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


NOTE: Norwegians advocating expensive floating wind turbines that depend on the randomness of wind and produce high-cost, variable, intermittent electricity for other people, such as Jane and Joe Worker/Ratepayer, is highly hypocritical, because the Norwegians get 98% of their electricity from their own hydro plants, which produce low-cost, steady electricity (not variable, not intermittent). The Danes advocating wind turbines and boasting about their high percent of wind on their grid is similarly hypocritical, because the Danes have been increasingly using the storage reservoirs of Norway’s hydro plants for decades.

First Experimental Floating Wind Turbine in Norway


Equinor (formerly Statoil, a Norwegian government controlled company) launched the world's first operational deep-water, floating large-capacity 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 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.


First Commercial Floating Wind Turbine Plant in Scotland


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 (Scotland) Limited, a joint venture of Equinor, Norway (75%) and Masdar, Kuwait (25%).


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


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

The turnkey capital cost was $263 million for five 6 MW turbines, or $8,767/kW.

They 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 2300 metric ton, total ballasted 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 Saipem 7000 floating crane, and then towed to the north of Scotland by sea-going tugboats.

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

Nothing like that exists 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 infrastructures and other facilities during the past 25 years.

The huge, sea-going, specialized, crane (14,000-metric ton lifting capacity) is required for partial assembly on land and final assembly in an area close to shore with a very deep harbor, before towing, fully assembled, to the site.


The finished turbines were towed to Peterhead, Scotland. 

Three cup anchors hold each turbine in place.

About 2400 meter of chain is required, weighing 400 metric ton, for each turbine.

The Hywind Scotland project was commissioned in October 2017.


Hywind Wind Turbines for Demonstration Purposes in Maine


Hannah Pingree and other Maine's wind bureaucrats in state government are engaging in mindless prattle, eager to do the bidding of various multi-millionaires and foreign companies that may be providing some wining/dining boondoggle trips to “view the Hywind turbines” in Norway and Scotland.


The turnkey cost of those two Hywind turbines would be about $10,000 per kW, versus NE ridgeline wind at $2,000/kW, and regular offshore, south of Martha’s Vineyard, at $4,000/kW.


That would be at about $120 million for a two 6 MW Hywind wind turbines, plus whatever facilities would need to be built in Maine to support the project.


The turnkey capital cost of the wind turbine plant in Maine would be much higher, because Maine does not have the experience of the Norwegians and the specialized equipment and specialized ships, and other facilities. It would be very costly to build those facilities and ships in Maine, or elsewhere.

600-ft Tall Hywind Turbines Highly Visible From Mohegan Island, Plus Infrasound

The 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, the problem would not be just cyclical, audible noises keeping people awake, but also low frequency infrasound, which can travel many miles, and passes through walls of houses, and can be felt but not heard, and has been shown to have adverse health impacts on people and animals.

The FAA-required aviation beacons would be clearly visible during nighttime. BTW, they would need to be located about 15 - 20 miles away from Mohegan Island to be unobtrusive to the Islanders.

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.


“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).”


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 Joe and Jane Worker to save the world, and to enrich a host of multi-millionaires seeking tax shelters. See Appendix.

Some Questions


Who are these Aqua Ventus multi-millionaire owners pushing for this expensive project?

How much would be the subsidies?

What would be the energy cost/kWh?

How long would the project last before it would have to be repaired?

How would it be repaired?

Would any special ships, facilities be required?

Does Maine have the required, at least 100-meter, deep-water port?

Is anyone looking at the entire picture on an A to Z basis, or are Maine bureaucrats just dreaming/prattling about castles in Spain?

Does anyone think the Norwegians would not want to make money to maintain/service and provide spare parts for their Hywind wind turbines?


Extremely Adverse Impact on CMP Electric Rates


LePage’s energy director, Steven McGrath, has focused exclusively on the cost of electricity from the demonstration project.


The rate is at least FOUR TIMES above wholesale market value, reflecting the custom design and experimental nature of the platforms.


