COMPARISON OF NE, VT, HYDRO-QUEBEC ELECTRICITY AND CO2

The purpose of this article is to compare the Hydro Quebec electricity prices of exports to New York and New England and the costs of wind and solar, and the prices paid to owners of New England wind and solar systems. The CO2 of wind, solar and hydro are also compared.

 

This article shows, it is abundantly clear electricity from Hydro-Quebec is far less costly than from New England wind and solar, plus it requires no subsidies and cost shifting.

 

Reservoir hydro has about the same CO/kWh as NE ridgeline wind

PV solar has much higher CO2/kWh than wind and solar

 

COST/kWh OF WIND AND SOLAR VARIES BY REGION 

 

A 3 MW wind turbine on an NE ridge line in New England would produce much less kWh/y than the same one in the windy Great Plains or the Texas Panhandle, plus the turnkey cost of installing the NE wind turbine, and maintaining it, would be much greater than the same one in the Great Plains and the Panhandle. As a result, the NE wind electricity price, c/kWh, would be much higher than in the Great Plains and the Texas Panhandle.

 

The same logic holds for solar systems

 

NE wind and solar prices are higher than most elsewhere in the US, because of poor NE wind and solar conditions.

Wind and solar prices are lowest in the windy Great Plains and Texas Panhandle, and the sunny US southwest.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-and-solar-conditio...

 

CO2/kWh OF WIND AND SOLAR VARIES BY REGION 

 

The CO2 of NE wind is about 14 g/kWh and of reservoir hydro about 17 g/kWh

The CO2 of NE solar is about 64 g/kWh, largely due to China’s energy-intensive mining of raw materials, and low-efficiency coal-fired power plants (high CO2/kWh).

 

NE wind and solar CO2/kWh are higher than most elsewhere in the US, because of poor NE wind and solar conditions.

CO2/kWh is lowest in the windy Great Plains and Texas Panhandle, and the sunny US southwest.

 

COSTSHIFTING REGARDING WIND AND SOLAR 

 

Owners of NE ridgeline wind systems and large-scale solar systems would need to sell their electricity to utilities at about 18.8 c/kWh and 23.5 c/kWh, respectively, without subsidies and various other costs shifted onto ratepayers and taxpayers

 

Owners of NE ridgeline wind systems and large-scale solar systems actually sell their electricity to utilities at about 9.0 c/kWh and 11.8 c/kWh, respectively, with subsidies and various other costs shifted onto ratepayers and tax payers.

 

The subsidies and shifted costs do not just disappear. They are paid by ratepayers, taxpayers, and added to debt.

 

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

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-more-wind-and-solar...

 

NOTE: NE wholesale prices of electricity have averaged about 5 c/kWh, starting in 2009, due to decreasing prices of low-cost, domestic gas and the already-low-cost prices of nuclear, which together were 76% of total NE generation of electricity in 2019. Those low prices have been a major boost for the NE economy.

 

WIND AND SOLAR HARMFUL FOR NEW ENGLAND’s ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT 

 

It is beyond rational for NE to economically damage itself by building out massive wind and solar systems; foreign wind companies are actively lobbying state governments, getting contracts, and wining and dining and cajoling to get some more. State bureaucrats love all the attention and ego-stroking by experts.

 

The wind and solar systems produce expensive, variable, intermittent, grid-disturbing electricity, because NE has poor wind/solar conditions, even though overly generous, head-turning, subsidies are available.

 

Wind and solar are unreliable, unpredictable and uncontrollable, because they are dependent on randomly varying winds and mostly midday sunshine (which causes grid-disturbing DUCK curves).

 

Wind/solar could not even function on any grid without the other generators (mostly gas turbines) continuously varying their outputs, as needed, 24/7/365, to maintain ISO-NE-specified grid conditions. The costs of these actions are shifted to ratepayers and taxpayers, i.e., not to "protected" wind/solar owners

 

Wind and solar require fossil fuels to excavate materials, including hard-to-obtain rare metals, fabricate and assemble parts, transportation to sites, and erection, and to operate and maintain them.

