Gulf of Maine Task Force including Massachusetts Offshore Wind Energy

Gulf of Maine Task Force including Massachusetts Offshore Wind Energy 
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has decided to establish a Gulf of Maine Task Force – including representation from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and federally recognized Tribes in the area.
Massachusetts submitted a request for proposals for Long-term Contracts for Offshore Wind Energy Projects which include onshore wind turbine cables with voltage as high as 345,000 volts buried through residential neighborhoods.
Several years ago the Massachusetts legislature voted to cap what the ocean wind turbine companies could charge electric ratepayers. The ocean wind companies in turn had to find the shortest routes to the power usage cities like Boston as the submarine cables are more expensive than the wind turbines themselves.
Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod is ground zero for the placement of 345,000-volt electric cables from the ocean on the way to Boston. 
The Massachusetts Energy Facility Siting Board was in the process of holding a hearing on March 24, 2022, to facilitate the installation of the cable and a massive onshore electric substation in Falmouth. The hearing was canceled over many residential concerns. 
The Massachusetts legislature just prior to the Falmouth, Massachusetts Energy Facility Siting Board, EFSB, the hearing took the cap off what wind turbine contractors could charge electric ratepayers while it looked like the wind contractors still got the cheapest route through Falmouth to Boston. Massachusetts politicians appear now to be more concerned with the welfare of foreign LLC wind turbine companies than the electric ratepayers of Massachusetts. 
The Town of Falmouth's residential concerns over two years of cable construction could very well be a harbinger of what will happen in the coastal towns of Maine. Falmouth a vacation destination has a summer population of over 100,000 residents. 
Complaints range from: 
Maps that don't show how to get to Falmouth Hospital during the construction. 
Who will pay the hotels and motels for loss of business?
Running a cable under historic Falmouth Heights beach and placing splicing vaults in the parking lot.
Loud noise from the onshore massive electric substation.
A neighborhood organization worried about environmental, health, safety, and general impacts on those on the route.
The Town of Falmouth’s zoning bylaws 240 -166 prevents a project the size and scope of the proposal. Burying 800 to 1200 Megawatt cables beneath a historic, densely-populated residential neighborhood such as Falmouth Heights is completely counter to the Town’s current zoning bylaws.
The Massachusettsstate’s attorney general and the state legislature have ratified and endorsed Falmouth’s nuisance bylaw to be lawful as a result of the courts shutting down and removal of the two town-owned land-based wind turbines. 
The town of Falmouth politicians may have already agreed on a "Community Host Agreement" where the wind company pays the town for access to the roads and parks. The wind company approached the town in November of 2020. The town has never held an outreach meeting or public comment period.
EMF, Electric Magnetic Field levels directly above underground cables exceed the Milgauss, Mg, levels of the same voltage of overhead cables. In other words, there is more EMF standing on the ground in Falmouth than that of the same voltage overhead at between 220,000 and 345,000 volts.
There are older studies showing a link between Childhood Leukemia and Electric Magnetic Fields that are being discounted. The power from the ocean wind turbine cables is double the output of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant buried outside someone's front door or under a park children play in.
How directly will this impact homes' home values in a negative way by placing 345,000-volt cables?  

The handling of communications regarding the ocean project. The first residential notification was a March 4, 2022 letter, and a public hearing with no notification.
The ocean commercial wind turbine scheme appears to be a bunco scheme of enormous consequence. The people who value intellectual honesty should not be fleeced by such mendacity, even from their government officials in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. 

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Comment by Willem Post on April 2, 2022 at 9:49pm



Wind proponents often claim one kWh of clean wind generation displaces one kWh of dirty fossil fuel generation, which is true.


However, the inefficiencies introduced into the electrical system by variable, intermittent wind, results in wind being less effective at reducing CO2 than claimed. The more wind percent on the grid, the more the inefficiencies.


Ireland’s Power System


Eirgrid, the operator of the grid, publishes ¼-hour data regarding CO2 emissions, wind electricity production, fuel consumption and total electricity generation. Drs. Udo and Wheatley made several analyses, based on the operating data of the Irish grid in 2012 and earlier, that show the effectiveness of CO2 emission reduction is decreasing with increasing annual wind electricity percentages on the grid.