It would start at 23 cents per kilowatt-hour in the first year, escalating at 2.5% per year to 35 cents after 20 years.


The PUC estimates it would add up to $208 million over the term, or about $10.5 million a year from Central Maine Power ratepayers. Maine Aqua Ventus had calculated the extra cost would add 73 cents a month to the average household electric bill, in the first year of operation, more thereafter..


That is a total rip-off, because Massachusetts pays only an average of 8 - 9 c/kWh over the life of the project.

Main bureaucrats need to learn from Governor Baker.


NOTE: The above prices should be compared with NE wholesale prices, which have been about 5 c/kWh since 2008, courtesy of abundant, domestic, low-cost, low-CO2 electricity from gas at about 5 c/kWh, and low-cost, near CO2-free electricity from nuclear at about 4.5 - 5.0 c/kWh.


This project is insanity on STEROIDS.


One has to feel sorry for the already-struggling Joe and Jane Workers in Maine who will ultimately pay for all this.


Dear Mr. Greg Kesich, Editor Portland Press Herald


(Mr. Greg suggested I write an op-ed regarding the referenced PPH article, so here it is.)


This op-ed is in reference to an article on floating wind turbines off the coast of Maine in the Portland Press Herald, dated 20 May 2019.


The article states, Statoil had proposed a $120 million demonstration project for two 6 MW Hywind turbines ($10,000/kW) off Boothbay Harbor, but that Governor Page had rejected it. As you recall, his main reason was the higher electricity prices Joe and Jane Worker/Ratepayer would have to pay for 20 years.


The article states, Statoil instead took its project to Scotland, where it has invested more than $200 million for five 6 MW Hywind turbines. After some checking, the actual turnkey cost turned out to be $263 million.


Scotland got the turbines at $8,767/kW in 2017, but Maine would have gotten the same turbines at $10,000/kW.


The article states, “.....and given that country (Scotland) a head start on establishing itself as developer, manufacturer and exporter of offshore technology. Such potential was recognized by the wind energy task force, which was created in 2008 by Gov. John Baldacci and released its findings in December 2009.”


That statement is highly naive and unrealistic. Norway has invested billions of dollars in infrastructures to develop specialized facilities and seagoing ships for shallow-water and deep-water wind turbines during the past 10 - 15 years. Norway has absolutely no intention of establishing Scotland and Maine as competitors. See note.


The Scotland/UK actual contributions to the project were:


1) Scotland making some parts that were shipped to Norway for assembly

2) Scotland providing the site 18 miles from shore to minimize visual impacts from shore.

3) The UK providing a subsidy of 18.5 c/kWh, plus Statoil selling electricity at about 6.5 c/kWh on the wholesale market, for a total wholesale cost of 25 c/kWh for 20 years. This compares with New England wholesale prices averaging about 5 c/kWh since 2008.

4) The Scotland people paying higher prices/kWh for low-value, variable/intermittent electricity for 20 years that requires the services of other generators for peaking, filling in and balancing year-round. Statoil had to provide a 1.0 MWh li-ion battery system, at a capital cost of about $700,000, to help smooth the flow of the variable electricity from Hywind to minimize disturbances of the Scotland grid.

NOTE: If Maine government would have insisted Statoil would build significant infrastructure in Portland, ME, or elsewhere in Maine, Statoil, if willing to do so, would merely have increased the cost of the electricity, c/kWh, to cover its additional costs.

NOTE: Massachusetts has signed contracts for 800 MW of offshore wind turbines south of Martha’s Vineyard. If the state government would have insisted the consortium of European companies would build significant infrastructure in New Bedford, MA, or elsewhere in Massachusetts, the consortium, if willing to do so, would merely have increased the cost of the electricity, c/kWh, to cover its additional costs. However, Governor Baker insisted on lowest electricity cost, as that would benefit all of Massachusetts, not just New Bedford, etc. Counting votes is important. See URL.