 

It should be no surprise, with the “advice” of Bloomberg’s BNEF, Goldman Sacks, etc., the various wind/solar subsidies were designed by the US Congress to coddle and enrich $billion companies and millionaires.

 

Environmental Impact: See the 1.5-hour video by Jeff Gibbs and Michael Moore

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2020/04/21/new-mi...

 

A MUCH BETTER APPROACH FOR NEW ENGLAND 

 

For NE, the best approach would be to concentrate on building, each year, tens of thousands of houses and other buildings with minimal requirements for heating, cooling and electricity, such as Passivhaus-level buildings.

 

Those buildings would need a very small capacity of air source heat pumps to economically provide 100% of heating and cooling and domestic hot water, at outdoor temperatures as low as -10F.

Those buildings, with roof-mounted solar, could also charge at least one EV for driving 15000, or more, miles/y

 

The resulting, mostly “home-grown”, value chain would create at least 200,000 new local jobs in NE, and would save real money for real people all over NE, instead of the usual coddling and enriching of $billion companies and millionaires.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-co2-reduction-o...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-co2-reduction-o...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/response-to-energy-acti...

NEW ENGLAND IS THE LEAST FAVORABLE FOR PV SOLAR, except areas near rainy Seattle

 

See this URL for detailed analysis

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/new-england-is-the-leas...

FORTRESS VERMONT; A MULTI-$BILLION BOON-DOGGLE FOISTED ONTO RATEPAYERS, TAXPAYERS AND DEBT  

 

See this URL for a detailed description of this boondoggle.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fortress-vermont-a-mult...

 

COSTS OF WIND AND SOLAR SHIFTED FROM MILLIONAIRE OWNERS TO STRUGGLING RATEPAYERS AND TAXPAYERS 

 

Clever multi-millionaires have known about wind and solar being much more expensive compared with existing generation (coal, oil, gas, nuclear, hydro, etc.) for at least 25 years.

https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/...

 

By beating the drums of climate change and global warming, and using clever lobbyists in the halls of Congress and State legislatures, they were able to get all sorts of goodies, such as upfront cash grants, upfront tax credits, low-cost loans, generous, above-market, feed-in tariffs, production tax credits, and loan interest and asset depreciation write-offs to avoid paying income taxes.

 

All that enables them, and others to claim wind and solar is equivalent and competitive with other workers. What more could these millionaires ask for?

 

COST SHIFTING ONTO RATEPAYERS, TAXPAYERS AND DEBT 

 

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 and intermittency, 24/7/365. Their random outputs require the other generators to inefficiently ramp up and down their outputs at part load, and to inefficiently make more frequent starts and stops, which also causes more wear and tear, all at no cost to wind and solar owners.

 

The more wind and solar on the grid, the larger the required up and down ramping of the gas turbines, which imparts added costs to owners for which they likely would not be paid: And the wind and solar erratic output is coddled by government programs and subsidies!!

 

Owners of traditional generators:  

 

- Have less annual production to cover power plant costs, which jeopardizes the economic viability of their plants.

 

- Are left with inefficient remaining production (more fuel/kWh, more CO2/kWh), due to up and down ramping at part load, and due to more frequent starts and stops, which leads to less fuel and CO2 reduction than claimed, and increased costs for owners. See URL

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fuel-and-co2-reductions...

 

- Have more wear and tear of their 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, and accelerating for frequent starts and decelerating for frequent stops.

 

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.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/large-scale-solar-plant...

 

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.

 

NOTE: GMP in Vermont, has determined 70 of its 150 substations will eventually need upgrades to avoid “transmission ground fault overvoltage,” (TGFOV), if more solar is added per requirements of the VT Comprehensive Energy Plan. This is nothing new, as utilities in southern Germany have been dealing with these issues for over ten years, which has contributed to German households having the highest electric rates (about 30 eurocent/kWh) in Europe.

 

5) Grid-related costs, such as grid extensions and augmentations to connect the remotely distributed wind and solar, and to deal with variable and 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).

https://www.neon-energie.de/Hirth-2013-Market-Value-Renewables-Sola...

 

The above 6 items are entirely separate from the high levels of direct and indirectsubsidies. They serve to make wind and solar appear to be much less costly than in reality.

