Maine solar industry baffled, angry as CMP cites need for costly upgrades

Portland Press Herald - Tux Turkel - February 4, 2021

Maine’s burgeoning solar industry is up in arms, after many developers received emails from Central Maine Power last week indicating that their projects are causing technical problems at substations that could require costly upgrades. The controversy is erupting as scores of solar developers are building and proposing projects in Maine worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The utility told many developers last week that their projects are causing technical problems at power substations. One calls it ‘a titanic event’ that raises doubt about projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Maine’s burgeoning solar industry is up in arms, after many developers received emails from Central Maine Power last week indicating that their projects are causing technical problems at substations that could require costly upgrades.

The controversy is erupting as scores of solar developers are building and proposing projects in Maine worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The unprecedented activity is being spurred by recent state policies and laws aimed at encouraging a rapid shift from oil and gas to renewable electric power for running cars and heating buildings. The state’s new Climate Action Plan, a blueprint for how to electrify Maine’s economy, reduce carbon emissions and prepare for a changing climate, strongly encourages solar development.

But the solar industry says the current momentum is now threatened because CMP’s apparent technical problems could prompt investors and power buyers to hold back.

“This is a major screwup,”... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  


Source: https://www.pressherald.com...

http://www.windaction.org/posts/52141-solar-industry-baffled-angry-...

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Some have accused the wind warriors in the Hamptons of being NIMFY's. (Not in my front yard). Some have stereotyped these persons as including wealthy elites who otherwise are happy to mindlessly decree wind power cover the interior ridge lines in the rural northeast, but not on their pricey shores. That may or may not be true. However they may feel about wind power desecration of the interior, I hope that they realize that this useless power source is bad for everyone and we've all been played. Come together all. We have a common enemy. Connect the dots must be the order of the day -- they want to keep us divided. We should support the people in the Hamptons and they should support us.

NY Hamptons: Wainscott residents sue East Hampton Town to stop wind farm cable


The proceeding contends the town rushed the process through without the proper review and did so in part to thwart the residents’ efforts to incorporate the hamlet as a village. It also says the developer "purchased the town’s compliance," referring to a $28.9 million community benefits package offered by the developers as part of the deal.


In January, the East Hampton Town Board approved an agreement granting an easement to developers Orsted and Eversource to run a cable beneath a Wainscott beach and under town roads to a LIPA substation on Cove Hollow Road.

A group of Wainscott residents has filed a lawsuit against East Hampton Town over its agreement with the developers of the state’s first wind farm that would allow an underground electric cable to run through their community.

The town board on Jan. 21 approved an agreement granting an easement to developers Orsted and Eversource to run a cable beneath a Wainscott beach and under town roads to a LIPA substation on Cove Hollow Road. The article 78 proceeding electronically filed in state Supreme Court on Tuesday seeks to overturn that decision.

The proceeding contends the town rushed the process through without the proper review and did so in part to thwart the residents’ efforts to incorporate the hamlet as a village.

It also says the developer "purchased the town’s compliance," referring to a $28.9 million community benefits package offered by the developers as part of the deal.

"Supervisor [Peter] Van Scoyoc totally failed to balance his understandable efforts... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  


Source: https://www.newsday.com/lon...

http://www.windaction.org/posts/52138-wainscott-residents-sue-east-...

How Much Does Noise Affect Real Estate Prices?

Noise vs. Real Estate Price Calculator

https://dqydj.com/how-much-does-noise-affect-real-estate-prices/

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Comment by Willem Post on February 15, 2021 at 9:59am

ECONOMICS OF UTILITY-SCALE BATTERY SYSTEMS FOR DUCK-CURVES

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

 

Solar systems have their highest electricity production at midday.

The surge of production from near-zero to maximum causes disturbances on the grid, aka DUCK-curves.

Southern California and Southern Germany, with high MW of installed solar, have major DUCK-curves on sunny days.

At present, mostly gas-fired, combined-cycle gas-turbine (CCGT) power plants are used to counteract the DUCK-curve surges.

 

In California, the shutdowns of 15 of 19 coastal, CCGT plants led to rolling blackouts during a multi-day heat wave covering a large area of the US southwest, followed by forest fires.

 

Climate fighters want to shut down the CCGT plants and replace them with utility-scale battery systems.