School Students Playing with Floating Wind Turbines


The main objective with floating wind turbines is to isolate the wind turbine from any wave action, including 30 - 40 ft waves. That can only be done with a long, submerged extension of the wind turbine mast, with a heavy weight inside the bottom of the extension (ballast) to keep the wind turbine steady and upright.


Dr. Habib Dagher, Executive Director of the Advanced Structures & Composites Center, should have watched the youtube video, and then given proper instructions to teachers all over Maine, so those teachers could have educated these students regarding the physical requirements, to ensure these students would not waste their valuable time and money building inappropriate models. See URLs and watch both videos.

CO2 Reduction due to Wind Turbines Much Less Than Claimed


The Irish Grid

Studies of operating conditions of the Irish grid performed a few years ago showed, at 17% wind on the grid, about 55% of the CO2 was reduced due to wind, instead of the claimed 100%. At higher wind percentages, the percent CO2 reduction would be even less.


NOTE: The mantra often promulgated by pro-wind folks is one MWh of wind displaces one MWh of other generation, and as wind uses no fuel there is no CO2, but other generation does use fuel, so that CO2 is avoided. That turned out to be of advantage to pro-wind folks, but is, in fact, highly simplistic.


In Ireland, there were years of denial and ignoring of various studies by independent energy systems analysts. Dr. Fred Udo was one of the early analysts of the Irish grid to point out the discrepancy. He was ignored at that time. Another study showed the gas turbines operated near 40% efficiency at 17% wind, whereas, at zero wind, they operated at near 50% efficiency. At that time, the Irish grid had only a minor connection to the UK grid. 


The undeniable tip-off was Irish gas imports, which had been predicted to decrease as wind would increase, but had, in fact, not decreased as much as predicted. After much back and forth, the government finally launched an inquiry, which revealed the inefficient operation of the gas turbines at part load (more Btu/kWh, more CO2/kWh), and their more frequent start/stop operations (high Btu/kWh, high CO2/kWh), all due to the variable, intermittent output of the wind turbines.


Since that time, the Irish grid acquired large capacity connections to the UK and French grids to spread the “discrepancy” over a much larger grid area, which makes it nearly invisible. A Brussels PR problem solved. See URL.

The New England Grid

Future wind on the NE grid is planned to be about 20% by 2035, i.e., higher than the 17% in Ireland a few years ago, and the NE grid has only minor connections to nearby grids, the same as Ireland a few years ago.

At the higher wind percentages, the NE percent CO2 reduction would be even less than 55%, i.e., expensive or inexpensive, variable/intermittent wind is no panacea regarding reducing CO2 and ameliorate global warming.

DUCK Curves: DUCK curves due to daytime solar, a minor problem in not-so-sunny Ireland, would impart an additional worsening of grid stability problems after solar would become a significant percentage on the NE grid at noontime in the future.

Dealing with the down ramping in the morning as solar is increasing, and the up ramping in the afternoon/early evening as solar is decreasing would impart additional cost/kWh on owners of traditional generators. They likely would be compensated by means of capacity payments by ISO-NE. Those payments should be charged to the disturbers, the solar system owners. However the payments likely would be socialized, i.e., charged to ratepayers/taxpayers.

NOTE: If solar system owners were required to install batteries, then the down/up ramping would be avoided, but that would place a cost burden on solar system owners and there would be no end to their complaints.

Multi-Day Wind/Solar Lulls: Also, during simultaneous wind/solar lulls, which occur at random throughout the year, and may last up to 7 days, a full complement of traditional generation plants and energy storage sources must be available, 24/7/365, to serve NE demand, including future EVs and heat pumps. That storage must be replenished in a timely manner to serve a second lull, which may occur a few days after the first lull. See URLs.