  

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 of transmission was built at a capital cost of $7 billion. The entire cost was “socialized”, i.e., it appeared as a surcharge on residential electric bills. Wind in Texas would have been much more expensive, if the owning and operating cost, c/kWh, of those transmission lines were added to the cost of wind.

 

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, then about 7 additional miles under water, and then to the reinforced mainland grid, is not separately stated 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 would be “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 3.

 

COMMENTS ON TABLE 3:

 

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.

 

An owner of ridgeline wind would have to sell his output at 18.8 c/kWh, if the owner were not getting the benefits of cost shifting and upfront cash grants and subsidies.

That owner could sell his output at 16.4 c/kWh, if his costs were reduced due to cost shifting.

He could sell his output at 9 c/kWh, if on top of the cost shifting, he also received various subsidies. The same rationale holds for solar. See table.

 

In NE construction costs of ridgeline wind and offshore wind are high/MW, and the capacity factor of wind is about 0.285 and of solar about 0.14. Thus, NE wind and solar have high prices/MWh. See table.

 

In US areas, such as the Great Plains, Texas Panhandle and Southwest, with much lower construction costs/MW and much better sun and wind conditions than New England, wind and solar electricity prices/MWh are less.

 

Those lower prices often are mentioned, without mentioning other factors, by the pro-RE media and financial consultants, such as Bloomberg, etc., which surely deceives the lay public

 

Future electricity cost/MWh, due to the planned build-out of NE offshore wind added to the planned build-out of NE onshore wind, likely would not significantly change, because of the high costs of grid extensions and upgrades to connect the wind plants and to provide significantly increased connections to the New York and Canadian grids.

 

1) The subsidy values in table 1 are from a cost analysis of NE wind and solar in this article. See URL

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/excessive-subsidies-for...

 

2) The grid support values in table 1 are from this report. See figure 14 for 2.36 c/kWh for wind, and figure 16 for 2.1 c/kWh for solar
https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2019...

 

NOTE: For the past 20 years, Germany and Denmark have been increasing their connections to nearby grids, because of their increased wind and solar.

 

NOTE: The NE wholesale price has averaged at less than 5 c/kWh, starting in 2009

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

 

NOTE: Importing more low-cost hydro (about 5.549 c/kWh, per GMP) from Quebec to replace “dangerous nuclear” and “dirty fossil” would be a very quick, smart and economic way to reduce CO2.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/gmp-refusing-to-buy-add...

 

NOTE: Owner prices to utilities are based on recent 20-year electricity supply contracts awarded by competitive bidding in New England.

These prices would have been about 48% to 50% higher without 1) the direct and indirect subsidies and 2) the cost shifting.

Similar percentages apply in areas with better wind and solar conditions, and lower construction costs/MW, than New England. The prices of wind and solar, c/kWh, in those areas are lower than New England.

 

Table 3/Vermont & NE sources

Total

Grid support

Subsidies

Paid to

GMP

 Added to

cost

cost

to owner

owner

adder

rate base

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered

25.5

2.1

5.4

18.0

3.8

21.8

Solar, com’l/ind’l, legacy, standard offer

34.4

2.1

10.5

21.8

?

21.8

Solar, com’l/ind’l, new, standard offer*

23.5

2.1

9.6

11.8

?

11.8

Wind, ridge line, new*

18.8

2.4

7.4

9.0

?

9.0

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lifetime Cost of Electricity, LCOE

Gas, combined cycle, existing

4 - 5

Gas, combined cycle, new

5 - 6

Gas, open cycle, peaking, existing

9 - 10

Gas, open cycle, peaking, new

 

 

 

18 - 20

 

 

Nuclear, existing

4.0

Nuclear, new, 60-plus-y life

7.5

Coal, existing

4.0

Coal, new

7.5

Hydro, existing

4.0

Hydro Vermont, net-metered, new

10.0

Wood burning Vermont, net-metered, existing

10.0

* Competitive bidding lowered prices paid to owners.

CO2eq Emissions from Various Energy Sources

 

A comparison of CO2eq emissions/kWh for various generating plants is shown in the table. Hydro is the gold standard for renewable energy.

