HIGH COSTS OF WIND, SOLAR, AND BATTERY SYSTEMS IN NEW ENGLAND

The turnkey capital cost to implement the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP, would be in excess of $1.0 billion/y for at least 33 years (2017 - 2050), according to a 2015 Energy Action Network, EAN, annual report. If updated to 2021, the numbers would be about $1.25 billion/y for 29 years (2021 - 2050). See URLs.

 

http://eanvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/EAN-2015-Annual-Report-... 

https://outside.vermont.gov/sov/webservices/Shared%20Documents/2016...

 

Spending on government energy programs, including Efficiency Vermont, has averaged about $210 million/y from 2000 to 2015, a total of at least $2.5 billion, but Vermont CO2 emissions increased from 9.64 million metric ton in 2000, to 9.54 MMt in 2015, a decrease of 1.0%.

https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/aqc/climate-change/document... 

 

That means, on average, these RE programs:

 

- Have been expensive underperformers for 15 years

- Led to higher energy prices, and higher other prices, than they would have been without those wasteful programs.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-is-going-to-hel...

 

Giving the same RE folks six times as much money per year, to implement the CEP, per mandate of the unconstitutional Global Warming “Solutions” Act, GWSA, would be very far beyond rational.

 

Vermont’s CO2 is about the size of a dot at the end of a sentence. See Image and URL

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/04/16/eia-u-s-co2-emissions-declin...

 

WORLD 2021 ANNUAL ENERGY REPORT

https://privatebank.jpmorgan.com/content/dam/jpm-wm-aem/global/pb/e...

 

WORLD AND US PRIMARY ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND CAPITAL COST

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/world-total-energy-con...

Warren Buffett Riding the Subsidy Gravy Train

 

Quote: "I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire's tax rate, 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...

 

Green Mountain Power, GMP, Riding the Subsidy Gravy Train

 

Vermont utilities buy about 1.4 million MWh/y of hydro power, at 5.7 c/kWh, under a 20-y contract, from Hydro Quebec. The HQ electricity is not variable, not intermittent and does not cause midday solar bulges

 

GMP, a Canadian company, refuses to buy more hydro electricity from HQ, because that electricity would just be a “pass-through”, on which GMP would make minimal profit. HQ has plenty of electricity and is eager to sell it. This approach requires no subsidies!!

 

GMP rakes in millions of our hard-earned money, by investing in: 1) utility-scale solar/battery combos, 2) leasing heat pumps and 3) wall-hung Tesla batteries for playing “catch the peak games”.

 

GMP rides the subsidy gravy train, a la Warren Buffett, and plays the “green, forward-looking utility” role.

 

Per standard Wall Street practice for tax-shelters, the cash value of the subsidies is about 45% of the project turnkey cost, which includes the costs of: 1) financing, 2) subsidies, 3) owner’s return on investment.

The subsidies are “front-loaded”, i.e., about 40% is recovered by GMP in the first 5 years, the other 5% in the remaining years, i.e., skimming the fat off the milk for GMP in the early years, and long-term increased costs for ratepayers and taxpayers.

 

https://solarplusllc.com/macrs-and-bonus-depreciation/

https://norwichsolar.com/vermont-commercial-and-industrial-solar-in...

https://vermontbiz.com/news/2019/october/22/owner-gmp-and-vermont-g...

 

Cost Shifting from Owners to Ratepayers and Taxpayers

 

The owning and operating cost of wind, solar and battery systems, c/kWh, is reduced by about 45%, due to subsidies. However, because no cost ever disappears, per Economics 101, the subsidy costs are “socialized”, i.e., added, in one way or another, onto:

 

1) The rate bases of utilities, i.e., paid by ratepayers

2) Taxpayers, by means of extra taxes, fees and surcharges on electric bills and fuel bills

3) Government budgets

4) Government debt

5) Prices of goods and services other than electricity

 

If the subsidies had to be paid by owners of wind and solar systems, the contract prices paid to owners would need to be:


- At least 19.3 c/kWh, instead of 11 c/kWh, for large-scale solar

- At least 15.5 c/kWh, instead of 9 c/kWh, for ridge line wind. See table 1 and URL

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

 

Shifting Grid Costs

 

Many small-scale solar systems and/or a few large-scale solar systems on a distribution grid would excessively disturb the grid, especially at midday. Battery systems, with sufficient capacity could counteract the output variations of those solar systems.

 

Wind and solar systems could not be connected to the grid without the services of the CCGT plants, i.e., shutting down CCGT plants, and artificially diminishing/obstructing their domestically produced gas supply, advocated by pro RE folks, would not be an economic option for decades, if ever, because of the high costs of battery systems.

 

1) The cost of extension/augmentation of electric grids to connect widely distributed wind and solar systems (not paid by wind and solar system owners)

 

2) The cost of services rendered by other generators, mostly CCGT plants, which counteract the ups and downs of weather/season-dependent, variable, intermittent wind and solar outputs, 24/7/365 (not paid by wind and solar system owners).

 

3) The cost of battery systems to stabilize distribution grids, due to variations of the solar and wind system outputs (not paid by wind and solar system owners).

 

Shifting Owning and Operating Costs

 

The combined effect of cost shifting, determined behind closed doors, increases a project’s annual cash flow, i.e., “left-over-money”, to provide an ample profit for the RE system owner.

 

RE system owners are happy, having the “ears” of friendly politicians, saving the world from climate change, and claiming: “See, my project is profitable and competitive”, while everyone else gets hosed.

 

1) Grants from various sources, such as the VT Clean Energy Development Fund

2) 26% federal investment tax credits, plus state FITs. Tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the taxes GMP pays on profits

3) 100% depreciation over 5 years; the normal for utilities is 20 to 25 years. Write-offs reduce GMP taxable income

4) Deductions of interest on borrowed money. Interest deductions reduce GMP taxable income.

5) Various O&M payments are waved, such as sales tax, fees, property tax, school tax, municipal tax, etc.

6) RE system owners sell their output at two to four times NE wholesale market rates, which have averaged about 5 c/kWh starting in 2009, courtesy of:

 

- Low-cost, low-CO2, very-low-particulate, gas-fired CCGT plants

- Highly reliable, very-low-CO2, zero-particulate, nuclear plants

- Low-cost, very-low-CO2, zero-particulate, hydro plants Canada.

 

 All-in Cost of Wind and Solar

 

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

 

1) Above-market-price paid to owners 

2) Subsidies paid to owners

3) Owner return on invested capital

4) Grid extension/augmentation (not paid by owners)

5) Grid support services (not paid by owners) 

6) Future battery systems (not paid by owners)

 

Comments on table 1

  

- The owners of legacy systems were paid much higher prices, than owners of newer systems.

 

- Vermont legacy “Standard Offer” solar systems had greater subsidies, up to 30 c/kWh paid to owner, than newer systems, about 11 c/kWh

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

- “Traditional cost”, including subsidies to owner and grid support, is the cost at which traditional is added to the utility rate base

  

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

 

NOTES:

1) The prices should be compared with the NE wholesale grid price, which has averaged about 4.2 c/kWh, starting in 2009, due to low-cost CCGT and nuclear plants, which provided at least 65% of all electricity loaded onto the NE grid in 2019.

