would be at about $120 million for two, 6-MW wind turbines, $10,000/kW, plus whatever onshore facilities would need to be built in Maine to support the project, plus any on-shore grid extension/augmentation.

 

NOTE: This cost compares with NE ridgeline wind at about $2,400kW, and standard offshore wind, south of Martha’s Vineyard Island, at about $4,000/kW.

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

 

NOTE: The turnkey capital cost of building Hywind offshore wind turbines in Maine would be much greater, because Maine does not have the offshore oil/gas rig experience of the Norwegians, and the specialized equipment and ships, and other facilities.

It would be very costly to build those ships and facilities in Maine, or elsewhere. 

Disturbing Visibility and Infrasound Noise: The two, 6 MW, 600-ft tall Hywind wind turbines would be highly visible from Mohegan Island, if they were located TWO MILES east of the island.

 

At that distance, audible noises would keep people awake.

Low frequency infrasound, which can travel many miles, and can pass through walls of houses, and can be felt but not heard, has been shown to have adverse health impacts on people, sea life, and on-shore animals.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-turbine-noise-adve...

 

Here is a research report of daytime and nighttime visibility of wind turbines that are about 3 to 4 MW and about 500 ft tall. See URL with photos.

http://visualimpact.anl.gov/offshorevitd/docs/OffshoreVITD.pdf

 

“Study objectives included identifying the maximum distances the facilities could be seen in both daytime and nighttime views and assessing the effect of distance on visual contrasts associated with the facilities. Results showed that small to moderately sized facilities were visible to the unaided eye at distances greater than 42 km [26 miles (mi)], with turbine blade movement visible up to 39 km (24 mi). At night, aerial hazard navigation lighting was visible at distances greater than 39 km (24 mi). The observed wind facilities were judged to be a major focus of visual attention at distances up to 16 km (10 mi), were noticeable to casual observers at distances of almost 29 km (18 mi), and were visible with extended or concentrated viewing at distances beyond 40 km (25 mi).”

 

Aviation Strobe Lights: The FAA-required aviation beacons would be clearly visible during nighttime.

BTW, they would need to be located at least 20 miles away from Mohegan Island to be unobtrusive to the Islanders.

 

One has to feel sorry for all the residents of Mohegan Island, but the bureaucrats in Augusta, Maine, do not care about that, because there are not enough votes to stop them. Those bureaucrats are hell-bent to use federal and state grants, subsidies, taxpayer and ratepayer money of already-struggling Maine workers to save the world, and to enrich a host of multi-millionaires seeking tax shelters.

Extremely Adverse Impact on CMP Electric Rates: LePage’s energy director, Steven McGrath, focused on the cost of electricity from the demonstration project.

 

The price paid to Hywind Owners would have been:

 

- 23 c/kWh during Year 1

- Escalating at 2.5%/y for 20 years

37.7 c/kWh during Year 20

 

Those prices are only a fraction of the “all-in” cost of offshore wind. See Appendix and URL

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-na...

 

These prices are much higher than NE grid wholesale prices. The excess electricity costs and subsidies paid to owners are shifted elsewhere. They will result in:

1) Increased tax burdens on taxpayers

2) Increased household electric rates on ratepayers

3) Additions to federal and state government debts.

4) Additional burdens on the owners of traditional generators, because their power plants have to counteract the wind output variations, 24/7/365; the more wind (and solar), the greater the electricity quantities involved in the counteracting. See Appendix

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-name-of-the-game-regarding-wind-and-solar

The PUC had estimated the expensive floating, offshore, wind electricity would add about $208 million over 20 years, or about $10.5 million/y, to be extracted from Central Maine Power ratepayers.

Aqua Ventus had calculated the expensive wind electricity would add about 73 c/month to the average household electric bill, in the first year of operation (much more thereafter).

One has to feel sorry for the already-struggling, over-regulated, over-taxed Maine workers, who would be forced to pay for this folly.

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/04/01/effort-to-build-offshore-win...

APPENDIX 3

 

AQUA VENTUS FLOATING WIND TURBINE RESEARCH PROJECT 

 

RWE Renewables (Germany) and Mitsubishi-owned Diamond Offshore Wind (Japan) announced on August 6, 2020, they formed a joint venture, JV, known as New England Aqua Ventus, that will acquire, develop and operate the single-turbine floating wind project,

 

RWE claims to be the world’s second-largest developer of offshore wind projects, after Denmark’s Ørsted.

 

New England Aqua Ventus would be the JV’s first project in US waters

It would be one of several floating demonstration projects the JV has invested in, globally, Wiechowski said.