Climate fighters accused the plants of heating the Pacific Ocean!

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

 

NOTE: In case of Germany:

 

- Whenever it has excess wind and solar electricity (which has high, subsidized costs/kWh), it usually spreads the excess into grids of nearby countries at very low, even negative, wholesale prices (excess supply lowers the price).

 

- Whenever Germany has very little wind and solar electricity, these countries sell to Germany at higher wholesale prices (shortages increase prices). That procedure avoids having utility-scale battery systems, which would be off-the-charts more expensive, as shown in this article.

 

Solar Electricity Production and Midday Duck Curves

 

The image is of electricity demand, MW, versus time of day, due to various levels of installed MW DC of solar systems producing electricity, mostly at midday. Solar dozes off in late-afternoon/early-evening, when peak electricity demands occur, and does not reappear until about mid-morning the next day.

 

 

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.

 

 

Wind Electricity Production

 

The image is of the calculated wind electricity production, during very windy conditions, of future, 1600 MW-offshore wind turbine systems, located south of Martha’s Vineyard Island in Massachusetts, New England.

 

- The top flat areas indicate production curtailments during strong winds to avoid damaging the wind turbines. Curtailment payments would be made to Owners.

 

- The huge up/down, weather/season-dependent, output variations would need to be counteracted by up to 3200 MW of CCGT plants varying their outputs, 24/7/365.

 

- Typically, CCGT plants operate near rated capacity to maximize production and revenues. However, with higher levels of wind electricity on the grid, they would have to vary their outputs from about 50% to 100% of rated capacity to counteract the variations of wind; operating below 50% needs to be avoided, because CCGT plants tend to become unstable.

 

- Payments would need to be made to CCGT plant owners for forcing them to: 1) Generate less electricity, than without wind, i.e., operate uneconomically, and 2) Provide counteracting services, 24/7/365.

 

 

NE Grid Conditions at End 2019

 

The energy sources of electricity in New England were 40% from gas, 25% from nuclear, 19% from net imports, 9% from renewables, 7% from hydro, 0.4% from coal and 0.1% from oil.

 

Generators fed about 125.5 TWh into the NE grid, customers (mostly utilities) drew 119 TWh from the NE grid, i.e., losses due to transmission from generators to utilities was 6.5 TWh, or 5.2%. This excludes distribution losses within the service areas of NE utilities.

 

Wholesale electricity prices have remained consistently low, due to low-cost gas and low-cost nuclear. The average annual price to utilities was $42.02/MWh in 2009 and $30.67/MWh in 2019.

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

 

Proposed New Generating Capacity to be Connected to NE Grid

 

Proposed NE generating capacity is 20,927 MW, of which wind is 14,256 MW. The annual production is shown in table 1.

 

The production of all generators fed to the NE grid, aka grid load, would be much greater in 2035 than in 2019, because the increase in heat pumps and electric vehicles.

 

Because wind speeds continuously vary in a random manner, the production would vary as well; if wind speeds increase 2 times, say from 10 mph to 20 mph, the production would increase 8 times.

 

The production likely would be about 15% of the average of that time of year, during a multi-day wind lull

The production likely would be about 80% of nameplate rating, during very windy weather; some areas with wind turbines likely would have output curtailments.

 

The production could not be fed into any grid, without the existing generators counteracting the wind output variations, 24/7/365, i.e., wind could not exist/would be totally dependent on the other generators.

 

The alternative would be to have sufficient battery storage capacity (MW/MWh, delivered as AC) to provide electricity when winds are low and to absorb electricity when winds are high.

 

However, the turnkey capital cost, CAPEX, of custom-designed, site-specific, grid-scale battery systems would be exorbitantly high, even if prices /kWh, delivered as AC, would decrease. See URL.

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

 

Table 1A/State

Type

MW

CF

Production

NE grid load

NE grid load

 

 

 

 

 

2019, act.

2035, est.