 

Solar Panel CO2: PV solar panels require much energy to extract and refine the materials and to manufacture the panels, all of which produces CO2eq, especially in China, which mostly has inefficient, highly polluting, coal-fired generating plants. China has at least 50% of the world’s solar panel market.

 

New Hydro Plant CO2: The CO2eq from a new hydro reservoir starts high, rapidly decreases by a factor of 5 during the first 4 years of operation, and remains steady for the at least 100-y life of the reservoir, as measured at various hydro reservoirs in Quebec. See first URL.

 

http://www.hydroquebec.com/data/developpement-durable/pdf/ghg-emiss...

https://www.volker-quaschning.de/datserv/CO2-spez/index_e.php

http://www.hydroquebec.com/data/international/pdf/2015-11-19_briefi...

http://www.hydroquebec.com/sustainable-development/energy-environme...

http://www.cleanairalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/quebec-d...

http://www.hydroquebec.com/generation/pdf/carte-grands-equipements.pdf

 

Table 4/Plant type

Generation

CO2eq

Times the base

 

 

g/kWh

 

Hydro, run of river

Continuous

 6

Base

Nuclear

Continuous

8

1.3

Wind

Variable, intermittent

14

2.3

Hydro, reservoir

Continuous

17

2.8

PV solar

Variable, intermittent

 64

10.7

Gas

Continuous

 620

103.3

Coal

Continuous

 879

146.5

 

HYDRO-QUEBEC

 

H-Q Long-term Contracts with Vermont

 

Hydro-Québec is connected to the Vermont grid via an approximately 24-km (15-mile), 120-kV transmission line that runs from Bedford substation in Québec’s Montérégie region to Highgate substation in the northwest corner of Vermont. The interconnection also includes a back-to-back converter station to synchronize Hydro-Québec’s electricity with the New England grid.

 

With a maximum capacity of 225 MW, the interconnection was commissioned in 1985, enabling Hydro-Québec to supply Vermont utilities under long-term agreements.

 

The first long-term contract between Hydro-Québec and Vermont was signed in 1987. In 2010, the parties signed a second contract for up to 225 MW, under which Hydro-Québec committed to deliver approximately 1.3 TWh each year through 2038—a quantity equivalent to about 25% of the supply of electricity to Vermont utilities.

 

These long-term contracts are part of the reason Vermont consumers have not experienced the large rate increases that have occurred in other parts of New England in recent years.

http://www.hydroquebec.com/international/en/exports/markets/new-eng...

 

H-Q Building New Plants, Upgrading Others

 

Below items 1 through 4 would enable H-Q to have at least 5000 MW x 8766 x 0.60 = 26,298,000 MWh/y, or 26.3 TWh, for export via new power lines that are being proposed, in addition to existing exports. If that electricity were not there, would various private companies propose HVDC power lines worth billions of dollars?

 

1) Hydro-Québec Production obtained the necessary approvals to build a 1,550-MW hydroelectric complex on the Rivière Romaine, north of the municipality of Havre-Saint-Pierre on the north shore of the St. Lawrence. The complex will consist of four hydro plants, Romaine 1, 2, 3 and 4, with total average output of 8.0 TWh/y; CF 0.60.

 

2) Other power plants up north are being refurbished (better water flow) and being upgraded with more efficient turbines, i.e., will produce more electricity.

 

3) Existing plants not being fully utilized (water over the spillways instead of through the turbines, especially in summer).

 

4) H-Q to build future hydro plants and wind systems.

 

H-Q Export of Electricity and Revenues in 2016

 

"H-Q electricity, very clean, very low CO2, steady, 99% renewable, 5 - 7 c/kWh per recent GMP 20-y contract; no subsidies required."

 

The 5 - 7 c/kWh contract price appears entirely reasonable, considering, in 2016, HQ was exporting at an annual average of 4.8 c/kWh (a mix of old and new contracts).

 

HQ export revenue in 2016; $1.568 billion

HQ electricity exported to New York, New England, etc., in 2016; 32.6 TWh (about 20.8 TWh to NE)

Annual average electricity sales price 1.568/32.6 = 4.8 c/kWh; this is the average of older and newer contracts.

