Mills signs new law that prohibits offshore wind projects in state waters

Three miles is nothing. But why is the setback on inland wind turbines only 1.5 times the height of the turbine, i.e., less than 1,000 feet?

Mills signs new law that prohibits offshore wind projects in state waters

Credit: By Fred Bever | Maine Public | July 7, 2021 |

Gov. Mills has signed compromise legislation to permanently bar future development of offshore wind projects in state waters. At the same time, momentum is building behind her plan to develop, for research purposes, a 16-square mile wind farm in federal waters off Maine.

A previously approved, single-turbine wind project off Monhegan Island is moving forward. But otherwise, the new law will bar any other wind-energy development within state waters – about three miles of the coast.

Mills had initially proposed only a 10-year moratorium, but agreed to make it permanent after lawmakers negotiated a deal that aimed to strengthen the position of Maine lobstermen who are watching the emerging offshore wind industry muscle into their territory.

“The prohibition preserves state waters for recreation and other fishing where the majority of Maine’s lobster harvesting occurs,” says Dan Burgess, who directs the Governor’s Energy Office. He says that within a week the administration will announce its preferred location for a 16-square mile area in federal waters where the state and private wind developers want to construct a wind farm of up to 12 turbines.

That project will research the commercial viability of novel floating-platform technology developed at the University of Maine, and its potential effects on ecosystems and fisheries. As part of the legislative deal, the administration agreed to allow at least two representatives of the lobster industry to be included on a panel that will guide the research.

“The research array allows us to conduct further research and answer those critical questions about floating platforms, and doing so in this way prior to any commercial development of considerations is important, and kind of puts Maine in the driver’s seat as we think about floating offshore wind,” Burgess says.

The project will be developed by major international energy companies and funded by Maine electricity consumers. The legislative package allows for state regulators to accept above-market prices, but at the “lowest reasonable cost” needed to make sure the project can get financing needed for construction and operation.

Continue reading here:

https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2021/07/08/mills-signs-new-law-that...

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Comment by Willem Post on July 10, 2021 at 5:59am

Any MAINE offshore FLOATING wind turbines, several hundred feet tall, "experimental" or commercial, should be at least 25 miles from any inhabited islands, to minimize visibility, and to minimize 24/7/365 strobe light visibility.

They should not be in any fishing area, which would be PERMANENTLY DESTROYED, unless all traces of the wind turbines were removed and the sea floor were restored, so it would again be usable for livelyhood fishing, a 250-y-old industry.

Comment by Willem Post on July 10, 2021 at 5:48am

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

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

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

 

- 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 Offshore Wind Turbine Systems are Dead

 

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...

 

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

Comment by Willem Post on July 10, 2021 at 5:45am

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

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

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

Comment by Kenneth Capron on July 8, 2021 at 11:59pm

Three miles eh? That leaves room for he newest addition to the ocean energy plans - wave generation.

The grants have already started flowing ...

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on July 8, 2021 at 6:40pm

So the Prohibition only applies to State waters, up to 3 miles out. For 10 years until they can study and develop Hydrogen from Electricity production for transportation to the mainland rather than running underwater cables. Hydrogen from water or other fuels is a 27% loss of energy.

In that this prohibition does not effect Federal jurisdiction, those in Federal water will still be visible until past the 35 mile beyond the horizon. (500 foot turbines) further for taller ones. And yes, they can be seen up to 41 miles on a ridgeline of 1200 feet, so they can be seen under 35 miles. 

 

Comment by arthur qwenk on July 8, 2021 at 2:57pm

It is because the Peons on Northern Maine have not rebelled enough, and these elitist political Augusta bottom dweller scumbags only know  how seek out  areas of low political  resistance to screw.

Too much political backlash from the 'Spider Harvesters'  was found  in an uncoming  gubenatorial election year  to oppose the old bag , and that  scared the despot called Mills. The whole state should stuff the bag executive order  up the Old Bag, too , and LePage will . Lepage will be playing in a target rich environment for his re-election in Maine for sure. Lepage  already has  NORTHERN  Maine (what is left of it )  WON. Stuff those new wind  projects in Northern Maine in the Old Bags Bag too!

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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