NEW ENGLAND IS THE LEAST FAVORABLE FOR PV SOLAR, except areas near rainy Seattle

Based on the sun index level, Vermont is ranked 44th regarding solar power potential, according to a sun index developed for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) using data provided by NREL's Renewable Resource Data Center.

Connecticut and Rhode Island rank 41st and 38th. See table 2 of URL

https://neo.ne.gov/programs/stats/inf/201.htm

 

The sun index is defined as an index of the amount of direct sunlight received in each state.

The Index accounts for latitude and cloud cover. California is indexed at 1.0.

 

However, the index does not account for snow/ice cover of panels.

Most of Vermont PV solar systems are in the northwest, which also has frequent snows. See page 18 of URL

https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2020/04/final_2020_p...

 

As a result, in the real world, Vermont ranks even lower than 44th.

That likely explains Vermont's low CF compared to other NE states. See page 36 of URL

https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2020/04/final_2020_p...

 

NE SOLAR GOBBLED UP ABOUT $15.45 BILLION DURING THE 2000 – 2019 PERIOD

 

Capital Cost of NE Solar Systems During 2000 – 2019 Period  

 

The capital cost was 3432.4 MW x $4.5 million/MW= $15.45 billion, based on an average price of $4.5 million/MW for the 2000 – 2019 period. excluding any grid modifications and energy storage systems. See page 41 of URL

https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2020/04/final_2020_p...

 

NOTE: A 2000 MW nuclear plant, capital cost $15.45 billion, would have produced 2000 MW x 8766 h/y x 0.9, CF = 15,779 GWh/y of steady, 24/7/365 electricity (not variable, not just at mid-day) for 60 years. 

 

PV SYSTEMS

 

PV Systems on Distribution Grids: The vast majority of New England’s solar power is from about 183,500 small-scale (typically 5 MW or less) systems, including residential rooftop. These systems are typically connected to local distribution grids of utilities to provide electricity directly to homes and businesses, i.e., not to the NE regional grid.

 

This PV solar reduces the amount of electricity drawn from the NE regional grid. ISO-NE does not dispatch the variable electricity from these resources, but has to manage their impact: 1) as a variable reduction in NE grid load (less electricity needs to be fed to the NE grid, especially at midday), and 2) on the stability of the NE grid, i.e., managing midday “DUCK” curves.

The output from this before-the-meter, BTM, PV solar cannot be monitored in real-time by ISO-NE system operators.

 

PV Systems on NE Regional Grids: A number of PV systems are connected, via dedicated substations, directly to the NE regional grid.

The output from those PV systems is monitored in real-time by ISO-NE system operators.

ISO-NE has established two categories: Forward Capacity Market, FCM, solar and non-FCM solar.

The production data are used to pay the owners of these systems.

 

DISTURBANCES DUE TO VARYING PV SYSTEM OUTPUTS

 

PV system output variation, such as due to variable cloudiness and surging midday solar (“DUCK” curves), are “seen” by ISO-NE.

Traditional generators, primarily quick-responding, combined-cycle, gas turbine plants, would automatically counteract those disturbances by adjusting their outputs. In addition, other measures would be utilized, such as:

 

1) Curtailment

2) Connections to neighboring grids, i.e., NY, Canada

3) Demand management

4) Grid-scale storage, which is very expensive. It would add about 20 c/kWh to cost of electricity fed into the batteries.

 

NOTE: More wind and solar system capacity, MW, would require a greater capacity of counteracting traditional generators.

During wind/solar lulls, which could last 5 to 7 days, and occur any time during the year, traditional generators would supply almost all of the necessary electricity.

 

If wind + solar were 80% of electricity, with the rest from traditional sources, the entire electrical system would have almost two times the capacity than at present, to deliver the same quantity of electricity.

 

Such a large generator capacity would have much greater capital cost, especially with short-life wind and solar systems being part of the mix, than the capital cost of the existing generator capacity.

 

This study by MIT shows, the upper limit of wind + solar for the US grid is about 40%, largely because TWh-scale storage for seasonal shifting, even at $100/kWh, would be too expensive. Capital costs of current storage systems are about $400/kWh

https://globalchange.mit.edu/sites/default/files/MITJPSPGC_Rpt338.pdf

 

NOTE: The owners of counteracting CCGT plants would need to operate at lower average outputs, say 75%, to allow for ramping up and down, as needed. Gas-turbines become unstable below 50% output.