The mantra often promulgated by pro-wind folks is “the wind always blows somewhere”. However, weather systems tend to be 500 to 1000 miles long and wide. Any surplus wind electricity would have to come from at least 1000 miles away, which would require high voltage DC lines, as the transmission losses of high voltage AC lines would be too large, plus it would require very robust connections between the NE and nearby grids. Dealing with the wind/solar lull problems would impart additional cost/kWh that likely would not be charged to wind turbine owners but to ratepayers/taxpayers.


Insulating/Sealing Energy-Hog Houses a Much Better Alternative for Maine


It would be much better to use the money to deep retrofit the existing housing of already-struggling Joe and Jane Worker, so it would be highly sealed/highly insulated, and thus become suitable for heat pumps, even on colder days.


Regarding heat pumps, the current irrational practice in Vermont, Maine, etc., has been to install subsidized heat pumps in energy-hog houses, which has resulted in about a 34% displacement of fuel oil, on average, with the other 66% provided by the traditional heating system. Having two heating systems definitely is not a money saver for anybody!! That practice should not be subsidized. The subsidies for heat pumps in energy-hog houses should be stopped. See URLs.



High Efficiency Gas Turbine Plants a Much Better Alternative for Maine


One 60% efficient, 80 MW gas turbine plant, built by GE in the US, turnkey capital cost about $100 million, would produce 80 MW x 8766 h/y x 0.85, capacity factor = 596,088 MWh each year for about 40 years.


Two 6 MW Hywind wind turbines, built in Norway, turnkey capital cost about $100 million, would produce 12 x 8766 x 0.45 = 47,336 MWh each year for about 20 years.


A replacement set of two Hywind wind turbines would be required during years 20 to 40. The turnkey capital to remove and reprocess the old turbines, and replace them with new ones was not determined. It likely would be well over $75 million (2019$).


The gas turbine plant would produce 12.6 times the annual electricity of the wind turbines, and that plant would last about 40 years, and that electricity would be high-value, steady, 24/7/365, dispatchable electricity, not the variable, intermittent electricity that requires other gas turbines to inefficiently vary their outputs up and down (more fuel/kWh, more CO2/kWh) to accommodate the variable wind electricity to the NE grid.


On top of that, the gas turbine electricity would be from low-cost, low-CO2, clean-burning natural gas, at a price of only 5 c/kWh, but the variable, intermittent Hywind wind turbine electricity (that requires baby sitting by the other generators at a cost/kWh) would be starting at 23 c/kWh, in the first year, and would be increasing at 2.5%/y for 20 years.


As I said before, the floating wind turbine scheme is insanity on STEROIDS.


Maine pro-wind bureaucrats need to have their heads examined, or fired for incompetence, and pro-wind legislators need to be voted out of office.



 Capital cost





 Lifetime Production





Gas turbine







1st Wind turbine set







2nd Wind turbine set







Total wind















Hydro-Quebec Electricity a Much Better Alternative for Maine


The H-Q electricity supply is an order of magnitude cleaner than the Vermont supply. Google this URL to obtain the 2017 facts.


Table 5/H-Q



Hydropower generated 




- Hydro


- Wind


- Biomass and waste reclamation 


- Other


Total RE generated and purchased



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


Hydro-Quebec Export Electricity: H-Q net exports were 34.4 TWh/y in 2017; provided 27% of H-Q net income, or $780 million, i.e., very profitable.


H-Q export revenue was $1,651 million in 2017, or 1641/34.4 = 4.8 c/kWh.

See page 24 of Annual Report URL.

This is for a mix of old and new contracts.

Revenue = 1641

Net profit = 780

Cost = 1641 - 780 = 861

Average cost of H-Q generation = 861/34.4 = 2.5 c/kWh


GMP, a monopoly utility in Vermont (77% market share), buys H-Q electricity, at the Vermont border, for 5.549 c/kWh, under a recent contract. 


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”. That reference has mysteriously disappeared.


H-Q is eager to sell more of its surplus electricity to New England and New York.


Canadian hydro electricity is at least 50% less costly per kWh than ridgeline wind and large-scale field-mounted solar, both of which need to be heavily subsidized to make their electricity appear to be less costly than reality.