 

- Wind, solar, landfill gas, and methane power plants provided about 4.8%, after 20 years of subsidies

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

- Pre-existing hydro power plants provided about 7.4%

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

 

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

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


2) There are O&M costs of the NE grid, in addition to wholesale prices.

ISO-NE pro-rates these costs to utilities, at about 1.6 c/kWh. Charges for: 

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

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

 

3) Each local utility has its own O&M grid costs, in addition to item 2, some of which are detailed on electric bills.

 

4) Vermont utilities buy electricity from various sources; average cost about 6 c/kWh, plus ISO-NE charges of about 1.6 c/kWh, for a total of 7.6 c/kWh.

Table 1/Vermont & NE sources

Paid to

Subsidies

Grid support*

GMP

 Added to

Total

Traditional

Times

owner

to owner

cost

adder

rate base

cost

cost

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered, new

17.4

5.2

2.1

3.5

20.9

28.2

7.60

3.7

Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered, legacy

18.2

5.4

2.1

3.5

21.7

29.2

7.60

3.8

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

11.0

6.74

2.1

11.0

19.84

7.60

2.6

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

21.7

10.5

2.1

21.7

34.3

7.60

4.5

Wind, ridge line, new

9.0

4.1

2.4

9.0

15.5

7.60

2.0

Wind, offshore, new

12.1

5.4

2.8

12.1

20.3

7.60

2.7

* Excludes future battery costs

Electric Grids

 

High voltage and distribution grids, in Vermont and elsewhere, have been, and still are, entirely adequate to provide Vermonters with electricity, 24/7/365. They are not grandpa grids, as some RE folks call them.

 

However, connecting wind and solar systems to the grids requires: 1) extensions to connect them to the grids and 2) upgrades to reinforce the grids, to deal with their weather/season-dependent variability and intermittency, 3) battery systems to deal with midday solar output bulges.


Wind and solar have a perverse tendency to produce when all of their outputs are not needed!!

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-vagaries-of-solar-in-new-england

 

Almost none of the extension/upgrade costs are charged to the owners of wind and solar systems, as otherwise NE wind and solar would become even more expensive to own and operate, which would “rain on the wind and solar parade”.

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

 

Basic Rule Applicable to All Grids: Normal wind and solar output could be 10,000 MW. During a wind/solar lull, it could be 1,000 MW, such as at night. Such lulls may last 5 to 7 days, and may occur any time of the year. Sometimes a second multi-day lull occurs a few days after the first one.

At least 9,000 MW of other reliable generators, not wind/solar dependent, would be need to be staffed, fueled and ready to operate at a moment’s notice, to counteract any wind/solar shortfalls. These generators would have to supply enough electricity, not supplied by wind and solar, to meet demand, 24/7/365

Three Ways of Counteracting Wind and Solar Output Spikes

 

1) CCGT Plants

 

The stable operating range of CCGT plants is from about 50% to 100% of rated output. As counteracting plants, they typically would operate at 75% to be able to ramp up and down about 25%

 

CCGT plants, with a capacity of 6,400 MW, would be required to ramp down from 75% to 50%, to counteract a 1,600 MW up-spike, and then ramp up from 50% to 75%, to counteract a 1,600 MW down-spike. See table 2

 

Existing CCGT plants could perform the counteracting tasks 24/7/365, for 35 to 40 years. All they need is natural gas or fuel oil.

 

2) Canadian Hydro

 

Existing Canadian hydro plants could also perform that service, but that would require greatly enhanced grid extensions in Canada and NE, similar to the inter-connections of the grids of Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway.

 

That approach would be the least costly, plus large quantities of hydro could be purchased at about 6 c/kWh, far less costly than from capricious onshore/offshore wind. See table 2

 

Scotland Experience: Scotland’s east and west coastal areas often have high wind speeds. Owners are required to curtail their outputs to a capacity factor of, say 60%, even if wind speeds were high enough to have a CF of 100%, i.e., maxed-out production, to reduce the range of up/down spikes.

 

The purpose of curtailments is to ease the counteracting burden on the CCGT plants. 
A lesser capacity, MW, of CCGT plants would be required.

The owners of the wind systems get paid for not producing what they could have produced.

In Scotland, such offset payments are several hundred million dollars per year; they are much greater in the UK

 

3) Battery Systems 

 

If 1600 MW down-spike over a 3-h period

Battery systems, capacity of about 2500 MW/7500 MWh DC, if 50% charged, i.e., in battery 3750 MWh DC

Down-spike energy =1600/2 MW x 3 h = 2400 MWh AC

Discharged from battery = 2400/0.9, charge loss = 2667 MWh DC, based on a 10% discharge loss

Remaining charge in battery = 3750 - 2667 = 1083 MWh, DC, or 14.4% charged.

 

If 1600 MW up-spike over a 3-h period

Up-spike energy =1600/2 MW x 3 h/ = 2400 MWh AC

Charged into battery = 1600/2 MW x 3 h x 0.9, charge loss = 2160 MWh DC, based on a 10% charge loss

Charge in battery = 1083, initial + 2160, added = 3243 MWh DC, or 43.2% charged. 

The battery would need about 563 MWh AC from the grid to add 507 MWh DC, to restore the battery charge to 3750 MWh DC. 

See table 2 and Note

See Appendix for battery system losses.

NOTE: If another 1600 MW up/down spike would occur shortly thereafter, the batteries would be unable to entirely counteract them, etc. Recharging the batteries immediately after each up/down spike is very important, to ensure full counteracting capability.

 

NOTE: ISO-NE, likely would implement wind output curtailments, during high wind speed periods, to minimize stress on the CCGT plants. Curtailments would be more frequent, and of longer duration, if additional wind systems would be implemented near the MVI area. 

 

Battery Turnkey Capital Cost: The battery would be operated from 20% charge to 80% charge, to achieve a 15-y life.

The battery power capacity would need to be 1600 MW/0.6 = 2667 MW.

The battery energy delivery capacity would need to be 6750 MWh to counteract one 1600 MW downward spike over 3 hours. See table 2.

 

The turnkey capital cost would be 6750 MWh x 1000 kWh/MWh x $600/kWh = $4.05 billion. They would last about 15 years, which is much shorter than the 35 to 40 years of CCGT plants. See Appendix

Transmission Systems

 

Major high voltage transmission system upgrades in southeastern New England would be needed to distribute the output of the MVI and other offshore wind turbines systems.

https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2020/07/a2_b_brattle...