 

University of Maine, whose Advanced Structures and Composites Center has been researching floating wind technology since 2008, and has carried the project this far, will own the intellectual property behind the VolturnUS floating hull concept, and will license the technology to the JV, which will perform the detailed design of the entire project.

 

Project Schedule and Description: The JV hopes to finalize the design work in 2021, sign the supply-chain contracts in 2022, and build the project in 2023, said Wojciech Wiechowski, senior manager at RWE Renewables

 

The JV design is for a single wind turbine rated at 11 MW, which would be representative of the range of commercially available, offshore wind turbines, at present.

 

The total height above sea level would be 732 ft (a 70-story building), the rotor diameter would be 656 ft (4 times the width of a football field), the rotor hub would be 403 ft above sea level (a 40-story building).

  

NOTE: The Empire State Building, at 102-floor elevation is 1,250 ft. Adding the spire and antenna, the elevation is 1,454 ft

 

Turnkey Capital Cost: The estimated turnkey capital cost would be about $100 million.

 

Production: 11 MW x 8,766 h/y x 0.45, capacity factor = 43,392 MWh/y

  

Extremely Adverse Impact on CMP Electric Rates: It is highly likely, the prices paid to the JV would be similar to the abandoned, super-expensive Hywind project, described under Appendix 2, i.e.:

 

- 23 c/kWh during Year 1

- Escalating at 2.5%/y for 20 years

37.7 c/kWh during Year 20. See Note

 

Those prices are only a fraction of the “all-in” cost of offshore wind. See Appendix and URL

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-name-of-the-game-regarding-wind-and-solar

 

These prices are much higher than NE grid wholesale prices. The excess electricity costs and subsidies paid to owners are shifted elsewhere. They will result in:

 

1) Increased tax burdens on taxpayers

2) Increased household electric rates on ratepayers

3) Additions to federal and state government debts.

4) Additional burdens on the owners of traditional generators, because their power plants have to counteract the wind output variations, 24/7/365; the more wind (and solar), the greater the electricity quantities involved in the counteracting. See Appendix

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-name-of-the-game-regarding-wind-and-solar

   

NOTE: These prices compare with the average New England wholesale price of 5 c/kWh, during the 2009 - 2022 period, 13 years, courtesy of:

 

1) Abundant, domestic, natural gas-fueled CCGT plants, that have: 1) low-cost/kWh, low-CO2/kWh, extremely-low particulate/kWh

2) Domestic, uranium-fueled nuclear plants, that have low-cost/kWh, near-zero CO2/kWh, near-zero particulate/kWh

3) Long-lasting hydro plants, that have low-cost/kWh, near-zero-CO2/kWh, zero particulate/kWh

 

Structural Support Systems: Several floating wind turbines are in operation in Europe.

All of them have partially submerged structural steel supports, similar to those used for offshore oil rigs.

The JV likely will use a structural steel support for the Aqua Ventus project, instead of concrete.

Here is an example of an operating floating wind turbine project:

 

World’s Largest Floating Wind Farm in Operation; Statkraft Buys Entire Output: The 50 MW Kincardine system has five Vestas 9.525 MW wind turbines, plus one 2 MW Vestas unit, installed at water depths from 200 to 250 ft.

The system uses triangular, structural steel platforms (not concrete)

The system is located about 10 miles off the southeast coast of Aberdeenshire, Scotland

The 2 MW turbine has been operating at the site since October 2018.

Production is about 200,000 MWh/y, at a CF = 0.456

https://www.offshorewind.biz/2021/09/21/worlds-largest-floating-wind-farm-starts-operating-statkraft-buys-entire-output/

Hypothetical Large-Scale Floating Wind Turbine Project

 

If a project had fifty 11-MW floating wind turbines (550 MW), there would be economics of scale.

 

The turnkey capital cost might become 550 MW x $4,000,000/MW = $2.2 billion, plus 10% for grid extension/augmentation, for a total of $2.42 billion.

 

The production would be 50 x 43,392 = 2,169,585 MWh/y

 

If we assume the Owners would require a 9% return on their $2.42 billion investment, they would need to be paid $259,121,075, each year, for 20 years, or ($259,121,075/y) / (2,169,585 MWh/y) = 11.94 c/kWh, to recover their capital with 9%/y return on investment

https://www.myamortizationchart.com

 

The project would have many annual costs (in addition to annual payments to Owners), such as O&M, services of specialized sea-going ships, insurance, taxes, etc., that would be, say 5 c/kWh, for a total cost of 16.94 c/kWh, the price at which Owners would have to sell their electricity to utilities, if Owners would get no subsidies.