GMP sells to me at 19 c/kWh, per rate schedule. Consumers pricing for electricity is highly political. That pricing is implemented by rate setting, taxes, fees, surcharges, etc., mostly on household electric rates, as in Denmark and Germany, etc.


The household rate setting is influenced by the need to protect/promote “State RE policy objectives”,which include highly subsidized, expensive microgrids, islanding, batteries, and overly expensivenet-metered solar (GMP cost of 21.813 c/kWh), and uneconomical heat pumps. See URLs and Appendix


Here are some additional sources of information:


Improper Use of Heat Pumps in Energy Hog Houses in Vermont and Maine


A typical “Vermont mix” house, 2000 sq ft, requires for space heating about 64000 Btu/h at -20F outdoor and 65F indoor (85F temperature difference), and requires for space cooling about 20,000 Btu/h at 100F outdoor, and 70F indoor (30F temperature difference).


Heat pumps would provide about 32% to 34% of the heat during the heating season, with the rest provided by the conventional system and would provide 100% of space cooling.


Government heat pump programs, such as in Vermont and Maine, which subsidize the installation of heat pumps in such houses would have unacceptable outcomes, if the goals were significant energy cost savings and CO2 reductions. See URLs.


Proper Use of Heat Pumps in Highly Sealed/Highly Insulated Houses in Vermont and Maine


A highly sealed/highly insulated house in Vermont, 2000 sq ft, requires for space heating about 17000 Btu/h at -20F outdoor and 65F indoor, and requires for space cooling about 5,000 Btu/h at 100F outdoor and 70F indoor (30F temperature difference). Heat pumps would provide 100% of space heating and cooling.


Such a house would be about 10% more expensive than a “Vermont mix” house, because it would require an R-20 basement, R-40 walls, R-60 roof, triple-glazed windows (R-7 to R-10) and insulated doors (R-8 to R-10), and its leakage rate would have to be less than 0.6 air changes per hour, ACH, @ -50 pascal, as verified by a blower door test.In Vermont, about 1% of all housing is highly sealed/highly insulated.


These URLs describe what happens, if heat pumps are installed in energy-hog houses in Vermont and Maine


Wind and Solar Subsidies Provide a Bonanza for Wall Street


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.

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.


- 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.


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 IRS estimated the loss of tax revenues to the federal government for the 5y period of 2017 - 2021. See “Energy” heading in URL

The next report would be for the 2018 - 2022 period


The indirect largesse, mostly for wind and solar plants^ that produce expensive, variable/intermittent electricity, does not show up in electric rates. It likely is offset by taxes and added to the federal debt.

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. Where would the electricity come from during these hours?


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."


Comparison of  California, US and Vermont Electricity Prices, All Sectors


It is important to understand no cost ever disappears. The key issue is allocation (a.k.a., follow the money), which often implies politics, and realizing state and federal energy policy objectives.


Only a part of the costs of RE projects is added to the utility rate base. The other parts are paid for by: a) increasing taxes, fees and surcharges, and/or 2) increasing prices of goods and services, and/or c) adding to federal and state debts. Thus any increase in rates reveals only a part of the cost picture.


The weighted average US prices includes high California prices and quantities, a major component of the weighted average. Table 1 shows the weighted average US price including California. See URLs


If California were removed, it would lower the US average. A comparison of California versus that lower US average shows California rates, all sectors, increased 28.36% and US rates (wo/California) only 5.45% during the 2010 - 2018 period.


California’s irrational/over-the-top/expensive RE efforts are demonstrating, the more highly subsidized RE, the higher the electric rates. But that is only a part of the cost picture, because not all costs end up in the rate schedules.


Vermont: The Vermont rates, all sectors, as posted by EIA, do not include the Efficiency Vermont surcharge and the Electric Assistance Program fee tacked onto electric bills by politicians to finance pseudo-social programs.


The EV surcharge has been increasing from about 6% in 2010 to about 8.0% in 2018 for most households.


