New Energy Policy Unveiled for Maine, by an "Expert"

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Comment by Willem Post on April 13, 2021 at 10:11am


During a Texas cold spell, lasting several days, the land does not heat up, there are no ONSHORE breezes from the Gulf, and any shore-side wind turbines would produce only a piddling quantity of electricity. Anyone can figure that out.


Regarding INLAND wind turbines, wind output was about 9,000 MW, from an installed capacity of 30,904 MW (about 15,000 wind turbines); the capacity factor was 9000/30904 = 0.29.


The output decreased to about 1,000 MW about one day later, an 89% reduction (largely due to freeze ups of 12,000 MW of capacity (per ERCOT, the grid operator), i.e., about 12000/30904 x 15000 = 5,825 wind turbines, or 5825/15000 = 39% of all wind turbines.


Then output increased to about 4,000 MW for about a day, then decreased to about 1,000 MW, etc., due to wind-velocity variations, i.e., bouncing around at a low level, due to a lack of wind.


The relatively few wind turbines on the Texas Gulf Coast were unaffected by the snow storm, and performed, as usual during cold spells, i.e., a piddling quantity of electricity.


“Wind works well in Texas, because it’s cheap”.


When the wind blows, other sources of power are forced to vary their outputs to counteract the variations of wind (and solar), 24/7/365.


This mode of operation causes increases in: 1) wear-and-tear, and 2) Btu/kWh, and 3) CO2/kWh, and 4) c/kWh, and 5) less kWh is being sold, plus 6) requires grid augmentation/expansion, of which costs are shifted to ratepayers and taxpayers, and added to government debts, plus 7) traditional generating plants are forced to act as back-up/babysitters for wind (and solar), 24/7/365.


Wind only looks cheap because it is able to force most of its costs onto others.


The turnkey cost of a wind plant/MW is greater than for natural gas, and the capacity factor of wind plants is much less than gas plants. 

People, who need steady work, and steady electricity, for a living, probably think gas is the overall “cheaper” way to go.


NOTE: Wind turbines, whether producing or not, require electricity for self-use, i.e., each of those frozen wind turbines and all operating wind turbines would demand 30 to 60 kW from the grid, 24/7, for self-use, where ever the electricity would be available. See explanation in this URL



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."



Nuclear plant output was about 4,000 MW. The output became about 3,000 MW about one day later (the feed pipe to a pressure gauge froze, so the gauge gave a false reading that tripped out the water supply pumps and in turn the reactor), a 25% reduction



Solar plant output was near zero on the early evening of February 14, 2021. The output increased to 3,000 MW, from an installed capacity of about 13,000 MW during the following midday. On a sunny day, peak midday production from 13,000 MW of panels is about 13000 x 0.8 = 10,400 MW, but peak production was only 3,000 MW, i.e., 6,000 MW/ 0.8 = 7,500 MW of panels, or 7500/13000 = 58% of all panels, were covered with snow. Then solar output went to near-zero again, starting late afternoon/early evening, etc. Solar is almost never there when it is needed.


NOTE: In New England, which is much smaller than Texas, a wide-spread snow storm would cover almost all panels, at least for a few days, longer if icing would occur.


None of the above had anything to do with the Texas distribution and transmission grids.


This had to do with an unusual freeze-up, which: 


1) Temporarily, a few days, reduced output of traditional sources.

2) Covered 39% of wind turbines with snow and ice.

3) Covered 58% of solar panels in many areas

Comment by Penny Gray on April 12, 2021 at 8:00am

I'm thinking of a start-up business that just offers recharge service to battery powered EV's that run out of juice on the road or don't want to wait in line at a recharge station. Three options: solar panel recharge, wind turbine recharge or diesel generator recharge, each with different costs and vastly different charging times.  Solar would be a very cheap option, wind using a hinged helical residential turbine mounted to the rear of the tow truck, slightly more expensive, and diesel generator under the hinged helical wind turbine the most incredibly expensive of all.  For those who choose wind or solar, an assortment of deli sandwiches and beverages could be sold out of a side cooler on the specialized charging truck. This might  serve to (slowly) educate the people advocating for 100% renewable energy.

Comment by Kenneth Capron on April 11, 2021 at 12:57pm

Love your work, Willem, and all your data. Could you cut back on acronyms a little? I'm not so good at Connect the Dots when it comes to energy logic.

Comment by Willem Post on April 11, 2021 at 10:26am

All-in Cost of Wind and Solar


The all-in cost of wind and solar, c/kWh = price paid to owners + subsidies paid to owners + grid extension/augmentation (not paid by owners) + grid support services (not paid by owners) + battery systems (not paid by owners)


Pro RE folks always point to the “price paid to owner” as the cost of wind and solar, purposely ignoring or belittling the other cost categories.


Comments on table 2


- The owners of legacy systems were paid much higher prices, than owners of newer systems. This was especially the case after the onset of competitive bidding, a few years ago.


- Vermont legacy “Standard Offer” solar systems had greater subsidies, up to 30 c/kWh paid to owner, than newer systems, about 11 to 12 c/kWh paid to owner.


- 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, mostly on roof tops. 


- "Added to the rate base" is the cost at which 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, which is used to set electric rates.


- “Times” indicates the multiple by which wind and solar are more expensive than traditional


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



1)  The prices in table 2 should be compared with the NE wholesale grid price, which has averaged about 4.2 c/kWh, starting in 2009, courtesy of low-cost CCGT and low-cost 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%, in 2019, after 20 years of subsidies

- Pre-existing refuse and wood power plants provided about 4.6%, in 2019.