 

Table 2/Counteracting spikes

CCGT capacity, MW

6400

6400

6400

Operating fraction

1.0

0.75

0.5

CCGT average output, MW

6400

4800

3200

Up/down range, MW

1600

Down-spike

Up-spike

Battery capacity, MWh, AC

6750

Remaining charge, MWh, DC

1083

14.0

Efficiency

0.9

Up-spike, MW

1600

Battery capacity, MWh, DC

7500

100.0

Duration, h

3

Charge fraction

0.5

Surplus, MWh, AC

2400

Available charge, MWh, DC

3750

50.0

Efficiency

0.9

Down-spike, MW

1600

Added charge, MWh, DC

2160

28.8

Duration, h

3

Total charge, MWh, DC

3243

43.2

Shortage, MWh, AC

2400

From grid, MWh, AC

563

Efficiency

0.9

Efficiency

0.9

From battery, MWh, DC

2667

35.6

Added charge, MWh, DC

507

6.8

Remaining charge, MWh, DC

1083

14.4

Total charge, MWh, DC

3750

50.0

Offshore Wind Turbine Systems

 

The below image shows an output simulation, MW vs calendar time, based on actual, high-wind-speed, weather data, if 1,600 MW of offshore wind turbines would be located south of Martha’s Vineyard Island, MVI.

 

The almost 1,600 MW downward spikes of output, in a few hours, are far from trivial. They would create major havoc, if fed into the existing Cape Cod grid. ISO-NE has made studies of the impacts on existing grids, and costs of grid upgrades/extensions.

The wind turbines would be about 850 ft tall, with highly visible flashing strobe lights, even at 25 miles south of MVI.

 

The flat lines at the top of the image are due to the automatic limiting of the wind turbine output by feathering the rotor blades, to avoid high-speed winds destroying the wind turbines.

 

As shown, all of a sudden, the wind dies, and wind output spikes down from almost 1,600 MW to near zero, then, the wind suddenly reappears, and wind output spikes up from near zero to almost 1,600 MW.

 

During weather with high wind speeds, wind output is extremely variable, as proven by the image! 
ISO-NE has to make sure such extremes would be manageable under various scenarios, i.e., no surprises!

 

Existing CCGT plants, several thousand MW, would have to be in good operating condition, staffed and fueled, i.e., ready and able, to rapidly adjust outputs to counteract such extreme spikes.

European Companies Building Offshore Wind Systems

Almost the entire physical supply of US East Coast offshore wind systems would be by European companies, because they have the required expertise and the domestic onshore and seagoing facilities, due to building at least 25,014 MW (end 2020) of offshore turbine systems, during the past 35 years.

 

Those companies would hire qualified US labor, as needed. 
Those companies would build US facilities, as needed. 
Those companies would not be interested in training a potential competitor.

 

The EU vs the US

 

 The US, with a low-cost, self-sufficient, energy sector would attract European, Korean, Japanese, etc., energy-intensive, heavy-industry and industrial product production to the US.

 

Europe is interested to make sure the US has a high-cost electrical sector, with lots of high-priced wind and solar and batteries, to handicap the US, and to enhance its competitiveness vs the US. The UN is helping out by urging the US to expensively reduce its CO2 by 50% by 2030, which is not possible. See URL.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/04/21/the-latest-co2-fantasy/

 

- Europe desperately needs more low-cost gas from Russia to remain competitive on world markets

- Europe has to build out wind and solar to limit energy imports from unstable countries; the US does not need to.

PART TWO: Solar Systems

 

Solar systems require large areas of land. It takes about 8 acres for each MW of panels, which produces about 1.25 million kWh/y. Electricity loaded onto Vermont grids is about 6,000 million kWh/y, of which about 5,600 million kWh/y arrives at user meters; Vermont in-state solar was about 8% of the mix at end 2020.

 

Solar production starts to become significant around mid-morning, peaks around midday, and goes to near-zero by late-afternoon, just about the time of the late-afternoon/early-evening peak electricity demand period. Solar stays asleep until about mid-morning the next day.

 

Solar is like a poorly performing, part-time “worker “, who needs to be highly subsidized, and supported, to be present and function on the grid.

 

The owners of other generators are forced to expensively reduce and increase their outputs to accommodate the daily solar bulges, which are smaller during winter and overcast days, and larger during summer, during sunny days.

 

The owners are not compensated for their increased wear and tear, lesser operating efficiencies, and revenue losses.

Those costs are shifted, in one way or another, to the rate bases of utilities, i.e., paid by ratepayers

Those costs would not be charged to owners of solar systems, because that would “rain on the solar parade”.

 

Comments on Image

 

The image is of solar electricity production, during variable cloudiness, at various US Postal System area codes, in California.

Southern California has much greater DUCK-curves than northern California.

 

The graph is deceptive; 0 should be 6 AM, 20 should be 8 PM.

Solar output is near-zero from 7 PM to 7 AM the next day, because solar is peacefully sleeping.

The graph peaks at 12 AM.

 

The down spikes are due to clouds passing over the solar systems, which become increasingly harder to deal with, the more rooftop and other solar systems are installed on distribution grids. Fast-reacting batteries, such as Tesla Powerwalls, etc., serve to supply electricity to offset the down spikes. Southern Germany and Southern California, with large capacities of solar systems, have had to deal with those down spikes for at least 20 years.

Rutland “The Solar City of New England”

A few years ago, Rutland was declared to become “The Solar City of New England”. Substations between distribution and high voltage grids would have to be two-way, i.e., draw from and feed into the high voltage grid, instead of the normal one-way substations.

 

This fantasy came to a screeching halt, when RE folks were informed the daily solar bulges would excessively disturb the distribution grids, and that these disturbances would spill over onto high voltage grids, which would have made ISO-NE very unhappy. Some RE folks said we should use battery systems, but that turned out to be off-the-charts expensive.

Solar/Battery Combos and Adverse Their Consequences

 

Some folks propose expensive battery systems that would absorb a part of the bulges, and would discharge that electricity, minus losses, during late-afternoon/early-evening hours, when peak electricity demands occur.

 

Charging and Discharging Losses: DC electricity from the solar system, passing through the battery system, then via a step-up transformer, to the distribution grid, has a loss of about 17%

 

The battery system could also be charged from the grid, in case of cloudy/foggy weather. AC electricity from the grid, via a step-down transformer, then passing through the battery system, then via a step-up transformer, to the distribution grid, has a loss of at least 20%

 

Cost Adder of Using a Battery: The cost of passing expensively subsidized solar electricity through the battery is about 63 c/kWh, which includes the costs of: 1) financing, 2) subsidies, 3) owner’s return on investment. The 63 c/kWh is in addition to the solar costs in table 2.

 

GMP Spreading Micro-grids all over Vermont: It looks like spreading micro-grids all over Vermont would be very lucrative for GMP, but very expensive for Vermont taxpayers and ratepayers.

 

Impact on Heat Pumps and EVs: It would be counterproductive to add battery-use costs to the rate base, because it would increase electric rates and discourage people from owning heat pumps and electric vehicles, i.e., the CEP goals would become unattainable. See Appendix

 

Reducing Midday Solar Bulges: One of the main functions of battery systems is to reduce midday solar bulges. The cost of that service is not charged to owners of solar systems, because that would “rain on the solar parade”.

 

NOTE: It looks like the many-decades-old-rule "the disturber pays" went out of the window, when wind and solar showed up to save the world.