Those plants would operate less efficiently, produce less electricity, and have more wear and tear.

Owners would need to add their extra costs to electricity prices, etc., or have less profits, or go out of business.

In some countries, such as Germany, Ireland, etc., with more wind and solar than the US, owners do get compensated by means of capacity payments.

 

ANALYSIS

 

PV Solar System Performance

 

In the real world, PV systems: 1) have various ages (output decreases with age), 2) likely are not oriented “solar south”, 3) are not at the correct tilt angle, 4) have dirty panels, 5) could be partially shaded, 6) could be snow/ice-covered, 7) could have fog conditions, 8) could be “down” for maintenance.

DC and AC Rating of PV Systems

A solar panel may have a rating of, say 300-watt dc, obtained during test conditions in a laboratory.

A solar system may have a rating of 10 kW dc

The rating would be less, if the panels would have some dirt on them, say 2% less.

The inverter, which converts dc to ac, may be sized for an input of 9 kW.

A few kWh would be lost, due to “clipping”, at midday, on the sunniest days.

The inverter output would be 8.55 kW ac, at an efficiency of 95%.

Other losses (electric wiring, controls, etc.) likely would reduce that output to about 8.3 kW ac, at midday, on the sunniest days.

ISO-NE has adopted a dc to ac conversion ratio of 83% to determine the maximum MW contribution of solar to NE regional grids and utility distribution grids, at midday, on the sunniest days.

That information is used for grid design purposes and midday “Duck” curve management.

ISO-NE “grosses-up” solar electricity, MWh, by 6%, because most of it is consumed close to the source of generation, which has less transmission and distribution losses, than if a remote, large generator had provided the electricity.

ISO-NE reduces capacity, MW, and solar electricity, MWh, by 0.5%/y due to panel aging, for 10-y-prediction purposes.

Solar systems on NE regional grids and utility distribution grids had a weighted-average age of about 3 years at end 2019, i.e., on average, about 3 x 0.5 = 1.5% of capacity and electricity production, when new, was lost due to aging.

NE Solar Capacity, end 2019, MW

 

The installed MW values are from the ISO-NE 2020 CELT report.

Click on the URL to obtain the spreadsheet.

Go to sheet “3.1 Forecast of PV Resources by Category and State”. See table 1

https://www.iso-ne.com/system-planning/system-plans-studies/celt/

 

The Market capacity of 1355.7 MW (nameplate) was obtained from the 2020 CELT report

The NE total capacity of 3432.4 MW was obtained by ISO-NE from various NE utilities.

The BTM capacity = 3432.4 – 1355.7 = 2076.7 MW. See table 1

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

 

Table 1/NE PV Solar, end 2019

NE total

NE grids

BTM

Total

See URLs

 

resource mix

 

pv forecast

 

Capacity

Prod’n

Prod’n

Prod’n

 

MW 

GWh

GWh

GWh

FCM

785.8

 

 

 

Non-FCM

569.9

 

 

 

Market; 2020 CELT

 1355.7

1644

 

1644

BTM

2076.7

 

2510

2510

NE total; NE utilities

3432.4

1644

2510

4154

NE Solar Production, end 2019, GWh

 

Total Production: NE total production of 4154 GWh was estimated by ISO-NE. See table 1, 2 and pages 16, 17, 41 of URL

https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2020/04/final_2020_p...

 

Market Solar Production: NE Market production, on regional grids, of mostly large-scale, field-mounted solar systems (likely facing south, likely at the ideal tilt angle, likely with no shading) was 1355.7 MW x 8766 h/y x 0.13834, CF = 1644 GWh, or 1.38% of electricity fed to grid. This electricity is monitored by ISO-NE.

The 1355.7 MW dc provides about 1355.7 x 0.83 = 1125.23 MW ac to the grid, at midday, on the sunniest days. See URL, Notes, and table 1

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

NOTE: The 1355.7 MW (connected nameplate capacity), 1644 GWh (monitored production) and CF (calculated) are real-world numbers, that reflect panel aging, snow/ice cover, PV system outages, etc.