- Pre-existing hydro power plants provided about 7.4%, in 2019

- The rest was mostly hydro imports from Canada and New York State, in 2019

2) There are many other costs related to the O&M of the NE grid, in addition to wholesale prices. ISO-NE prorates these costs to utilities, at about 1.6 c/kWh, which is less than the 2.4 and 2.1 c/kWh grid support cost of wind and solar, respectively 


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


4) Vermont utilities buy electricity from various sources. Their costs average 6 c/kWh, plus ISO-NE network, RNS, and capacity, FCM, charges of about 1.6 c/kWh, for a total of 7.6 c/kWh 


Table 2/Vermont & NE sources

Paid to


Grid support


 Added to





to owner



rate base










Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered, new









Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered, legacy









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








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








Wind, ridge line, new








Comment by Willem Post on April 11, 2021 at 10:23am

AOC, a former bartender from Brooklyn, is operating on the same level as that Swedish youngster, who is being used as a puppet to spout nonsense, by her RE-fanatic father.



The turnkey capital cost for implementing 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 annual report. If updated to 2021, the numbers would be about $1.25 billion/y for 29 years (2021 - 2050). The CEP lists many measures to reduce CO2 by up to 80%, including the building out of wind and solar systems. See URLs.


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 9.99 MMt in 2015, an increase of 3.6%.


That means, on average:


1) These RE projects have been expensive failures for 20 years

2) These RE programs led to higher energy prices, and higher other prices, than they would have been without those wasteful programs.


Those who advocate giving the same incompetent RE folks five times as much money per year, to implement the Shumlin/Klein-inspired VT CEP, per mandate of the unconstitutional GWSA, are very far beyond rational.


Advice: When you are stuck in a pit, it is best to stop digging, and find something better to do, such as increased energy efficiency, which would reduce CO2 at a very low cost per metric ton. See Appendix.


New England has Unfavorable 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 very poor conditions for wind systems, except on its pristine ridge lines, and some offshore areas

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


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, owners of very 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!! It looks like it will never end.


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."


Green Mountain Power, GMP: 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, does not want to buy more hydro power from HQ, because that electricity would just be a “pass-through”, on which GMP would make minimal profit. HQ has the electricity and is eager to sell it to Vermont.


Instead, GMP wants to install solar/battery system combos all over Vermont. as part of its expensive micro-grid strategy. The solar electricity (already very expensive; see table 2) is variable, is intermittent and causes midday solar bulges. However, the batteries would very-expensively take care of those grid-disturbing deficiencies.


The 90% of production, bypassing the batteries, likely would be charged to the GMP rate base at 11 to 12 c/kWh

The 10% of production, passing through the batteries, likely would be charged to the GMP rate base at about 21.6 c/kWh


The solar/battery combo strategy is much more profitable for GMP, even though it would lead to significantly increase electricity costs for Vermonters.


Both systems come with: 1) grants from various sources, 2) 30% federal investment tax credits, plus state FITs, 3) 100% depreciation over 5 years, plus 4) deduction of interest on any borrowed money. The tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the taxes GMP would have to pay on net profits.


Vagaries of Wind and Solar in New England 

This article describes:


1) The variability and intermittency of wind and solar;

2) Multi-day, simultaneous wind/solar lulls.

3) Duck-curves due to midday solar output bulges.


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


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


Midday solar output, on sunny days, often is more than needed. The “100%-RE-in-Vermont” folks want to charge the unused electricity into battery systems and discharge it during peak demand hours. They propose a $1.2 billion down-payment on “Fortress Vermont”.


- About $900 million would be for new battery systems, during the 2020 – 2025 period.

That would serve a solar installed capacity of 1000 MW in 2025.

At least $2 billion would be required to serve 3000 MW by 2050, per CEP

The battery capacity would be about $900 million/($750/kWh) = 1200 MWh, i.e., 300 MW delivered for 4 hours. 


- About $300 million would be to pay solar system owners whose electricity outputs would be curtailed during high winds and very sunny days, during the 2020 – 2025 period.


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.


This study includes all area aspects of an energy source.

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


A 1000 MW CCGT plant 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


The CCGT and nuclear electricity: 


1) Is not season/weather-dependent,

2) Is not variable 

3) Is not intermittent

4) Has minimal CO2 

5) Has near-zero particulates

6) Costs less than 5 c/kWh for legacy plants, and about 10 c/kWh for new plants 

See table 1. See table 2 for solar costs.


Table 1/Source




Ridge line




New England


acre/1000 MW

miles/1000 MW

































Comment by Kenneth Capron on April 11, 2021 at 1:56am

Now see how easy this is going to be. But I still don't see wind as a solution. Generators burning hydrogen, maybe.

FYI - they have begun to discern ways to make solar > 50% efficient. But a 10 year timeline.

If Greenies would just slow down a little, we might just be stupid enough to solve this for under $25T.

Comment by Jim Wiegand on April 10, 2021 at 11:25pm


yet very sad because our country is being run by idiots and criminals.

Comment by Long Islander on April 10, 2021 at 9:44pm

Someone please pass her the bobby pins.

Comment by Long Islander on April 10, 2021 at 9:44pm

Comment by arthur qwenk on April 10, 2021 at 9:03pm

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."


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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