GMP-OWNED SOLAR/BATTERY COMBO IN PANTON, VERMONT 

 

GMP has built a solar/battery combo, on 35 acres of farmland, in Panton, Vermont, a rural area. The $17.7 million solar/battery combo, would provide power, for a few hours, during rare power outages; at first to about 50 users, such as Town Hall, police, fire, EMS, etc., later to additional users. See URL

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-07/documents/re_on_...

 

- The battery system, 10 Tesla Powerpack units, would deliver 1,000 kW for 4 hours, or 500 kW for 8 hours, etc.

- It would be connected to many users with its own distribution system.

- If the normal distribution system is down, the emergency distribution system would take over.

- The extent and turnkey capital cost of the emergency distribution system likely would be known to GMP

 

Turnkey capital cost of the 4.9 MW solar system, was about 4.9 MW x $3.0 million/MW = $14.7 million

Turnkey capital cost of the 1 MW/4 MWh battery system was about 4000 kWh x $750kWh = $3.0 million. See URL

https://www.vpr.org/post/green-mountain-power-eyes-panton-states-se...

  

Table 3/Battery Capital cost

Battery

$/kWh

$million

Battery modules, Tesla price, FOB

300

1.2

Bi-directional inverters

Thermal management system

AC main breaker and controls

Battery complete, Tesla price, FOB

500

2.0

Land

Site preparation

Foundations

Electrical and substation

Test operation

Turnkey capital cost, per GMP

750

3.0

 

Production of Panton Solar System

 

Production data and capacity factors are shown in this URL

Production was 1.272 MWh at a capacity factor of 34.891% on May 1, 2020

The annual average CF is about 0.20, which is greater than normal (0.145), because, instead of panels at a fixed angle, the panel angle is automatically varied during the day, to better face the sun.

http://www.wvwelectric.com/plant/60562/M/SUN

 

Midday Solar Bulge

 

The bulge would be a maximum of about 4.9 x 0.8 = 3.92 MW, during a very sunny, summer day

The battery system would absorb electricity to reduce the bulge by about 1 MW.

GMP likely knows how much that 1 MW reduction benefits the stability of the distribution grid

 

During the late-afternoon/early-evening, the battery would discharge “the bulge”, at 1 MW, and thereby reduce the GMP peak demand.

GMP likely knows how much that 1 MW reduction would benefit GMP and ratepayers.

Economics of Solar Project

 

If a bank makes a $14.7 million loan at 9%/y for 25 years, it would require annual mortgage payments of $1,480,342 to recover the loan, plus interest.

If GMP makes a $14.7 investment in a solar system at 9%/y for 25 years, it would require annual revenues of $1,480,342, to recover its investment, plus have a 9%/y return on investments.

It is assumed the value of the solar system is about zero at end of Year 25.

https://www.myamortizationchart.com

 

Solar production is about 4900 kW x 0.200, CF x 8766 h/y = 8,590,680 kWh/y

However, the operation of the battery system reduces solar sales by 248,200 kWh/y, or $27,302/y

Solar revenue would be (8,590,680 - 248,200) x 11 c/kWh = $917,673/y

 

The revenue shortfall of 1,480,342, paid to GMP - 917,673, revenue = $562,669/y has to be provided by various subsidies from ratepayers and taxpayers

 

Cost of solar is $1,480,342/y / (8,590,680 - 248,200) kWh/y = 17.74 c/kWh

GMP sells at 11 c/kWh, as part of the VT “Standard Offer” program

GMP receives from subsidies the equivalent of 6.74 c/kWh

Total paid to GMP = 11 + 6.74 = 17.74 c/kWh. See table 2

 

Each year, a solar project has other costs, which also are transferred to ratepayers and taxpayers and government debt (certainly not to the owner), which would increase the cost of electricity from 17.74 c/kWh to at least 19.84 c/kWh. See tables 2 and 4

 

Economics of Battery Project

 

If a bank makes a $3.0 million loan at 9%/y for 15 years, it would require annual mortgage payments of $365,136, to recover the loan, plus interest.

If GMP makes a $3.0 million investment in a battery system at 9%/y for 15 years, it would require annual payments of $365,136, to recover the investment, plus a 9%/y return on invested capital.

 

Cost of financing would be 5,477,040, total payments - 3,000,000, turnkey cost = $2,477,040, paid over 15 years.

It is assumed GMP finances the battery from its own resources, i.e., the $5,477,040 would be paid to GMP

It is assumed the value of the battery system is about zero at end of Year 15.

https://www.myamortizationchart.com

 

Revenues are $179,880/y, RNS and FCM reduction + $7,653/y, arbitrage = $187,533/y. See table 6

Revenue shortfall is 365,137, paid to GMP - 187,533, revenues = $177,604/y

 

Subsidies are 177,604, revenue shortfall + 102,468, bulge control loss + 27,302, battery loss = $307,374/y, which would be charged to ratepayers and taxpayers and added to government debt. See Notes and table 4

 

Battery throughput is 2920 kWh/d x 365 d/y = 1,065,800 kWh/y. 

Battery rated capacity is 4000 kWh/d as AC

Battery annual CF = 2920/4000 = 73%

Battery operating range is from (4000 - 2920)/2 = 540 kWh (16.5% charged) to 3460 kWh (86.5% charged)

Operating below 16.5% and above 83.5% would significantly shorten the battery life, and would be less efficient

 

Cost of paying GMP = (365,136) / (1,065,800, maximum throughput) = 34.26 c/kWh.

Cost of subsidies is 307,374 / 1,065,800 = 28.84 c/kWh

Total cost of battery use is 34.26 + 28.84 = 63.1 c/kWh. See Note

 

NOTE: This report shows values of battery owning and operating costs of 46 - 65 c/kWh, which are similar to the 63.1 c/kWh of this article. See page 19 of URL

https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1254196/FULLTEXT01.pdf

Ignored Costs of Solar and Battery Systems

 

1) O&M, which includes on-site use of electricity, labor and materials

2) Miscellaneous costs, such as insurance, etc.

3) Decommissioning and disposal of battery plant

4) Build new battery plant to serve for 10 years, i.e., 25y, life of solar plant - 15y, life of battery plant

 

NOTE: A minor revenue could be obtained by using the battery for frequency regulation, i.e., rapidly absorbing and discharging very small quantities of electricity to maintain the grid frequency and voltage within the prescribed ranges.

 

NOTE:

- The GMP battery project is similar to a person buying a big house, without having enough income to make the monthly mortgage payments. Luckily, that person has parents, who voluntarily make up the shortage each month!!

- The GMP battery project does not have enough revenues. Luckily for GMP, ratepayers and taxpayers are coerced to make up the shortage each month!!

- GMP wants to spread many heavily subsidized combos all over Vermont, as part of its expensive “micro-grid, climate fighting” strategy, which will be good for GMP financial results, but not good for ratepayers and taxpayers and the Vermont economy.

 

Comments on table 4

 

1) Gain from FCM and RNS Reduction

Significant revenue can be obtained by having the batteries reduce GMP peak demands, and thereby reduce RNS and FCM charges. These charges, imposed by ISO-NE, are a major expense of any utility.

 

The “Game of Picking Peaks” amounts to cost shifting from clever, early-adopter utilities, onto other utilities.