The Wheatley Study of the Irish Grid


Wind energy CO2 reduction effectiveness = (CO2 intensity, metric ton/MWh, with wind)/(CO2 intensity, with no wind) = (0.279, with 17% wind)/(0.530, with no wind) = 0.526, based on ¼-hour, operating data of each generator connected to the Irish grid, as collected by SEMO. More wind percent on the grid leads to a lesser CO2 reduction effectiveness


Wind proponents claim: If 17% wind, the CO2 reduction is 17%, i.e., 83% is left over.


Real-time grid operating data shows: If 17% wind, the CO2 reduction is 0.526 x 17% = 8.94%, i.e., 91.06% is left over.


Ireland Had an Island Grid


Ireland had an island grid, with a minor connection with the UK grid, until October 2012. As a result, it provides an ideal case for demonstrating the more wind percent on the grid would lead to a lesser CO2 reduction effectiveness


EU Brussels Bureaucrats Came to the Rescue to Achieve a Happy Ending


The poor CO2 reduction effectiveness of wind came to the attention of EU bureaucrats in Brussels.

Brussels provided Ireland with subsidies to build large-capacity connections to the much larger UK and French grids, which have much lower percentages of wind on their grids.


Any variations of Irish wind output are dealt with by the hundreds of generators on the UK and French grids.

The Irish wind output variations disappear in the noise of the UK and French grid operating data.


As a result, the Irish CCGT* plants are operated much more efficiently, because they are no longer burdened with having to deal with the variable, intermittent wind outputs.


* CCGT means combined-cycle, gas-turbine


- What applied to the Irish grid would apply to the New England grid as well; it also has minor connections to nearby grids.

- Europe is stuck with mostly CCGT plant counteracting wind variations, as it does not have nearly enough hydro plant capacity with storage.


If Minimal Wind in Ireland and UK


If winds in Ireland are minimal, that likely is also true for the UK, which lies east of Ireland. The UK cannot expect any wind energy from Ireland, and visa-versa.


As a result, Irish and UK CCGT plants will need to ramp up their outputs, or be turned on, to fill in for the lack of wind, as needed to meet demand.


That means, these CCGT plants will have to be staffed, fueled, and kept in good working order, to be ready to provide electricity to the grid, as ordered by the grid operator. Some of these plants will need to be in hot, synchronous standby mode.


None of that service would be for free, but it would not be charged to the owners of the wind systems, who were not required to provide STEADY POWER OUTPUT, such as by means of battery storage systems.

The French grid could provide some electricity to Ireland and the UK, but not enough to make much of a difference, because the capacities of the grid connections are limited.




Natural Gas and CO2 Reductions Less Than Claimed


If 0% Wind

Annual average CCGT plant efficiency is assumed at 50%

Production is assumed at 100 kWh, for analysis purposes. See note

Required gas = 100 kWh x 3413 Btu/kWh/0.5, efficiency = 682,600 Btu

Emitted CO2 = 682600 x 117/1000000, per EPA = 79.864 lb.


NOTE: Ireland’s CCGT plants produce much more than 100 kWh, but whatever they produce would be at a reduced efficiency.


If 17% wind

Wind proponents claim:

Required gas = (100 kWh – 17 kWh, wind) x 3413/0.50 = 566,558 Btu

Emitted CO2 = 566558 x 117/1000000 = 66.287 lb

Claimed CO2 reduction = 79.864 - 66.287 = 13.577 lb


If 17% wind

Real-time grid operating data shows:

Actual CO2 reduction = 13.577 lb x 0.526, effectiveness (see Wheatley URL) = 7.142 lb


Remaining CO2 = 79.864 lb – 7.142 lb = 72.722 lb CO2.

Required gas to produce remaining CO2 = 72.722/(117/1000000) = 621,560 Btu

CCGT plant efficiency = (100 – 17) x 3413/621560 = 0.4558, if producing 83 kWh with 621,560 Btu of gas,

CCGT plant efficiency reduction = 100 x (1 – 0.4558/0.50) = 8.85%, due to counteracting wind variations


This means the CCGT plants have to operate less efficiently to deal with the variable, intermittent wind output.