 

NOTE: The NE real-world CF for existing systems, about 0.138, is less than the NE ideal CF for new systems, about 0.143, often mentioned in pro-RE literature. The 0.138 becomes less at about 0.5%/y, as systems age.

Germany, with a lot of solar, has a similar CF reduction. See URL

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

 

BTM Solar Production: NE BTM solar production, on distribution grids, of mostly net-metered/roof-mounted systems and larger-scale systems (most of the roof-mounted likely not facing south, likely not at the ideal tilt angle, likely with shading) was 4154, total – 1644, market = 2510 GWh. 

BTM electricity is not monitored by ISO-NE, and only partially monitored by local utilities.

 

By calculating the CF of BTM solar, we can verify, if ISO-NE made the correct estimate of total solar.

CF = 2510 GWh/(8766 h/y x 2076.7 MW) = 0.13788

 

Because, the CF of Market solar (0.13834) and CF of BTM solar (0.13788) are nearly identical, we can conclude:

 

1) The ISO-NE estimate of total solar was correct, and

2) The BTM 2510 GWh is a real-world number, that reflects panel aging, snow/ice cover, PV system outages, etc.

 

Values are summarized in table 2. Also see pages 15, 16, 17 and 41 of URL

https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2020/04/final_2020_p...

Table 2 /MW and GWh in 2019

2019

2019

2019

State

MW

GWh

CF

See pv forecast URL

Pages 15, 16, 17

Page 41

Calculated

MA

2180.45

2693

0.1409

CT

566.53

681

0.1371

VT

364.24

408

0.1278

NH

105.24

122

0.1322

RI

159.75

181

0.1293

ME

56.32

68

0.1377

NE total

3432.53

4154

0.1381

 

 

 

 

Real-World

2020 CELT report

2019 resource mix

Real-world CF

Market electricity

1355.70

1644

0.13834

BTM electricity

2076.70

2510

0.13788

NE total

3432.40

4154

0.13806

 

PV Solar Percentage of NE Electricity Mix in 2019

 

NE total solar production was about 4154 GWh, or 4154/1644 x 1.38 = 3.49% of the 2019 NE electricity mix; 1.38% on NE regional grids, plus 2.11% BTM solar on distribution grids.

 

Renewables Percentage of NE Electricity Mix in 2019

 

Heavily subsidizing wind, solar, etc., renewables required many $billions of capital costs to build out during the 2000 - 2019 period, plus on-going subsidies (in the form of above-market feed-in prices) during their about 25-y operating life.

 

They have become only 9.36%, NE regional grids + 2.11%, BTM solar on distr. grids = 11.47% of the NE electricity mix, which includes the 4.62% of refuse and wood burning plants existing prior to 2000.

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

 

Thus, all the RE brouhaha and subsidies moved the RE needle about 11.47 – 4.62 = 6.85% during the 2000 – 2019 period. See table 4

 

PV Solar Capacity Factor; Residential Solar in Woodstock, VT

  

A new 4 kW, roof-top, solar system produces 4876 kWh/y.

My roof is oriented at 135 degrees (facing southeast)

My roof pitch is 9/12, or 37-degree tilt

My CF = 4876/(8766 x 4) = 0.139, clean panels, no shading, no snow/ice cover

 

My panels that are dirty; partially shaded (in the morning); snow/ice-covered (frequently in winter).

My real-world CF (adjusted for shading, snow cover, dirt) would be about 0.139 x 0.96 = 0.133, excludes aging.

My CF would be 0.133 x 0.9279 = 0.124, in year 15, due to aging at 0.5%/y

https://pvwatts.nrel.gov

 

Vermont PV Solar Capacity and Production End 2019

 

Vermont installed capacity of Standard Offer projects (mostly large-scale, field-mounted) and Net-Metered systems (mostly rooftop), and their production in 2019 are shown at the bottom of table 3.

Solar total capacity of 364.240 MW was supplied by Vermont utilities to ISO-NE

Solar total production of 408.1 GWh was estimated by ISO-NE. See table 2 and page 41 of URL

https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2020/04/final_2020_p...