 

Generous federal and state subsidies (grants, investment tax credits, accelerated depreciation write-offs, deduction of loan interest, etc.), would reduce the Owners cost to a politically palatable 9 c/kWh, if Owners would get subsidies.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-na...

 

With hyping from the Media, lay people in Maine would be led to believe “floating-offshore is a great bargain”.

 

However, no one is mentioning what to do with the old wind turbines after they are replaced with new ones.

Apres moi, le deluge?

However, per Economics 101, no costs ever disappear. They would merely be shifted from Owners to “elsewhere”, such as 1) taxpayers, 2) ratepayers, 3) additions to government debt, etc., as happened in Germany and Denmark, which have the highest household electric rates in Europe, precisely because they have a lot of wind and solar on their grids. See URLs

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-na...

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/grid-balancing-costs-s...

NOTE: The largest floating offshore project in operation is Equinor’s Hywind in Scotland, which uses five 6-MW turbines.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/deep-water-floating-off...

APPENDIX 4

Some Boothbay Residents and Fishing Industry Oppose Floating Wind Power Project

Maine Public | By Fred Bever

Published December 3, 2021

https://www.mainepublic.org/business-and-economy/2021-12-03/efforts...

 

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is taking heat from locals, for signing a deal to allow a cable from the turbine to come ashore on Boothbay waterfront property

 

The New England Aqua Ventus project aims to use the deep waters off Monhegan to test an 11-MW wind turbine, mounted on a fiberglass-composite, floating-platform, originally developed at the University of Maine.

 

"We are here, because we screwed up. I'm not happy with my team, for having done that," said project leader Chris Wisseman at a meeting in Boothbay on Thursday night.

 

"What we said last night and I'll say it again tonight is: Never again will we do that without telling people it's going to happen”.

 

Wisseman said that to gauge soil suitability for an underground cable to run from the shore to a local substation, the company deployed surveyors last month to drill dozens of test-borings — some of them inadvertently on private property.

 

After publicly apologizing, he said that following discussions around the event the company had decided to avoid one particular area.

 

He emphasized project planning is still in very early stages, promising more public consultation as specific routes become clearer.

Many local residents, including Andrew Morley, were not placated.

 

"Having this meeting after the fact sounds hollow to me, because it's obvious you got caught with your hand in the cookie jar. And now you want to... pretend like you have our best interest at heart, but you don't," Morley says.

 

Some Boothbay residents said they felt betrayed by the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, which has agreed to let the cable come ashore at its waterfront property, and will earn $200,000 over the easement's 20-year span.

 

Eben Wilson, a local lobsterman, says a decades-long history of good relations between the community and the lab is at risk.

 

"I do think that Bigelow failed miserably at communicating," he says.

 

Wilson also sits on a wind energy task force, put together by Gov. Janet Mills. He opposes this project.

 

He says he understands why a scientific institution dedicated to understanding and improving ocean health would support the development of technologies that could help slow global warming.

 

"They're seeing the effects of climate change in real time and they are studying that. And that's very honorable and understandable. The problem is that they made this decision and they never communicated with the community that they reside in. 

Until very recently, they hadn't thought this would be any form of an issue," he said.

 

"We were going to face the wrath of the fishing community. We didn't see any way around that. So how early do you open yourself up to what has been a national controversy?" says Deborah Bronk, Bigelow's president. 

 

She says the lab owes an apology for poor communications with residents upset about the possibility of a cable being laid near their homes. However, once completed, the visual impact will be small, because most of the system will be buried.

Given the urgency of finding ways to slow climate change, she stands by the decision to support the wind project.

 

"Am I going to apologize for signing the easement itself and saying we want to help this project move forward? No.

I think we were right in doing that. Because we need this. Humanity needs this," she says.

 

"If you care anything about a future that we're leaving our kids, we ought to be pulling out the stops. This could be just incredibly powerful technology."

 

Aqua Ventus aims to have what would be the nation's first floating-platform wind turbine up and running in 2023. 

 

Governor Mills is proposing a wind turbine array with twelve 11-MW wind turbines, located in waters farther south, to be built after 2023. Aqua Ventus would also develop that project. 

 

APPENDIX 5

EXORBITANT “ALL-IN” ELECTRICITY COST OF WIND AND SOLAR IN NEW ENGLAND

 

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/high-costs-of-wind-sol...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-na...