%

MWh/y

MWh/y

MWh/y

MA

offshore

8460

40

29664144

 

 

RI

offshore

880

40

3085632

 

 

CT

offshore

4160

40

14586624

 

 

ME

onshore

751

28

1843314

 

 

MA

onshore

5

28

12272

 

 

Total

14256

49,191,987

125,500,000

140,000,000

 

Comment by Art Brigades on February 13, 2021 at 10:53pm

CMP is an easy scapegoat, especially these days. But CMP (and others) warned legislators about the very real downsides in a willy-nilly infusion of solar power. Seth Berry and the other ideologues in the legislature, buoyed by NRCM, Sierra, Maine Conservation Voters, Acadia Center, et al didn't want to hear about facts, math or science -- and didn't care.  "It's about sending the message that we are doing the right thing" they said over and over. 

The difference between the wind weasels and the solar swindlers is smarts.  The wind weasels infiltrated the Baldacci administration with well placed operatives like Kurt Adams, David Littell and others. They secured the getaway car (MPRP) and put it in place long before the heist (The Wind Act). The solar dopes jumped without a chute.  Now the chute is hitting the fan.  Boo hoo.

Comment by Penny Gray on February 13, 2021 at 1:31pm

They need to put all these solar panels and wind turbines at the fast charging stations being built all along the I95 corridor.  That way there won't be any need to connect anything to the grid, all they'll be doing is charging EV's when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing.

Comment by Willem Post on February 13, 2021 at 11:47am

THE VAGARIES OF SOLAR IN NEW ENGLAND

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

 

VAGARIES OF SOLAR  

 

In summer, expensive, weather and season-dependent, highly subsidized, variable, intermittent solar dozes off in late afternoon/early evening, during peak electricity demands, sleeps all night, and does not wake up until about mid-morning the next day, becomes very active around midday creating DUCK curves, especially on sunny days, then dozes off again in late afternoon/early evening, during peak electricity demands.

 

In winter, solar dozes off in late afternoon, sleeps all night, and does not wake up until about mid-morning the next day, becomes very active around midday creating DUCK curves, especially on sunny days, then dozes off again in late afternoon.

 

Variable Cloudiness: In New England, the output of solar systems varies up and down with variable cloudiness, throughout the year. That creates disturbances on distribution grids, which become more severe with increased deployment of solar systems.

 

Those disturbances can be mitigated/attenuated, if owners of larger solar systems (the major disturbers) would be required to install battery systems. Politically, this may not be feasible, because it would increase the already-high price of solar electricity. See image.

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

 

 

VAGARIES OF WIND 

 

In New England, throughout the year, wind is very often near zero from late afternoon to the middle of the next morning. That includes peak demand hours.

 

Combined Wind/Solar Lulls: In New England, combined wind/solar lulls occur throughout the year, and can last 5 to 7 days.

 

Grid and Generating Capacity: The grid (poles, wires, transformers, substations) and traditional generating capacity must be designed to serve peak demands, whether solar and wind electricity exists or not, because both very often are near zero during peak demand hours. Shutting down traditional generators is not an option. See note.

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

 

Utility-Scale Battery Systems for Electricity Storage: Some people claim utility-scale battery systems could take the place of combine-cycle, gas-turbine, CCGT, plants.

However, the batteries would add a significant cost to the cost of any electricity passing through the batteries, as explained in this article.

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

 

NOTE: US CO2 emissions from electricity generation are down to 1980 levels, mostly due to fracked gas, and wind and solar, replacing coal. It is likely the CO2 reductions of wind and solar are overstated by the EPA and the EIA.

 

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/11/11/eia-us-co2-emissions-from-el...

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

 

NOTE: Near-zero means less than 15% of what normally could be expected at that hour of year. See URLs.

 

DUCK CURVES IN VERMONT 

 

VELCO, Inc., is the manager of the Vermont high voltage grid.

The below graph shows the grid load (electricity fed to grid by generating plants) on an overcast day (blue line) and a sunny day (red line).

 

The grid load difference between an overcast day (small Duck) and a sunny day (big Duck), due to solar generation, was about 236 MW, about a 236/655 = 36% drop, which is far from trivial.

 

NOTE: The installed solar capacity of 306.30 MW ac, or 369.04 MW dc, at end 2018, could have had a peak output of about 290 MW at 2 pm.

The grid load, without solar, would be about 680 MW.

The grid load, with solar, would be about 680 – 290 = 390 MW.

See URLs and below graph

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-solar-market-pa...

https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2019/04/final-2019-p...

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

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