That leads to more annual gas consumption than claimed by wind proponents

That leads to less CO2 reduction than claimed by wind proponents.


The above bold numbers are summarized in the below table.


Ideal World

Gas, Btu

CO2, lb

Turbine Eff., %

No Wind generation




17% Wind generation




Claimed Reduction




Real World




17% Wind generation




Actual Reduction




CCGT plant efficiency reduction





Lack of CO2 Reduction in 2013


The above example was for 100 kWh.

However, in 2013, natural gas was 2098 ktoe*/4382 ktoe = 48% of the energy to generating plants; see SEIA report.


*1 ktoe (kilo ton oil equivalent) = 39,653 million Btu


The gas energy included 2098 x (1 - 1/1.0855) = 171 ktoe for counteracting wind.

The CO2 emission of 171 ktoe x 39,653 million Btu/ktoe x 117/million Btu = 791.4 million lb.


At least 791.4 million lb of CO2 emission reduction did not take place, because of less efficient operation of the CCGT plants


Lack of Gas Cost Reduction in 2013


The cost of the gas was about 171 x 39,653 million Btu/ktoe x $10/million Btu (2013 prices) = $67.6 million; current prices are much higher.


At least $67.6 million of imported gas cost reduction did not take place, because of less efficient operation of the CCGT plants.


Fuel Cost of Counteracting Wind/kWh


In 2013, the fuel cost of counteracting wind was 5,872,100,000 kWh of wind, per SEIA report/$67.6 million = 1.152 c/kWh, which would become greater as more wind turbine capacity, MW, is added, and as gas prices increase.


It is likely there were other costs, such as increased wear and tear of the CCGT plants, and increased grid build-outs for having wind turbines all over Ireland.


Ireland Natural Gas Imports Greater Than Expected


Ireland imports its natural gas. The Irish people had been told building wind turbines would reduce gas imports.

When the reductions of gas imports were much less than promised, the government conducted an investigation, which proved the efficiency degradation of the CCGT plants.


A similar outcome is in store for New England, if it builds out wind on ridgelines and offshore. The laws of physics apply on both sides of the Atlantic. See below section: Hydro-Quebec A Much Better Alternative Than Wind and Solar.


Wind Proponents Lied to the Irish People


It must be a real downer for the Irish people, after making the investments to build out wind and despoiling the visuals of much of their beautiful country, to find out the reductions of CO2 emissions and the cost of imported gas, at 17% wind on the grid, are only about 52.6% of what was promised*, and, as more wind is added, that percentage would decrease even more!!


*Not included are the embodied CO2 emissions for build-outs of:


1) Flexible generation system adequacy

2) Grid system adequacy

3) Storage system adequacy to accommodate variable wind (and solar). High percentages of wind (and solar) on almost all grids could not exist without storage system adequacy. See URL.


CCGT Plant Efficiencies are Less at Part Load Outputs


If CCGT plants perform peaking, filling-in and balancing, due to variable, intermittent wind and solar on the grid, they would operate at varying and lower outputs, and would experience more start/stops.


Such operation is less efficient than at steady and higher outputs, and with fewer start/stops, similar to a car.


CCGT plant operation becomes unstable below 40%.

Hence the practical limit is about 50%, which means the ramping range is from 50% to 100%.


The table shows maximum efficiencies at low outputs; real-world efficiencies would be even less.








Simple Cycle






Combined Cycle






Comment by Willem Post on April 2, 2022 at 11:22am



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


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.


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


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


Comment by Willem Post on April 2, 2022 at 11:20am


Thank you for this great reporting.

You were a prime mover to get some wind turbines demolished on Cape Cod, because they were illegally erected.


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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We have the facts on our side. We have the truth on our side. All we need now is YOU.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

 -- Mahatma Gandhi

"It's not whether you get knocked down: it's whether you get up."
Vince Lombardi 

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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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