If EV and EAP charges were added, Vermont rates increased 16.34% and US rates (w/tiny Vermont) only 7.63% during the 2010 - 2018 period. See table.


Year/All sectors


US, w/CA

US wo/CA

VT wo/EV + EAP





























































Increase, %







Household Electric Bill With and Without Efficiency Vermont Surcharge: The GMP energy $/kWh for “households” is significantly greater than for “all sectors”. Here are the data from my recent bills.



Billing period











Usage, kWh









Total bill w/EEC, $









Unit cost, $/kWh









GMP energy, $/kWh











EE surcharge, $









Total bill wo/EEC, $









Bill increase due to EEC, %










Germany and Denmark Household Electricity Prices: The above correlates well with this graphic, based on Eurostat data. Denmark and Germany have advanced the most along the wind and solar installation path. They have the highest household electric rates in Europe. See graphic and Appendix.




Sequestering Combustion CO2 From Wood Chip Burning Plants Takes Decades


Here is some information for those who have been led to believe, or persuaded themselves to believe, wood burning is environmentally friendly.


Forests have aboveground and belowground new growth, which absorbs CO2 from the air and carbon, C, from the soil. Removing live trees, low-grade and high-grade, reduces CO2 absorption. In Vermont, about 50% of tree removals is used for high-grade purposes (the C stays sequestered, until some of it is burned); and about 50% is used mostly for burning (the C becomes CO2 and is released to the atmosphere), and a small quantity is used for pulp/paper mills (the C stays sequestered, unless some of it is burned).


Wood burning power plants (McNeil, Ryegate in Vermont) emit about 4 times the combustion CO2/kWh of high-efficiency gas turbine power plants.


The combustion CO2 of the first year of heating plant or power plant operation would be sequestered by re-growing trees according to an S-curve over a long period (See notes); slowly increasing during the first 1/3, rapidly increasing during the second 1/3, and slowly increasing during the last 1/3 of the period. That would be not much help to prevent the world’s climate from falling off the cliff during the next 20 to 30 years.


NOTE: The combustion CO2 of wood burning would be reabsorbed by new tree growth, if:


1) Logged forests would have the same acreage (they likely would not)

2) Forests would not further fragmented by roads or developed (they likely would be)

3) Forest CO2 sequestering capability, Mt/acre/y, remains the same (it could be less). See note


NOTE: Regarding the time period for sequestering the combustion CO2:


- 40 years is a US average. See Note.

- 80 to 100 years in northern climates with short growing seasons, such as northern Vermont and Maine. 

- 40 to 50 years in moderate climates with longer growing seasons, such as New Jersey and North Carolina

- 25 years between harvests of planted, fertilized, and culled forests of fast-growing pines in Georgia.


NOTE: On an A to Z basis, there would be about 15% of additional CO2 that has nothing to do with combustion, in case of wood chips, or about 20%, in case of wood pellets. This includes non-wood-burning CO2, such as from:


- Fuel used for managing wood lots, logging, chipping/pelletizing and transport,

- Energy to run the plant,

- Energy for decommissioning and reuse/landfill of the plant,

- Embodied energy in the A to Z infrastructures



- The EPA assumes sequestering of CO2 by undisturbed, healthy forests at about 1.0 metric ton per acre per year, as a US average.

Disturbed, fragmented, less than healthy forests, as in most of New England, sequester much less than 1.0 metric ton of CO2 per acre per year, due to:


1) Acid rain and pollution from Midwest power plants, etc.,

2) Various encroachments, and

3) Colder climate and short growing season.


Yet the Vermont and Maine Environmental Departments claim 1.0 metric ton per acre per year!


Piling up the CO2 Year After Year


Re-growing trees would sequester the combustion CO2 of Year 1 of plant operation over about 80 to 100 years, in New England.


The CO2 of Years 2, 3, 4 to Year 40 would be added to the CO2 of Year 1, and be sequestered in a similar manner, except shifted forward by a year.