See page 31 of URL

http://www.hydroquebec.com/data/documents-donnees/pdf/annual-report-2016.pdf

 

NOTE: 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”.

http://www.hydroquebec.com/sustainable-development/energy-environment/export-markets.html

 

Electricity Supply to New England via External Ties

 

Quebec, New Brunswick and New York supply about 20.8 million MWh/y to the NE grid. See table 4.

 

With additional HVDC transmission lines, the above 4 items would enable external tie supply of about 2 x 20.8 = 41.6 million MWh/y by 2050.

 

Cost of Transmission: Some wind/solar proponents often claim transmission lines are expensive. They resort to all sorts of legal actions to obstruct permitting and building of the line.

 

However, a 1000 MW transmission line costs about $1.5 billion, lasts at least 40 years, during which it would transmit about 1000 x 8766 x 0.70 CF x 40 = 245.5 billion kWh. Amortizing the cost of the line at 3.5% over 40 years would require total payments of $2.789 billion, or about 1.136 c/kWh.

https://www.myamortizationchart.com

 

Hydro-Quebec Electricity Generation and Purchases, by Source

 

Google these URLs for the 2016 facts. The H-Q electricity supply to the grid has at least 10 times less CO2 than New England. See URL


http://www.hydroquebec.com/sustainable-development/energy-environme...

http://www.hydroquebec.com/data/developpement-durable/pdf/energy-su...

http://www.hydroquebec.com/data/documents-donnees/pdf/sustainabilit...

 

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

 

Table 5/2016

GWh

%

Generated

Hydro 

171975

79.19

Thermal

303

0.14

Purchased

Hydropower

33910

15.61

Wind

8635

3.98

Biomass, biogas and waste

2093

0.96

Other

248

0.11

Total Generated and Purchased

217165

100.00

APPENDIX 1

Generation and Load of New England Grid, per ISO-NE data

 

About 82% of the NE system load is generated in New England from various sources. See table 4.

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


NOTE
: Electricity at user meters = NE grid load, as seen by ISO-NE, less transmission and distribution loss of about 8%, less pumping load.

 

Table A/ISO-NE Sources, 2019

GWh

% of NE Generation

% of NE grid Load

Total Generation 

97,853

100.00

82.15

Gas

47,447

48.49

39.83

Nuclear

29,818

30.47

25.03

Renewables

11,149

11.39

9.36

- Wind

3,527

3.60

2.96

- Refuse

3,027

3.09

2.54

- Wood

2,476

2.53

2.08

- Solar, Market

1,644

1.68

1.38

- Landfill Gas

431

0.44

0.36

- Methane

44

0.04

0.04

Steam

0

0.00

0.00

Hydro 

8,788

8.98

7.38

Coal

442

0.45

0.37

Oil

161

0.16

0.14

Price-Responsive Demand

26

0.03

0.02

Other 

21

0.02

0.02

Net Flow over External Ties 

22,985

19.30

- Québec

14,010

11.76

- New Brunswick

3,287

2.76

- New York

7,343

6.16

Pumping Load * 

-1,717

-1.44

Net Energy for Load

119,122

100.00

* Pumping water to an upper reservoir and releasing it, via hydro turbines, to a lower reservoir, involves pumping losses 

APPENDIX 2

Vermont In-State Generation and Electricity Prices

 

Table C last column, shows the c/kWh for electricity from wind. solar, hydro, etc., paid to owners of Standard Offer and Net-metered systems; those prices would be much higher without cost shifting and subsidies, paid by ratepayers and taxpayers. See URL

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

 

Table B/VT In-state generation, fed to grid basis

2000

2000 – 2018

2018

2018

Existing

New added

Total

SO/NM

Energy Source

MWh

MWh

 MWh

c/kWh

Hydro, VT-DPS Utility Facts 2013

491,878

21,305

513,183

13.0

Solar, estimated by ISO-NE

408,000

408,000

21.8

Ryegate, wood, per US-EIA

166,902

166,902

10.0

McNeil, wood, per US-EIA

244,755

244,755

10.0

Middlebury College, wood, per US-EIA

2,298

2,298

?

