Maine's Failed Energy Policy..Why Must Mills Follow Cuomo? --Pipelines ARE Needed in Maine.

Cuomo’s Carbon Contradiction

After blocking pipelines, he bullies a firm to deploy natural gas this winter.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York City, Oct. 17. PHOTO: LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has a habit of bullying others to cover for and fix his policy blunders. In another display of political grace, Mr. Cuomo has ordered the utility National Grid to resume natural-gas hookups that were suspended after his senseless pipeline veto this spring.

Mr. Cuomo wants to make New York ground zero in the left’s plan to purge fossil fuels. First he banned shale fracking in southern New York despite its huge potential to boost local economies. Then he blocked a natural-gas pipeline from Pennsylvania that would have reduced energy bills and reliance on heating oil.

As a coup de grâce, in May he vetoed another pipeline to bring natural gas to Long Island from New Jersey. National Grid, which provides natural gas on Long Island, responded rationally by imposing a moratorium on natural-gas hookups to prevent supply disruptions when demand spikes in the winter.

This essentially stranded tens of thousands of folks waiting for gas hookups, including more than a thousand who had deactivated their service after moving or renovating. Apparently Mr. Cuomo didn’t understand that the result of his pipeline blockade was to force residents to use more expensive and less-efficient electric appliances for space and water heating.

After folks on Long Island protested—one homeless shelter estimated that electrification would cost an additional $200,000—Mr. Cuomo last week ordered National Grid to reconnect over a thousand customers. He also directed state regulators to investigate National Grid’s decision to disrupt natural gas service and threatened to yank its monopoly.

National Grid now says it plans to truck in compressed natural gas to meet peak demand. Exactly how will this reduce CO2 emissions? The utility won’t be able to guarantee uninterrupted service for the tens of thousands of customers who want to switch to natural gas from heating oil, which emits 38% more CO2. About a quarter of New York households rely on heating oil.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the average household that uses natural gas for heating this winter will spend $580 compared to $1,501 for heating oil and $1,162 for electricity. A household that uses natural gas for space and water heating instead of electricity will save about $2,400 per year.

Consider this another parable of how the political campaign to ban fossil fuels is detached from energy and economic reality. And when reality bites and consumers suffer, politicians like Mr. Cuomo blame someone else to deflect from their own policy mistakes.

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Comment by Willem Post on October 25, 2019 at 8:44am

Here is a table with calculations to compare wind and gas generation.

The only reason wind is 10 c/kWh, wholesale, instead of 18 to 20 c/kWh, wholesale, is about 45% of the capital cost is direct and indirect subsidies. See my other comments

The gas plant would need only a few acres at an existing industrial site, but the wind plant would need 500 MW/(20 MW/mile) = 25 miles of pristine ridgeline in MA, NH, VT. That would cause:

1) A lot of deforestation and less CO2 sequestration, and

2) Environmental destruction, and

3) Loss of flora and fauna, and

4) A health and quality of life nuisance for nearby people.


Wind, offshore







Capacity factor



Electricity genration, MWh



Capital cost, incl. grid connection, $/MW



Capital cost, million



Electricity, c/kWh



Revenue, $million/y



Comment by Willem Post on October 22, 2019 at 6:44pm

Comments on Below Table


Indirect subsidies are due to loan interest deduction and depreciation deductions from taxable incomes.

Direct subsidies are due to up front grants, waiving of state sales taxes, and/or local property (municipal and school) taxes. See URL.


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


The subsidy percentages in below table are from a cost analysis of NE wind and solar in this article. See URL.


Values for 2018 are represented in below table.


NE Wind/Solar

NE Wind


NE Solar






Price to utility

No direct/indirect subsidies

No cost shifting





Less cost shifting





Price to utility

No direct/indirect subsidies

With cost shifting





Less subsidy, wind

45% of 16.4



Less subsidy, solar

45% of 21.4



Price to utility*

With direct/indirect subsidies

With cost shifting





Comment by Willem Post on October 22, 2019 at 6:42pm

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

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

The next report would be for the 2018 - 2022 period


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


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


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


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


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


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


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."

Comment by Willem Post on October 22, 2019 at 12:01pm

Offshore Wind vs. Carbon Capture: Who’s Crushing Whom?

The US currently has one of each up and running. The energy math is decidedly one-sided.

Block Island Wind Farm

The Block Island Wind Farm generates much less energy than an average single Marcellus gas well. 

During the first year of operation the Block Island Wind Farm managed a 39% capacity factor.

Note the summer lull



100% Output

Capacity Factor

















































1-yr Total





That’s an average daily rate of 271 MWh/d…

That’s 924 million British Thermal Units per day (mm Btu/d).

  1. A typical Marcellus natural gas well produces 5,000 mm Btu/d.
  2. A typical deepwater oil well in the Gulf of Mexico produces 5,000 barrel/d, nearly 30,000 mm Btu/d.
  3. The Block Island Wind Farm produces 924 mm Btu/d.

It’s unfair to directly compare wellhead natural gas production to electricity output from a power plant.

OK fair enough.

Natural Gas



Well Production



Electricity Output



Electricity Output 



Electricity Output 

Block Islands worth 635/271 =



A single typical Marcellus gas well yields 2.3 Block Islands worth of electricity-equivalent energy per day.

However, the wind electricity could not exist on the grid without the other generators, mostly gas fired, performing the peaking, filling in and balancing 24/7/365, in the event wind is insufficient.

Sometimes there is very little wind 5 to 7 days in a row. Those lulls can happen any time of the year, and are particularly stressful in winter.

That crippled wind electricity is sold at 9 c/kWh, wholesale, whereas the gas turbine electricity is NOT VARIABLE, AND NOT INTERMITTENT, AND IS NOT A CRIPPLE, and costs about 5 c/kWh, wholesale.

Maine going for wind is an economic disaster in the making.


Comment by arthur qwenk on October 21, 2019 at 7:15pm

Stupid is as Stupid Does.

Comment by Willem Post on October 21, 2019 at 4:46pm

Mills and Cuomo are religiously opposed to more pipeline capacity, even though gas has been THE MAJOR REDUCER of CO2 for the US.

Gas provides 50% of NE generated electricity, 24/7/365, steady, not variable, not intermittent, at about 5 c/kWh, wholesale.

Wind and solar could not even exist on the grid without gas plants to do the peaking, filling in and balancing, 24/7/365, plus these highly subsidized, coddled cripples generate at 9c for wind and 11c for solar, wholesale.

Dont you just LOVE it?


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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