The ISO-NE costs of running the grid do not decrease. They continue to be spread among utilities.

The Game will end after more utilities learn to play the game.

The RNS value is $116.11/kW-year, or $9.68/kW-month, for 2020/2021

The FCM value is $5.30/kW-month, for 2020/2021

 

RNS reduction would be 1,000 kW x $9.69/kW-month = $9,690 for a month, or $116,280 for 12 months

FCM reduction would be 1,000 kW x $5.30/kW-month = $5,300 for a month, or $63,600 for 12 months.

Total reduction = $179,880/y

 

https://www.sandia.gov/ess-ssl/publications/SAND2017-6164.pdf

https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2017/02/20170228_pr_...

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

 

2) Gain from Arbitrage

 

A very minor revenue can be obtained by “buying low, at night-time, and selling high, during peak hours”.

 

The battery could be partially charged from the grid from 10 pm to 6 am, at about 4 c/kWh, and be charged some more by absorbing a part of the bulge from 8 am to 4 pm, after which it would be discharged to the distribution grid from 4 pm to 10 pm, when, on average, grid prices are 7 c/kWh.

The arbitrage gain would be $7,653/y. 

 

3) Loss due to Midday Solar Bulge

 

The battery could absorb 0.45 MW of solar output from 8 am to 4 pm = 0.45 x 8 h = 3.6 MWh as DC; which after a 7% loss, would add 3.35 MWh DC to the battery charge, which after a 10% loss, would deliver 3.01 MWh AC to the distribution grid, from 4 pm to 10 pm, when, on average, grid prices are 7 c/kWh.

The bulge control cost would be $102,468/y. See Note

 

Expensive solar electricity at 17.68 c/kWh, of which 17% is lost, due to charging/discharging, with the left-over sold at 7 c/kWh!!

Would that loss be charged to owners of solar systems, who are the grid disturbers?

Oh no, because that would "rain on the solar parade"

 

The bulge electricity costs 17.68 c/kWh. The quantity should be determined by measurement.

This calculation uses 4 c/kWh for all charging, i.e., the arbitrage gain is overstated!!

4) Loss due to Battery Efficiency

 

The revenue reduction was based on arbitrage quantities. 

Battery input from grid is about 3600 kWh/d x 365 = 1,314,000 kWh/y

Battery output to grid is about 2920 kWh/d x 365 = 1,065,800 kWh/y

Battery loss is 248,200 kWh/y, which could not be sold at 11 c/kWh/y; GMP keeps the subsidies associated with the lost electricity?

The cost of 248,200 kWh/y x 11 c/kWh = $27,302/y

Table 4/GMP Combo

 

ISO-NE charges

Bulge control

Arbitrage

Battery loss

FCM

RNS

MW

0.45

From grid, MW

0.45

3600

5.3

9.69

h

8

h

8

365

1000

1000

To battery, MWh

3.60

To battery, MWh

3.60

1314000

12

12

Loss fraction, charge

0.07

Loss fraction, charge

0.10

2920

63600

116280

Loss, MWh

0.25

Loss, MWh

0.36

365

179880

In battery, MWh, DC

3.35

In battery, MWh, DC

3.24

1065800

Loss fraction, discharge

0.10

Loss, fraction, discharge

0.10

248200

Loss, MWh

0.33

Loss, MWh

0.324

0.11

To grid, MWh, AC

3.01

To grid, MWh, AC

2.92

27302

Charge cost, c/kWh

0.1768

Charge cost, c/kWh

0.04

 

Charge cost, $/d

533

Charge cost, $/d

117

 

Peak cost, c/kWh

0.07

Peak cost, c/kWh

0.07

 

Revenue, $/d

252

Revenue, $/d

204

 

Loss/d

281

Gain/d

87

 

Loss, $/y

102468

Gain/y

7653

 

APPENDIX 1

SOME NE STATE GOVERNMENTS PLAY DECEPTIVE GAMES WITH CO2 EMISSIONS PER KILOWATT-HOUR

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/some-ne-state-governme...

APPENDIX 2

Vermont Has Much Better Options Than Expensive Wind/Solar/Battery Systems

 

Buildings:

 

A state-wide building code, which would require new buildings to be highly sealed, highly insulated so they could easily be energy-surplus buildings, or be entirely off-the -grid. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, etc., have had such codes for at least a decade.

 

Vermont should be replacing run-of-the-mill, old houses, with up-to-date, energy-surplus, off-the-grid, new houses, at a rate of at least 5,000 houses per year. There would be 150,000 such houses by 2050.

 

Dabbling at weatherizing, at $10,000 per house, is politically attractive, but a gross waste of money. The goal should be energy conservation and high efficiency. Their combined effect would reduce CO2 at the least cost.

 

Energy efficiency measures to reduce energy consumption, CO2, and energy costs, such as by:

 

1) Exchanging traditional light bulbs for LEDs

2) Insulating and sealing energy-hog housing and other buildings

3) Increasing the mileage of existing gasoline vehicles

 

Such measures would cost $50 to $200 per metric ton, much less than the $2,100/Mt of electric school buses.

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/electric-bus-systems-likely-not-cost-effective-in-vermont-at

 

Vehicles:

 

Gas Guzzler Fee

 

Instead of RE folks fantasizing about banning gasoline vehicles, it would be far less expensive for Vermont to immediately enforce a gas-guzzler code to impose a fee on low-mileage vehicles. The fee would be collected at time of registration.

 

The more below 40-mpg, the greater would be the fee.

Vehicles with greater than 40-mpg, such as the 54-mpg Toyota Prius, would be exempt.

 

EVs

 

RE folks would have everyone drive UNAFFORDABLE, MATCHBOX-SIZE, IMPRACTICLE EVs, that would not reduce much CO2 compared with EFFICIENT gasoline vehicles.

 

On a lifetime, A-to-Z basis, with travel at 105,600 miles over 10 years (10,560 miles/y), the CO2 emissions, based on the present New England grid CO2/kWh, would be:

 

NISSAN Leaf S Plus, EV, compact SUV, no AWD, would emit 25.967 Mt, 246 g/mile

TOYOTA Prius L Eco, 62 mpg, compact car, no AWD, would emit 26.490 Mt, 251 g/mile

SUBARU Outback, 30 mpg, medium SUV, with AWD, would emit 43.015 Mt, 407 g/mile

VT LDV mix, 22.7 mpg, many with AWD or 4WD, would emit 56.315 Mt, 533 g/mile

 

The above shows,

 

A NISSAN Leaf, a compact SUV, would have CO2 reduction of 30.3 Mt over 10 years (3 Mt/y), if compared with the VT LDV mix, which contains small and big vehicles.

 

A NISSAN Leaf would have CO2 reduction of 16.3 Mt over 10 years (1.63 Mt/y), if compared with my 30-mpg Subaru Outback, a vastly more useful vehicle

APPENDIX 3

Heat Pumps are Money Losers in my Vermont House (as they are in almost all people's houses)

 

I installed three Mitsubishi, 24,000 Btu/h HPs, Model MXZ-2C24NAHZ2, each with 2 heads; 2 in the living room, 1 in the kitchen, and 1 in each of 3 bedrooms. The HPs have DC variable-speed, motor-driven compressors and fans, which improves the efficiency of low-temperature operation.