 

Pro RE folks point to the “price paid to owner” as the cost of wind and solar, purposely ignoring the other cost categories. The all-in cost of wind and solar, c/kWh, includes:

 

1) Above-market-price paid to Owners 

2) Subsidies paid to Owners

3) Owner return on invested capital at about 9%/y

4) Grid extension/augmentation

5) Grid support services, including fees for:

 

- Capacity availability (i.e., plants are fueled, staffed, kept in good working order, ready to produce on short notice)

- More frequent plant start-up/shut-down

 

6) Future battery systems

 

Comments on table 1

   

- Vermont legacy Standard Offer solar systems had greater subsidies paid to owner, than newer systems

- Wind prices paid to owner did not have the drastic reductions as solar prices.

- Vermont utilities are paid about 3.5 c/kWh for various costs they incur regarding net-metered solar systems

- "Added to rate base" is the cost wind and solar are added to the utility rate base, used to set electric rates.

- “Total cost”, including subsidies to owner and grid support, is the cost at which wind/solar are added to the utility rate base

- “NE utility cost” is the annual average cost of purchased electricity, about 6 c/kWh, plus NE grid operator charges, about 1.6 c/kWh

for a total of 7.6 c/kWh.

- “Grid support costs” would increase with increased use of battery systems to counteract the variability and intermittency of increased build-outs of wind and solar systems.

 

NOTES:

1) NE wholesale grid price averaged about 5 c/kWh or less, starting in 2009, due to low-cost CCGT and nuclear plants providing at least 65% of all electricity loaded onto the NE grid, in 2019.

 

- Wind, solar, landfill gas, and methane power plants provided about 4.8%

- Pre-existing refuse and wood power plants provided about 4.6%

- Pre-existing hydro power plants provided about 7.4%

- The rest was mostly hydro imports from the very-low-CO2 Canada grid, and from the much-higher-CO2 New York State grid

 

https://www.iso-ne.com/about/key-stats/resource-mix/

https://nepool.com/uploads/NPC_20200305_Composite4.pdf


2) There are Owning and Operating costs of the NE grid, in addition to utility wholesale prices.

ISO-NE pro-rates these O&O costs to utilities, at about 1.6 c/kWh.

 

3) NE charges are for: 

 
Regional network services, RNS, based on the utility peak demand occurring during a month

Forward capacity market, FCM, based on the utility peak demand occurring during a year.

 

Table 1/VT & NE sources

Paid to

Subsidy

Grid

GMP

 Added

ISO-NE

Total

NE

Times

 

 

paid to

support

 

to rate

RNS+

 

utility

 

owner

towner

cost

adder

base

FCM

cost

cost

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

Solar, rooftop, net-metered, new

17.4

5.2

2.1

3.5

20.9

1.6

29.8

7.6

3.92

Solar, rooftop, net-metered, legacy

18.2

5.4

2.1

3.5

21.7

1.6

30.8

7.6

4.05

Solar, standard offer, combo

11.0

6.74

2.1

11.0

1.6

21.44

7.6

2.82

Solar, standard offer, legacy

21.7

10.5

2.1

21.7

1.6

35.9

7.6

4.72

Wind, ridge line, new

8.5

3.9

2.4

8.5

1.6

16.4

7.6

2.15

Wind, offshore, new

9.0

4.1

2.4

9.0

1.6

17.1

7.6

2.25

 

Sample calculation; NE utility cost = 6, Purchased + 1.6, (RNS + FCM) = 7.6 c/kWh

Sample calculation; added to utility base = 17.4 + 3.5 = 20.9 c/kWh

Sample calculation; total cost = 17.4 + 5.2 + 2.1 + 3.5 + 1.6 = 29.8 c/kWh

 

Excludes costs for very expensive battery systems

Excludes costs for very expensive floating, offshore wind systems

Excludes cost for dealing with shortfalls during multi-day wind/solar lulls. See URL

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-and-solar-provide...

 

“Added to rate base” is for recent 20-y electricity supply contracts awarded by competitive bidding in NE.

“Added to rate base” would be much higher without subsidies and cost shifting.

 

US regions with good wind and solar conditions, and low construction costs/kW, produce at low c/kWh.

NE has poor wind conditions, except on pristine ridge lines, and the poorest solar conditions in the US, except the rainy, Seattle area.

NE has highest on-shore, ridgeline construction costs/kW ($2,400/kW in 2020), produces at high c/kWh

See page 39 of URL

https://www.energy.gov/sites/default/files/2021-08/Land-Based%20Win...

 

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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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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/

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