In Year 40, there would be 40 layers of CO2 and 40 forest areas in various stages of regrowth, as a result of cutting trees for burning.


Year 40 is assumed to be the last year of plant operation. It is likely that plant would be replaced to repeat the cycle.


During Year 41 through 80, there would be 41 to 80 layers of CO2 and 41 to 80 forest areas in various stages of regrowth, as a result of cutting trees for burning.


Closing Down Wood Burning Power Plants


It would be far better for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont to shut down wood burning power plants, as time is of the essence regarding “climate change”, according to some people. See table 5 and URL.


- In Vermont, utilities are forced to buy wood electricity at about 10 c/kWh, as part of the Vermont Standard Offer program, and as required by the Vermont Renewable Portfolio Standard program.

- In New Hampshire a law was passed in 2018 to subsidize money-loosing NH wood burning power plants. The plants need to be base-loaded to maximize production and need to sell at about 9 - 10 c/kWh to be viable. The subsidy would impose an extra cost on ratepayers of about $25 million/y. Implementing the law is held up in various court cases for environmental reasons.

- The wholesale prices of the NE grid averaged about 5 c/kWh since 2008, courtesy of abundant, domestic, near-zero-subsidized, clean-burning, low-CO2 gas at about 5 c/kWh, and near-zero-subsidized, near-zero-CO2 nuclear at 4.5 - 5 c/kWh.


Table 5/Fuel

 lb CO2/million Btu

 Plant efficiency, %

 lb CO2/MWh

CO2 Ratio

Wood chip; McNeal/Ryegate*





Wood chip; Denmark





Hard coal





No. 2 fuel oil





Natural gas, CCGT*







Plus upstream CO2 (logging, chipping, transport, etc.) of about 5 to 10%, if burning wood chips

Plus upstream CO2 (logging, chipping/pelletizing, transport, etc.) of about 10 to 15 %, if burning wood pellets

CCGT = Combined-cycle, gas turbine plant

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Comment by Willem Post on May 21, 2019 at 10:56pm


If he is so competent, he should have instructed high school teachers all over Maine, so their students would not show up with ridiculous “models”.

See my below comment in this string.

Comment by arthur qwenk on May 21, 2019 at 2:18pm



Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on May 21, 2019 at 12:21pm

Yes, and I have a lot of respect for his accomplishments. My sense is that UMS advocates see him as a super star who needs more power and funding to tackle even more grandiose projects. When LePage pulled the project it was an affront to the ambitions of UMS ruling elite, who see 'floating windmills' as a way to bring back national attention.

I still believe that Maine is a nice proving ground for all kinds enterprises; if you can make it work here, then it will work anywhere. 

Comment by Willem Post on May 21, 2019 at 10:42am

Is that the same Habib, as Dr. Habib Dagher, who was present when the gullible students were doing their demonstrations?

See above section and URL

Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on May 21, 2019 at 10:07am

REED& REED already supplies components for off shore drilling rigs, so that could be one source of lobbying pressure. Habib is another; hard to tell who is supplying the pressure. World wide it's a huge market but like those flying energy kites, we really don't ever more expensive and problem-some power. 

Just say no!

Do an OP-ED, I'll review it for you. The PPH def. needs a counterpoint.

Comment by Willem Post on May 21, 2019 at 8:54am

Thank you for the PPH article.

That article is total garbage and fake news and hype.

It uses incorrect data.

If I were the editor I would fire the writer.

I inserted the below note into the article:


Erroneous Article in Portland Press Herald


- According to the PPH, Statoil had proposed a $120 million demonstration project for TW0 6 MW Hywind turbines ($10,000/kW) off Boothbay Harbor a few years ago.


My comment: It was justifiably rejected because of outrageously high electricity prices Jane and Joe Worker/Ratepayer would have to pay for 20 years.


- According to PPH, Statoil instead took its project to Scotland, where it has invested more than $200 million (actually $253 million) for FIVE Hywind turbines.