Farm methane; Standard Offer

22,674

22,674

14.5 to 20.0

Landfill methane

52,931

52,931

9.0

Wind

161,198

161,198

11.6 to 25.8

Total

903,535

668,406

1,571,941

VT total fed to grid, MWh

6,000,000

6,000,000

6,000,000

VT in-state, %

15.1

11.1

26.2

Vermont Yankee, nuclear, closed in 2015

4,733,640

4,733,640

Out-of-state purchases, incl. HQ

4,333,110

HQ, per Power Purchase Agreement

1,300,000

5.549

ISO-NE annual average price since 2009

5.000

APPENDIX 3

GMP Cost of Electricity in 2016

 

Table D shows the prices GMP pays for electricity. 

Standard Offer and Net-metering prices are off-the-charts expensive.

EAN members want more SO and Net-metered,

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/green-mountain-power-co...

 

In 2016, the PUC began competitive bidding of SO solar systems.

Some recent SO solar bids were as low as 11 c/kWh.

More SO systems would slowly reduce SO solar below 21.793 c/kWh in future years. See Appendix.

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

NOTE: The high cost of RE, in particular Net-Metered and Standard Offer, create jobs in the heavily subsidized wind/solar sector, but destroys jobs in all other sectors, which have the net effect of a stagnant Vermont economy, with a stagnant population.

 

Table C/GMP costs

1

2

3

4

5

GMP purchases, 2016

MWh

% of purchases

Cost, $

c/kWh

% of Cost

HQUS (Hydro-Quebec)

919312

22.13

51013678

5.549

20.34

Standard Offer

78920

1.90

17199202

21.793

6.86

Net-metered

71970

1.73

15699137

21.813

6.26

Ryegate (wood)

126707

3.05

12710175

10.031

5.07

ISO wholesale

575553

13.85

18645214

3.240

7.43

Misc. sources

1772462

42.66

115267406

6.503

45.96

Other sources

2382075

57.34

135516232

5.689

54.04

Total GMP purchases

4154537

100.00

250783638

6.036

100.00

ISO midday wholesale

6.000

 

APPENDIX 4

ISO-NE Electricity Generation on a Cold Day

 

The table shows a sample of generation of electricity on Sunday, January 7, 2018, per ISO-NE. The weather was partially cloudy, cold, about 0 F, and medium winds at higher elevations.

Solar was minimal because of 9:49 AM, but it likely would triple, or 0.3% by noon time, a big help indeed.

Wind usually is weak from dawn to dusk most days, especially in summer.

See URL, click on fuel mix to view minute-by-minute spreadsheet data.

 

https://www.iso-ne.com/isoexpress/web/charts

https://www.iso-ne.com/isoexpress/web/reports/operations/-/tree/gen...

 

Table D/Date and time

Fuel

MW

%

1/7/18 9:49

Coal

947

5.7

1/7/18 9:49

Hydro

1249

7.5

1/7/18 9:49

Natural Gas

3510

21.1

1/7/18 9:49

Nuclear

One plant not in service

3353

20.1

1/7/18 9:49

Oil

Oil because of gas shortage

5987

36.0

1/7/18 9:49

Landfill Gas

Renewables

24

0.1

1/7/18 9:49

Refuse

Renewables

358

2.2

1/7/18 9:49

Solar

Renewables

18

0.1

1/7/18 9:49

Wind

Renewables

678

4.1

1/7/18 9:49

Wood

Renewables

520

3.1

16644

100.0

APPENDIX 5

Wind and Solar Subsidies Provide a Bonanza for Wall Street

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-more-wind-and-solar...

 

This URL shows wind and solar prices per kWh would be at least 50% higher without direct and indirect subsidies. They would be even higher, if the costs of other items were properly allocated to the owners of wind and solar projects, instead of shifted elsewhere. See below section High Levels of Wind and Solar Require Energy Storage.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/economics-of-tesla-powe...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/large-scale-solar-plant...

http://www.usu.edu/ipe/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/UnseenWindFull.pdf

 

This URL shows about 2/3 of the financial value of a wind project is due to direct and indirect subsidies, and the other 1/3 is due to electricity sales.

http://johnrsweet.com/Personal/Wind/PDF/Schleede-BigMoney-20050414.pdf

 

- Indirect subsidies are due to federal and state tax rebates due to loan interest deductions from taxable income, and federal and state MARCS depreciation deductions from taxable income.