 

In the real world, PV systems: 1) have various ages (output decreases with age), 2) likely are not oriented “solar south”, 3) are not at the correct tilt angle, 4) have dirty panels, 5) could be partially shaded, 6) could be snow/ice-covered, 7) could have fog conditions, 8) could be “down” for maintenance.

 

All these factors detract from the ideal NE capacity factor for new systems.

Germany, with a lot of solar, has a similar reduction of CF.

 

Table 3 shows:

 

- Production and CFs of Net-Metered rooftop solar, at various tilt angles and orientations

- Field-mounted, Standard-Offer systems were calculated for end year 1, end year 2, end year 15;

- Factors were applied for shading, snow/ice cover, dirt, aging.

 

NOTE: The production estimate in table 3 is nearly equal to the estimate of ISO-NE.

It is not known how many years of aging is reflected in the ISO-NE estimate of production and CF

NOTE: VEPP, Inc., is the manager of the data of the Standard Offer program, which includes solar data. There are some deficiencies:

- VEPP, Inc., solar data tables should be in spreadsheet format so they can be copied and pasted into a Excel spreadsheets created by users.

- VEPP, Inc., should create a table for monthly and annual production for all solar on-line projects; a table for each year. That would enable the calculation of the real-world CF of each project for each year.

- VEPP, Inc., should state the system capacity of each solar on-line project as kW dc.

System capacity, kW dc = rating of each panel, watts dc/1000 x number of panels.

The panel rating and number of panels are in the project files. See URLs

- VEPP, Inc., should list projects that are not on-line on a separate table; do not intermingle.

 

https://vermontstandardoffer.com/standard-offer/program-overview/pr...

https://vermontstandardoffer.com/standard-offer/program-overview/mo...

https://vermontstandardoffer.com/standard-offer/technologies/

NOTE: Smaller, Net-Metered, roof-top systems have lesser capacity factors, say about 0.120, than larger, Standard Offer, field-mounted systems. Roof-mounted solar likely does not face south, likely does not have the ideal tilt angle, could have shading. See explanation in this URL

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/new-england-is-the-leas...

 

Here are some CFs for new, residential, net-metered solar systems, per VT-DPS. See URL

https://www.vtenergydashboard.org/uploads/Dashboard%20Data%20Source...

 

CF for Roof-Mounted Solar = 0.120

CF for Field - Mounted Solar, Fixed Array = 0.137

CF for Field - Mounted Solar, Fixed Array on a pole = 0.137

The weighted average of these CFs likely might be about 0.130, which is much less than the 0.138 I calculated in table 3.

 

Table 3/Burlington, VT

New

New

End year 1

End year 2

End year 15

.

System Capacity, kW

4

Factor, aging

0.995

0.990

0.928

Factor, shading, snow/ice cover, dirt

0.960

0.960

0.960

.

Net-Metered

Roof tilt

CF

CF

CF

CF

Southeast, degrees

135

Roof

Deg

kWh

"12/12"

45

4701

0.134

0.128

0.127

0.119

"9/12"

37

4758

0.136

0.130

0.129

0.121

"4/12"

19

4672

0.133

0.127

0.127

0.119

Average

4710

0.134

0.128

0.128

0.120

.

South, degrees

180

Roof

kWh

"12/12"

45

5083

0.145

0.138

0.138

0.129

"9/12"

37

5110

0.146

0.139

0.139

0.130

"4/12"

19

4892

0.140

0.133

0.133

0.124

Average

5028

0.143

0.137

0.136

0.128

.

Southwest, degrees

225

Roof

kWh

"12/12"

45

4751

0.135

0.129

0.129

0.121

"9/12"

37

4801

0.137

0.131

0.130

0.122

"4/12"

19

4698

0.134

0.128

0.127

0.119

Average

4750

0.135

0.129

0.129

0.121

.

Average, Net-Metered

4830

0.138

0.132

0.131

0.123

.

Standard Offer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Factor, aging

0.995

0.990

0.928

Factor, snow/ice cover, dirt

0.980

0.980

0.980

Ideal tilt

South

Average, Standard Offer

44

5091

0.145

0.139

0.138

0.129

.