The HPs last about 15 years. Turnkey capital cost was $24,000

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

 

Well-Sealed, Well-Insulated House: The HPs are used for heating and cooling my 35-y-old, 3500 sq ft, well-sealed/well-insulated house, except the basement, which has a near-steady temperature throughout the year, because it has 2” of blueboard, R-10, on the outside of the concrete foundation and under the basement slab, which has saved me many thousands of space heating dollars over the 35 years.

 

I do not operate my HPs at 10F or below, because HPs would become increasingly less efficient with decreasing temperatures. The HP operating cost per hour would become greater than of my highly efficient propane furnace.  

 

High Electricity Prices: Vermont forcing, with subsidies and/or GWSA mandates, the build-outs of expensive RE electricity systems, such as wind, solar, batteries, etc., would be counter-productive, because it would: 1) increase electric rates and 2) worsen the already poor economics of HPs (and of EVs)!!

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

 

Energy Cost Saving: My energy cost savings due to the HPs were $253/y, on an investment of $24,000!!

 

Amortizing Heat Pumps: Amortizing the $24,000 turnkey capital cost at 3.5%/y for 15 years costs about $2,059/y.

This is in addition to the amortizing of my existing propane system. I am losing money.

https://www.myamortizationchart.com

 

Other Annual Costs: There likely would be service calls and parts for the HP system, as the years go by.

This is in addition to the annual service calls and parts for my existing propane system. I am losing more money.

 

Cost of CO2 Reduction would be (2,059, amortize - 253, energy saving + 200, parts and maintenance)/0.998 Mt/y, CO2 reduction = $2028/Mt, which is similar to money-losing, very expensive, electric school buses. See URL

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/electric-bus-systems-l...

 

Highly Sealed, Highly Insulated Housing

 

If I had a highly sealed, highly insulated house, with the same efficient propane heating system, my house, for starters, would use very little energy for space heating, i.e., not much additional energy cost saving and CO2 reduction would be possible using HPs

 

If I would install HPs, and would operate the propane system down to 5F (which would involve greater defrost losses), I likely would displace a greater percentage of propane, and have greater annual energy cost savings; much would depend on: 1) the total energy consumption (which is very little, because of my higher-efficiency house), and 2) the prices of electricity and propane. See Note.

 

I likely would need 3 units at 18,000 Btu/h, at a lesser turnkey capital cost. Their output, very-inefficiently produced (low COP), would be about 34,000 Btu/h at -10F, the Vermont HVAC design temperature. 

 

However, any annual energy cost savings would be overwhelmed by the annual amortizingcost, and parts and service costs. i.e., I would still be losing money, if amortizing were considered.

 

NOTE:

 

1) About 1.0 to 1.5 percent of Vermont houses are highly sealed and highly insulated

2) Vermont’s weatherizing program, at about $10,000/unit, does next to nothing for making energy-hog houses suitable for HPs; it is a social program for poor people.

 

NOTE: VT-Department of Public Service found, after a survey of 77 HPs installed in Vermont houses, the annual energy cost savings were, on average, $200, but the maintenance and annual amortizing costs would turn that gain into a loss of at least $200.

On average, the HPs provided 27.6% of the annual space heat, and traditional fuels provided 72.4%. These numbers are directly from the survey data.

Turnkey cost for a one-head HP system is about $4,500; almost all houses had just one HP. See URLs.

On average, these houses were unsuitable for HPs, and the owners were losing money.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-savings-of-air-sou...

https://publicservice.vermont.gov/sites/dps/files/documents/2017%20...

APPENDIX 4

 

Methods of Economic Analysis and Subsidies

 

The after-tax annual cash surplus of a wind or solar project = revenues - costs.

The revenues are increased by selling the electricity at up to 4.5 times the average wholesale cost. See table 2

The costs are reduced by various subsidies.

Utilities, such as GMP, are allowed to earn 9%/y on investments

 

The NPV, IRR Method

 

The standard method of economic analysis is based on a spreadsheet, which requires:

 

1) A lot of project information, known to GMP and PUC, but not to me, etc. See Note.

2) Making various assumptions, to obtain the after-tax cash flow for each year.

 

The after-tax annual cash surpluses are converted into Net Present Values, NPVs.

For example, a $1000 surplus in Year 25, would be worth only $116 in Year 0, if the discount rate is 9%/y

 

In Year 0, the NPV is large negative number equal to the turnkey capital cost of the project

 

Levelized Cost = Sum of NPVs/(Year 0 to Year 25) 

 

Internal Rate of Return, IRR, is the discount rate that makes the sum of NPVs = 0, i.e., the least expected compounded rate of return of the project.

 

- Any financing with bank loans is just another cost item spread out over the years of the loan

 

- Any funds invested by owner merely means less money needs to be borrowed to complete the project. The Owner invests with the expectation the cash flows of the project will provide a compounded 9%/y return.

 

- Any one-time subsidies, such as grants and tax credits, or annual subsidies, such as depreciation write-offs and selling production at above-market rates, are just bonuses that increase annual cashflows. Typically, the cashflows are negative due to accelerated depreciation of the project assets for the first 5 years, then become hugely positive for the remaining years.

 

NOTE

GMP has the information to determine accurate costs

GMP provides the costs to the Public Utilities Commission, PUC

The PUC reviews and approves the addition to the rate base

The subsidy-paying, rate-paying public appears to have no meaningful input, even though “hearings” are held

 

The Mortgage Method

 

Whereas, the NPV, IRR method is easy for MBAs and Engineers, the general public, including almost all legislators, has no idea about such complexity.

 

Instead, I will use the Mortgage Method, with annual payments to pay off the mortgage, which is familiar to almost all people. Every properly functioning project would have more income than costs, which would include the cost of mortgage payments.

The annual surplus would equal the annual, after-tax profit.

 

In Vermont, the rate of return of a utility solar project (and of a Standard Offer solar project) is about 9%/y.

Working backwards, what annual cash flows, does a solar project need to achieve 9%/y?

What level of subsidies is required to create required cashflows?

All this can be determined with a few computer keystrokes.

 

With enough subsidies, any project, however dubious, can be made profitable for owners.

However, already-struggling Vermonters will have to “grin and bear” the huge costs that made it possible for the owners to celebrate:

 

1) A 9%/y compounded return on their investment, while bank loans have rates of about 3%/y 

2) Wearing the “I am Green” label.

 

APPENDIX 5

 

New England has Poor Conditions for Wind and Solar

 

Some areas of the US are favorable for wind and solar systems, because of good winds, such as from North Dakota to the Mexican Border, and the sunny US southwest.

 

NE has poor conditions for wind systems, except on pristine ridge lines, and offshore areas

NE has the most unfavorable conditions for solar, except the rainy US northwest. See images

 

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

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

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

 

As a result, the costs of wind and solar electricity, c/kWh, would always be significantly greater in NE, than in the more favorable areas.