My comment: At the going market price of offshore $4200/kW in 2017


- According to the PPH: “and given that country (Scotland) a head start on establishing itself as developer, manufacturer and exporter of offshore technology. Such potential was recognized by the wind energy task force, which was created in 2008 by Gov. John Baldacci and released its findings in December 2009.”


My comment: That statement is totally naïve and unrealistic. Norway has absolutely no intention of having that outcome (establishing a competitor) with Scotland or with Maine. Scotland’s actual contribution to the project was


1) Making some parts that were shipped to Norway for assembly, and

2) Providing the site and

3) The people paying high prices/kWh for low-value, variable/intermittent electricity for 20 years.

Comment by Paul Ackerman on May 21, 2019 at 7:58am

fire the writer?  that would be editorial suicide at the PPH.

You ought to write an Op-Ed to debunk the article and submit it post-haste.

The editorial page guy ,Greg Kesich, would call you to confirm you're the writer --he is extremely biased by the way,to the left-- but getting a well written and documented Op-Ed of about 800-900 words would be a real plus. Try it-- they really need some push back on such tripe that they continually publish.

Reade Brower "claims" to want a balance in his papers ,and if they reject something of the sort that you write it proves that they are NOT balanced at all.

Comment by Willem Post on May 20, 2019 at 3:47pm


I would not be surprised if Bloomberg, Soros, etc., were financing Maine Democrats to add fuel to the voter back lash before the recent elections.

They spent tens of millions$ to help Hillary in 2016, and yet SHE LOST and then she has the nerve to blame it on the Russians. She was a lousy campaigner, uninspiring. Biden would have lost as well, because he is totally blah.

Comment by Willem Post on May 20, 2019 at 3:34pm

Long Islander,

Unfortunately, I have used up my Portland Press Herald quota.

I assume nearby are shipyards that could build some parts for those floating wind turbines, so PPH is just boosting them as it has done before, as the greatest thing since whatever this side of heaven.

Remember, Statoil has been using revenues from oil and gas sales to invest in specialized ports, facilities, cranes and ships for over 60 years, plus it has a highly educated and trained workforce.

There is no way Maine can compete with that, ever, despite dream scenarios coming out of Augusta and flowing out of the pens of creative writers, who have never analyzed or designed any energy system.

Comment by Paul Ackerman on May 20, 2019 at 12:01pm


Academically (not having been to Norway,but familiar with its geography) I understand the differences in North Sea environment vs Atlantic,but I just cannot see these behemoths being constructed here at all. The size factor would eliminate --from what I know-- any coast of Maine shoreside facility.

The platforms built some years ago in Portland (cannot recall where they were towed to) probably were no more than 300 ft overall I'd guess. BIW doesn't have the depth leaving their floating drydock to handle these wither from what I can see.

As to this --

What would cause normally level-headed Mainers to become so dense all of a sudden to vote these weirdow people into office.

Did not they suspect the new Governor ("we cannot just do nothing") would just become a mouthpiece of the RE socialist, Bernie-loving moon-bats, hell-bent to control/reform/tax us and save the world?

I sense that the drive to overturn the will of the voters (from the last eight years of LePage) was heavily influenced by tens of millions of dollars from out of state,much like the force feeding of Ranked-Choice voting was.

I think it was Benjamin Franklin who observed that the end of the Republic would be when the "people" -- i.e. mob mentality-- figured out a way to vote themselves into being paid for doing nothing,or words to that effect. And this is exactly what the current Democrat party is all about unfortunately.

We have a local rep ,Pinny Beebe-Center,who has put forward a bill to essentially rewrite the drug laws to allow possession and use of greater amounts of heroin,fentanyl etc and prevent law enforcement from arresting these people. This is guaranteed to increase trafficking and drug-related deaths....but she is crusading for the drug users/dealers.

This is an example of the people who voted hard left to elect Mills and a leftist majority in both houses based on intense media support for them.


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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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."

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