 

- Direct subsidies are up-front federal and state cash grants, the partial waiving of state sales taxes, the partial waiving of local property, municipal and school taxes. See URLs.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/excessive-subsidies-for...

https://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/pdf/subsidy.pdf

 

Any owner, foreign or domestic, of a wind and/or solar project, looking to shelter taxable income from their other US businesses, is allowed to depreciate in 6 years almost the entire cost of a wind and solar project under the IRS scheme called Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System, MARCS. The normal period for other forms of utility depreciation is about 20 years.

 

Then, with help of Wall Street financial wizardry from financial tax shelter advisers, such as BNEF*, JPMorgan, Lazard, etc., the owner sells the project to a new owner who is allowed to depreciate, according to MARCS, almost his entire cost all over again. Over the past 20 years, there now are many thousands of owners of RE projects who are cashing in on that bonanza.

 

Loss of Federal and State Tax Revenues: The loss of tax revenues to federal and state governments due to MARCS was estimated by the IRS at $266 billion for the 5y period of 2017 - 2021, or about $53.2 billion/y.

The IRS is required to annually provide a 5y-running estimate to Congress, by law.

The next report would be for the 2018 - 2022 period

 

The indirect largesse of about $53.2 billion/y, mostly for wind and solar plants^ that produce expensive, variable/intermittent electricity, does not show up in electric rates. It likely is added to federal and state debts.

 

Most of the direct federal subsidies to all energy projects of about $25 billion/y also do not show up in electric rates. They likely were also added to the federal debt.

 

Most of the direct state subsidies to RE projects likely were added to state debts.

 

The additional costs of state-mandated RPS requirements likely were added to the utility rate base for electric rates.

 

* BNEF is Bloomberg New Energy Finance, owned by the pro-RE former Mayor Bloomberg of New York, which provides financial services to the wealthy of the world, including providing them with tax avoidance schemes.

 

^ In New England, wind is near zero for about 30% of the hours of the year, and solar is minimal or zero for about 70% of the hours of the year. Often these hours coincide for multi-day periods, which happen at random throughout the year, per ISO-NE real-time, minute-by-minute generation data posted on its website. Where would the electricity come from during these hours; $multi-billion battery storage, insufficient capacity hydro storage?

 

https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy17osti/68227.pdf

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/tax-equity-investors-b...

 

Warren Buffett Quote: "I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire's tax rate," Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. "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." 

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/nancy-pfotenhauer/2014/05/12/e...

APPENDIX 6

Wind and Solar Conditions in New England: New England has highly variable weather and low-medium quality wind and solar conditions. See NREL wind map and NREL solar map.

https://www.nrel.gov/gis/images/100m_wind/awstwspd100onoff3-1.jpg

https://www.nrel.gov/gis/images/solar/national_photovoltaic_2009-01...

 

Wind:

- Wind electricity is zero about 30% of the hours of the year (it takes a wind speed of about 7 mph to start the rotors)

- It is minimal most early mornings and most late afternoons/early evenings (peak demand hours), especially during summer

- About 60% is generated at night, when demand is much less than during the late afternoons/early evenings

- About 60% is generated in winter.

- During winter, the best wind month is up to 2.5 times the worst summer month

- New England has the lowest capacity factor (about 0.262) of any region in the US, except the US South. See URL.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=20112

 

Solar:

- Solar electricity is strictly a midday affair.

- It is zero about 65% of the hours of the year

- It is always minimal early mornings and late afternoons/early evenings

- It is minimal much of the winter

- It is near zero with snow and ice on the panels.

- It varies with variable cloudiness, which would excessively disturb distribution grids with many solar systems, as happens in southern California and southern Germany on a daily basis. See Note.