Standard offer, online, end 2019, MW

58.797

58.797

58.797

Production, SO, GWh

71.483

71.127

66.661

.

Net-metered, online, MW

305.443

305.443

305.443

Production, NM, GWh

352.276

350.523

328.511

.

Total, online, MW

364.240

364.240

364.240

Production, total GWh

423.759

421.650

395.172

.

Production, ISO-NE estimate, GWh

408.100

 

Solar %

Vermont total fed-to-grid, GWh

 

6000

7.06

Vermont total consumption, GWh*

 

5600

7.57

* The 7.57% agrees with the about 7.7% in the graphic of this modelling report by VEIC. See URL

https://www.veic.org/clients-results/case-studies/vermont-can-use-s...

APPENDIX 1

Wind and Solar Conditions in New England are Mediocre 

New England has highly variable weather and low-medium quality wind and solar conditions. See NREL wind map and NREL solar map.

 

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

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

 

Wind:

- Wind electricity is zero about 30% of the hours of the year (it takes a wind speed of about 7 mph to start the rotors)

- Wind is minimal most early mornings and most late afternoons/early evenings (peak demand hours), especially during summer

- Wind often is minimal 5 - 7 days in a row in summer and winter, as proven by ISO-NE real-time generation data.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/daily-shifting-of-wind-...

- About 60% is generated at night, when demand is much less than during the late afternoons/early evenings

- About 60% is generated in winter.

- During winter, the best wind month is up to 2.5 times the worst summer month

- New England has the lowest capacity factor (about 0.262) of any US region, except the US South. See URL.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=20112

 

Solar:

- Solar electricity is strictly a midday affair.

- It is zero about 65% of the hours of the year, mostly at night.

- It often is minimal 5 - 7 days in a row in summer and in winter, as proven by ISO-NE real-time generation data.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/daily-shifting-of-wind-...

- It is minimal early mornings and late afternoons/early evenings

- It is minimal much of the winter months

- It is minimal for several days with snow and ice on most of the panels.

- It varies with variable cloudiness, which would excessively disturb distribution grids with many solar systems, as happens in southern California and southern Germany on a daily basis. Utilities use batteries to stabilize their grids.

- During summer, the best solar month is up to 4 times the worst winter month; that ratio is 6 in Germany.

- New England has the lowest capacity factor (about 0.145, under ideal conditions) of any region in the US, except some parts of the US Northwest.

 

NOTE: Even if the NE grid had large capacity connections with Canada and New York, any major NE wind lull and any major NE snowfall likely would affect the entire US northeast, i.e., relying on neighboring grids to "help-out" likely would not be prudent strategy.

 

Wind Plus Solar:

ISO-NE publishes the minute-by-minute outputs off various energy sources contributing their electricity to the grid.

All one has to do is add the wind and solar and one comes rapidly to the conclusion both are minimal many hours of the year, at any time during the year.

 

Wind plus solar production could be minimal for 5 - 7 days in summer and in winter, especially with snow and ice on most of the panels, as frequently happens during December, January and February, as proven by ISO-NE real-time generation data.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/daily-shifting-of-wind-...

 

If we were to rely on wind and solar for most of our electricity, massive energy storage systems (a few hundred GWh-scale for Vermont, multiple TWh-scale for NE) would be required to cover multi-day wind lulls, multi-day overcast/snowy periods, and seasonal variations. See URLs.

 

Wind and solar cannot ever be expected to charge New England’s EVs, so people can get to work the next day, unless backed up by several TWh of storage, because wind/solar lulls can occur for 5 - 7 days in a row, in summer and in winter. BTW, the turnkey capital cost of one TWH of storage (delivered as AC to the grid) is about $400 billion.

 

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

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-example-of-elec...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/seasonal-pumped-hydro-s...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/electricity-storage-to-...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/pumped-storage-hydro-in...

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

 

Shortcomings of Wind and Solar

 

Variable and intermittent wind and solar electricity cannot exist on any electric grid without the traditional, dispatchable generators performing the peaking, filling-in and balancing. Battery systems could be used, but the battery system turnkey capital cost would be about $400/kWh, based on AC electricity delivered to the high voltage grid. See Note.

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

APPENDIX 2

COMMENTS ON TABLE 4:

 

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.