 

In the windy areas of the US, owners of large-scale wind systems are paid about 5 c/kWh; they are said to be “competitive” with traditional fossil power plants.

 

However, these owners would need to be paid about 9 - 10 c/kWh, if there were no subsidies, including the Production Tax Credit, PTC, of 1.8 c/kWh; tax credits are like gifts, they are much better than deductions from taxable income. The PTC, started in 1992, has been in effect for 28 years!!

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=46576

 

Vagaries of Wind and Solar in New England

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-vagaries-of-solar-... 

  

Here is an example of a 6-day summer lull.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/analysis-of-a-6-day-lul...

 

Here is an example of a multi-day winter lull.

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-plus-solar-plus-s...

 

Area Requirements of Energy Sources in New England

 

An August 2009 study for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory examined land-use data for 172 projects, representing about 80% of the installed and targeted wind capacity, in the U.S., and found an average area of 85 acres/MW. 

http://www.aweo.org/windarea.html

 

This study includes all area aspects of an energy source.

According to Tom Gray of the American Wind Energy Association, the average is 60 acres/MW. Table 1 assumes an average of (85 + 60)/2 = 72.5 acre/MW 

https://www.strata.org/pdf/2017/footprints-full.pdf

 

A 1000 MW combined-cycle, gas-turbine plant, CCGT, on 343 acres produces 5.5 times the electricity of a 1000 MW solar plant on 8100 acres, i.e., solar needs 5.5 x 8100/343 = 130 times the land area of a CCGT plant to produce a MWh

 

A 1000 MW nuclear plant on 832 acres produces 6.2 times the electricity of a 1000 MW solar plant on 8100 acres, i.e., solar needs 6.2 x 8100/832 = 60.4 times the land area of a nuclear plant to produce a MWh

 

Low-cost CCGT and nuclear electricity: 

 

- Is not season/weather-dependent

- Is not variable 

- Is not intermittent

- Has minimal CO2 

- Has near-zero particulates.

Table 5/Source

 Capacity

CF

Area

Ridge line

Production

Times

 Production

New England

MW

acre/1000 MW

miles/1000 MW

MWh/y

solar

MWh/acre

Nuclear

1000

0.90

832

7,889,400

6.2

9,482

CCGT

1000

0.80

343

7,012,800

5.5

20,445

Wind

1000

0.30

72,500

62

2,629,800

2.1

36

Solar

1000

0.145

8,100

1,271,070

1.0

157

APPENDIX 6

 

Ridge Line Wind Turbine Systems

 

Any NE wind systems would need to be located where the winds are, i.e., on pristine, 2000 ft-high ridge lines, which would require:

 

1) Significant blasting to provide spacious erection areas for the 450 to 500 ft-high wind turbines

2) Several miles of heavy-duty, 50-ft wide access roads to reach and connect the erection areas

3) Extensive facilities for managing any rain and snow-melt water flows, including infrequent heavy rain-falls

 

The wind systems would devastate the already-fragile, mountain-top ecologies, which would have significant impacts further down the mountains. No self-respecting environmentalist, or sensitive human being, could ever approve of such wanton, highly visible, noisy, environmental destruction.

 

The owners of other generators, mostly CCGT plants, are forced to expensively vary their outputs to counteract the variability of wind, 24/7/365.

 

The CCGT plant owners are not compensated for their increased wear and tear, lesser operating inefficiencies (greater Btu/kWh, greater CO2/kWh), and revenue losses. Those costs are shifted, in one way or another, to the rate bases of utilities, i.e., paid by ratepayers.

No cost ever disappears, per Economics 101.

 

Those costs are not charged to owners of wind systems, because that would “rain on the wind parade”

 

Lowell Mountain: The 63-MW wind turbine system, aka Kingdom “Community” Wind, on Lowell Mountain, owned by GMP, involved so much destruction that it “merited” a Manchester Guardian report, with aerial photos, a few years ago.

 

On top of that, it took about $20 million to connect that wind system to the NEK high voltage grid. It required:

 

1) A new synchronous condenser system, $10.5 million, to protect the high voltage grid

2) A new substation

3) Extensions/upgrades of high-voltage power lines, to ensure the rural grid would not be excessively disturbed, as the variable output might otherwise take down the entire northern Vermont grid.

 

- ISO-NE, the NE grid operator, on occasion, requires output curtailments, despite all these measures.

- GMP charges costs of the Lowell wind system to the rate base, subject to review by the VT Public Service Commission, PUC

- GMP uses various subsidies to reduce taxes it would have to pay on net profits, similar to Warren Buffett.

 

Future Build-outs of Offshore Wind Turbine Systems in New England

 

- MA, RI, and CT are planning to have 8460, 880, and 4160 MW, respectively, a total of 13,500 MW of offshore wind by 2035, much greater than the above 1600 MW.

- If the same simulation were made for 13,500 MW of wind turbines, the up/down spikes would be about

10,000 MW

- The existing CCGT plants would be inadequate to counteract them, i.e., output curtailments would be required.

- The 2035 date has a ring of urgency to it, but likely would be unattainable in the real world. See page 13 of NE-pool URL

 

It would take at least 20 years to build out 13,500 MW wind turbines off the coast of New England, plus large-scale solar systems to reduce the NE grid CO2/kWh by about 30%

 

With that much wind and solar, the NE grid would become very unstable. The NE grid would need:

 

1) Curtailments of wind output, kWh, on windy days

2) Curtailments of solar output bulges on sunny days

2) Major connections to the Canadian grid

3) Grid-scale batteries, with a capacity of 3 to 4 TWh; turnkey capital cost about $1.5 to $2 TRILLION, at $500/kWh, delivered as AC

 

https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2020/02/2020_reo.pdf

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

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/reality-check-regardin...

 

NOTE: Nearby countries import German overflow electricity, when it is windy and sunny, at low grid prices (because of a German surplus), and export to Germany, when it is not windy and not sunny, at high grid prices (because of a German shortage). 

The Netherlands is one of the major beneficiaries.

German households get to “enjoy” the highest electric rates in Europe, about 2.5 times as high as the US

Denmark, another wind country, is second!

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/04/08/germanys-windexitold-wind-tu...

Maine Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Systems are Dead in the Water

 

The ocean waters near Maine are deep. Almost all offshore wind turbines would need to be floating units, anchored at the seafloor with at least 3 long cables.

The 700-ft tall wind turbines would need to be located at least 25 miles from any inhabited islands, to reduce the visuals, especially with strobe lights, 24/7/365

The wind turbines would be far from major electricity demand centers, such as Montreal and Boston.

Transmission systems would be required to connect the wind turbines to demand centers

All that would make the cost of electricity produced by these wind turbines more expensive than those south of MVI.

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

 

HYWIND Floating Wind turbines: This article estimates the levelized cost of electricity of the HYWIND floating wind turbines, at Peterhead, Scotland, at UK pounds 224/MWh, or $311/kWh, or 31.1 c/kWh.

The turnkey capital cost was UK pounds 8.9 million/MW or $12.37 million/MW

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/07/31/the-levelised-cost-of-floati...