- During summer, the best solar month is up to 4 times the worst winter month; that ratio is 6 in Germany.

- New England has the lowest capacity factor (about 0.145, under ideal conditions) of any region in the US, except some parts of the US Northwest.

 

If we were to rely on wind and solar for most of our electricity, massive energy storage systems (GWh-scale in case of Vermont) would be required to cover multi-day wind lulls, multi-day overcast/snowy periods, and seasonal variations. See URL.

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

APPENDIX 7

Planet of the Humans

 

"Have we environmentalists fallen for illusions, “green” illusions, that are anything but green, because we’re scared that this is the end—and we’ve pinned all our hopes on biomass, wind turbines, and electric cars? No amount of batteries are going to save us, warns director Jeff Gibbs (lifelong environmentalist and co-producer of “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling for Columbine"). This urgent, must-see movie, a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows, is guaranteed to generate anger, debate, and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way—before it’s too late."

https://vimeo.com/423114384

APPENDIX 8

The first 10 years, during which the VERY LUCRATIVE PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT is in effect, degradation of wind system production is an average of 0.17%/y or 1.7% for 10 years. 

 

However, during years 11 through 17, during which the PTC is not in effect, degradation is 13 - 1.7 = 11.3%, because the owners have milked the subsidies and no longer give a damn.

 

Some owners sell such projects after 10 years. The new owners are allowed to restart the lucrative subsidies all over again. See URL

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/turbine-output-drops-st...

 

If a rich, profitable, entity has $5 million of taxable income in a year, it might pay federal taxes of $1 million.

If that entity (Google, Apple, IBM, Warren Buffett, and other rich people) owns a wind system and collects a PTC of $1 million/y, it pays NO TAXES FOR TEN YEARS.

 

The tax burden is shifted to ratepayers and taxpayers and added to government debt. Ratepayers and taxpayers have to pay more in taxes, higher electric rates, which results in higher prices of goods and services.

 

We are "saving the world", the Wall Street way.

 

Warren Buffett Quote: "I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire's tax rate," Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. "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." 

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/nancy-pfotenhauer/2014/05/12/e...

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Comment by Willem Post on April 20, 2020 at 5:10pm

TLAM,

Good question.

I wonder who decided and when.

When Trump withheld WHO funding, pending an investigation, all those “partners” were complaining, and the “hate Trump media” chimed right in, as it gave them another opportunity to bash Trump.

The NYT used to be a somewhat serious newspaper, but is dragging itself through the mud to sell papers, make money to survive another day.

Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on April 20, 2020 at 2:37pm

Can someone please explain why the National Wildlife Federation has a partnership with the Wuhan Institute of Virology?

http://english.whiov.cas.cn/International_Cooperation2016/Partnersh...

Comment by richard mcdonald on April 20, 2020 at 2:09pm

Willem: 

Gov Mill's email - janet.mills@maine.gov (this is a bestguess given they do not publish her email address.) If you go to the Governr's office page there is a form you can use and attach the doc - please request a reply in all of your correpondence. 

Mill's Chief of Staff - jeremy.kennedy@maine.gov

Director of Energy Office - dan.burgess@maine.gov

Deputy Dir of Energy Office - celina.cunningham@maine.gov

Energy Policy Analyst of Energy Office - melissa.winne@maine.gov

Thanks.

Comment by arthur qwenk on April 20, 2020 at 1:05pm

Governor Mills after reading this data analysis.

"Hello AOC, the Peons understand we are screwing them with this "Green New Deal" hoax, what are we to do?

AOC to Governor Mills, "Have another martini, it will be a few more years before elections, continue the lie and pocket the cash in the meantime".

"We have been getting away with this for years, no reason to stop unless we have to"

Comment by Willem Post on April 20, 2020 at 12:59pm

richard,

Please give me her email, as well as of others in her "entourage"

Comment by richard mcdonald on April 20, 2020 at 12:29pm

Willem, please email this to Gov. Mills. Unfortunately, she will ignore the data in pursuit of her ideologically driven mandate to be a leader in RE. Her unwillingness to admit the vast shortcomings of RE in Maine will eventually destroy Maine's econmy for decades. 

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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