 

1) The subsidy values in table 4 are from a cost analysis of NE wind and solar in this article. See URL

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/excessive-subsidies-for...

 

2) The grid support values in table 4 are from this report. See figure 14 for 2.36 c/kWh for wind, and figure 16 for 2.1 c/kWh for solar
https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2019...

 

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

 

NOTE: The NE wholesale price has averaged at less than 5 c/kWh, starting in 2009

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

 

NOTE: Importing more low-cost hydro (about 5.549 c/kWh, per GMP) from Quebec to replace “dangerous nuclear” and “dirty fossil” would be a very quick, smart and economic way to reduce CO2.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/gmp-refusing-to-buy-add...

 

NOTE: Owner prices to utilities are based on recent 20-year electricity supply contracts awarded by competitive bidding in New England.

These prices would have been about 48% to 50% higher without 1) the direct and indirect subsidies and 2) the cost shifting.

Similar percentages apply in areas with better wind and solar conditions, and lower construction costs/MW, than New England. The prices of wind and solar, c/kWh, in those areas are lower than New England.

 

Table 4/Vermont & NE sources

Total

Grid support

Subsidies

Paid to

GMP

 Added to

cost

cost

to owner

owner

adder

rate base

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered

25.5

2.1

5.4

18.0

3.8

21.8

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

34.4

2.1

10.5

21.8

?

21.8

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

23.5

2.1

9.6

11.8

?

11.8

Wind, ridge line, new*

18.8

2.4

7.4

9.0

?

9.0

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lifetime Cost of Electricity, LCOE

Gas, combined cycle, existing

4 - 5

Gas, combined cycle, new

5 - 6

Gas, open cycle, peaking, existing

9 - 10

Gas, open cycle, peaking, new

 

 

 

18 - 20

 

 

Nuclear, existing

4.0

Nuclear, new, 60-plus-y life

7.5

Coal, existing

4.0

Coal, new

7.5

Hydro, existing

4.0

Hydro Vermont, net-metered, new

10.0

Wood burning Vermont, net-metered, existing

10.0

* Competitive bidding lowered prices paid to owners.

 

* Owner prices to utilities are based on recent 20-year electricity supply contracts awarded by competitive bidding in New England. These prices would have been about 48% to 50% higher without the direct and indirect subsidies and the cost shifting. Similar percentages apply in areas with better wind and solar conditions, and lower construction costs/MW, than New England. The prices, c/MWh, in those areas are lower than New England.

 

APPENDIX 3

Wind and Solar Subsidies Provide a Bonanza for Wall Street

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

 

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.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/economics-of-tesla-powerpack-and-powerwall-systems

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/large-scale-solar-plant...

http://www.usu.edu/ipe/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/UnseenWindFull.pdf

 

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.

http://johnrsweet.com/Personal/Wind/PDF/Schleede-BigMoney-20050414.pdf

 

- 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.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/excessive-subsidies-for-2200-kw-field-mounted-solar-system-in

https://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/pdf/subsidy.pdf

 

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?

 

https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy17osti/68227.pdf

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/tax-equity-investors-break-their-silence-on-tax-bill#gs.GDbC2YIS

 

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." 

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/nancy-pfotenhauer/2014/05/12/e...

 

 

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Comment by Willem Post on May 18, 2020 at 5:10am

Hi Penny,

Thank you for sharing your decades of experience living OFF THE GRID, having only a little quantity of PV solar at your proposal. We have a battery-powered vacuum. Works fine, no cord.

The monthly output of the worst winter month is only 1/4 of the best summer month in NE.

In Germany it is 1/6. 

It is off the charts idiotic to have so much EXPENSIVE, VARIABLE, INTERMITTENT, GIRD-DISTURBING solar in Germany.

However, we are paying for it by buying all their fancy cars.

Germany could not have that much solar, if it did not have robust connections to neighboring grids to absorb any midday excess.

Comment by Penny Gray on May 17, 2020 at 7:04pm

There are three major problems with solar.  Nightime is the first.  Cloud cover is the second.  Seasonal fluctuations in the northern hemisphere are third.  I only vacuum when the sun is shining and the battery bank is topped off.

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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