 

Maine is Desperate to Stay in the Wind Turbine Business

 

Maine wind/solar bureaucrats likely are in active discussions with stakeholders to add 751 MW of onshore wind turbines.

Maine wind/solar bureaucrats are not in active discussions with stakeholders to add offshore wind turbines, as shown by the interconnection proposals on page 13 of URL

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

APPENDIX 7

 

Turnkey Capital Costs of Grid-Scale Battery Systems

 

The US average turnkey capital cost of site-specific, custom-designed, grid-scale battery systems is at least $600/kWh, delivered as AC.

The NE average turnkey capital cost for such systems is about $750/kWh AC

 

Such high $/kWh costs are likely to prevail for at least 10 more years, unless major technical breakthroughs are discovered, and subsequently implemented on a large scale. See URL

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/economics-of-utility-s... 

 

NOTE: Site-specific, custom-designed, grid-scale battery systems, that operate 24/7/365, have a much higher turnkey cost per kWh (about $600 per kWh, at present), than mass-produced battery packs for installation in EVs, that operate a few hours per day (about $125 - $175 per kWh, at present). The two are not comparable.

  

NOTE: The EIA graph, based on surveys of battery system users, shows slowly decreasing costs after 2018

The range of values likely would become $900 to $450 per kWh in 2025.

The values would be near the high end of the range in New England. See graph in URL

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=45596

Table 6/Battery system turnkey cost

Range

Average

Year

 $/kWh as AC

 $/kWh as AC

2015

 2500 to 1750

 2152

2016

 2800 to 750

 1250

2017

 1500 to 700

 800

2018

 1250 to 500

 625

2025

 900 to 450

 500

APPENDIX 8

Energy Losses of Large-Scale Battery Systems

 

1) The 18 losses of a battery system, including thermal management, monitoring and control, total about 20%, excluding transformer losses. See note

Open URL and click on “View Open Manuscript”

See figures 3, 4 and 17 of article.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306261917315696

 

2) Per EIA, grid-scale battery efficiency is about 80%, AC to AC basis, excluding transformer losses. See note.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=46756

 

NOTE: Usually, electricity from a distribution grid has to pass through a step-down transformer, about a 1% loss, to reduce the voltage to that of the battery, then through the battery, then via a step-up transformer, about a 1% loss, to the distribution grid, for an overall efficiency of 78%.

 

EV Charging Losses

 

Electric vehicle charging has losses of about 16% in summer, about 18% in winter, from wall outlet, as AC, to a charge inside the battery, as DC. There are additional losses for the charged electricity to go from the battery to the wheels, plus losses for operating the vehicle, such as battery cooling/heating, cabin cooling/heating, heated seats, music, instrumentation, etc.

 

This article has four real-world examples of EV charging losses. See part 3 of article

POOR ECONOMICS AND MINIMAL CO2 REDUCTION OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN NEW ENGLAND

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/poor-economics-of-elec...

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Comment by Willem Post on April 1, 2021 at 9:33pm

Right, you are.

They fought like hell to throw out Trump and put in Biden to get rescue bills passed

Trump was screwing up their livelihood prospects

That rescue money, hundreds of $billions, would go mostly to Democrat-run states, that just happen to be swing states.

A million more voters for Democrats just walked across the open borders,

Then, as instructed, they just sit down, get arrested, and start collecting on government programs.

Democrats do not know how to run profitable companies, so, instead, they hijack the government purse.

Obama is pulling the strings behind the scene; he is the most clever puppet master!

Comment by arthur qwenk on April 1, 2021 at 8:48pm

Willem, 

A truism I have found. It is not about science , it is  all about the ideology of today's left and their understanding of "The Economy".

 Much more so than Republicans, the Democratic Party is a highly interconnected ecosystem of incumbency and patronage dependent on a predictable flow of public money and liberal philanthropy that lubricates every cog of the party’s sprawling machinery. When they think of the U.S. economy, this is what  they are thinking of.

Comment by Willem Post on March 30, 2021 at 10:27pm

Art,

The excessive subsidies are driving RE profiteers crazy.

Biden's handlers are fueling the flames

30,000 MW of offshore wind turbines would be a BONANZA for EUROPEAN companies.

They are ready, willing and able to start right now.

The US will have an EXPENSIVE power production set-up, just as the Europeans.

Any competitive advantage the US now has regarding low-cost energy will be blown to bits.

We will be paying the Europeans to dig our grave.

They must be saying: "We got the US where we want them"

Comment by arthur qwenk on March 30, 2021 at 8:11pm

Well done William.Let's hope there are a few residents of these New England states that have the ability to connect the dots, and the will to do something about it to change the disastrous  energy path New England is on.

Thank you.  

Comment by Willem Post on March 28, 2021 at 2:20pm

Thank you Penny.

I am 84, retired many years ago, and am financially independent.

Exposing RE for what it really is, is a labor of love for me. 

RE for others is a means to grab as many subsidies as possible, as quickly as possible, and they will tell ANY lies to get them.  

I am fortunate to have about 35 years of energy systems analysis experience, which helps me to expose those lies.

Comment by Penny Gray on March 27, 2021 at 6:34pm

Willem Post, thank you for continually educating us on this important subject and for providing these amazing stats.  Heat pumps don't work up here in Fort Kent, yet they're still being pushed and there aren't many electric vehicles at all. There's no doubt that I dwell in one of the least energy efficient old farmhouses ever built, located in the windiest coldest dang location in Maine, but if it stands as long as I live, I'll be happy to suffer the cold winters.  Whoever lives on this mountain when I'm gone will hopefully build an energy efficient home.

Comment by Penny Gray on March 27, 2021 at 6:25pm

I just watched this presentation on Youtube that's quite amazing, coming out of California.  Given that politicians, Hollywood and bureaucrats are currently charting the course of our power grid, and science plays little to no part, this is an interesting interview. Bottom line, there's no dirtier energy than clean energy, namely wind and solar.  The biggest battery bank in the US is now located in Florida and would, if Florida suffered a blackout, power the entire state for two whole minutes.  It would take five hundred years to build enough big lithium ion batteries to power the US for one day.  This interview is worth watching and should be mandatory viewing for all government agencies, school age children and anyone who wants and expects the power to come on when they flip a switch...and they are relying on the unreliables. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq-Z9sYGxeE

Comment by Willem Post on March 26, 2021 at 2:11am

Arthur,

The SSR of Vermont, which has the strongest SOCIALIST orientation in the US (Bernie Sanders even celebrated his honeymoon in the USSR), has had a near-zero, real-growth economy, with a near-stagnant population, for at least 20 years.

No amount of federal and state subsidies, COVID or other, and government programs could change that.

They are, in fact, the CAUSE of the disease.

It is a disease of the "Collective" brain of a small, but powerful group of entities, such as did exist in the Soviet Union.

Vermont needs glasnost and perestroika, right now!!!

I made some additions after you made your comment, and will be making more additions.

Stay tuned.

Comment by arthur qwenk on March 25, 2021 at 8:46pm

Solution for residents and business?

Leave the region , as this region is doomed by its own hand. 

Look at the data, that indeed is happening. 

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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