Should Northern New England Host Massachusetts' Renewable Energy Extension Cord?

From Maine Public, this article reviews the alternatives to host being the "Extention Cord" for Charlie Baker and his misguided plan for Massachusetts. 

"For all the attention renewable power gets, it still provides only about 10 percent of New England's electrical energy. The region's recent successes in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases have come, to the greatest degree, from the rise of relatively-clean burning natural gas as the dominant power source.

"To me, that's the story in New England," says Sara Burns, CEO of Central Maine Power, Maine's largest utility."

For me, the answer is clearly NO! We have no business being the industrial wasteland for Massachusetts, especially when they have no intention of allowing the smart play to put a gas line through from the gas fields in Pennsylvania and the midwest. This is SIMPLE and even if the gas line does get approved, we want no wind turbines and no new power lines.

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Comment by jan van eck on August 8, 2017 at 11:24pm

Hitachi Corporation, prior to going bust after the purchase of the Westinghouse reactor business, had developed these neat small reactors that had a footprint of aobut 16 feet x 40 feet, producing between 25 and 80 MW, depending on what the customer wanted to do.  The 50 MW was a standard, off-the-shelf size, and  you can park one in some factory corner or warehouse building and power up an entire smallsh town in New England. Cheap, totally reliable, and local, you don't have to worry aobut "the grid" failing or trees falling on power lines in the countryside, you make your own stuff right in town.  Nobody wants to hear it.  Americans really are amazing. What do you ascribe this resistance to?  I put it down to a lack of teaching of basic physics in the high school.  Oh, well.

Comment by jan van eck on August 8, 2017 at 11:19pm

Hi, Brad, and my suggestion was germinated when that loutish workman at Portsmouth set fire to the Ohio, wanting to get off work early.  When the sub was declared a constructive loss, I wrote my Congressman to suggest that the twin 100 MW reactors on board could do nicely as moored power, with a little conversion. He wrote the Navy and the response was that the "generators" on the sub only produced some 5 MW so it was not practical, and the Navy would tow the boat to a yard in Washington State and pay to scrap it.  Now, that 5 MW is just for ship's power, it had nothing to do with the main propulsioin engines that could be chaned over to direct generators, as the sub is not going anywhere and you take the propellor off.  So the US Navy also could not comprehend the idea, instead spending your cash on scrapping of a perfectly good nuke generator. 

     Recently the carrier Enterprise was sent to the scrapper; it was 50 years old.  You may be surprised to learn that the Enterprise, with 4 reactors of 100 MW each, only made 25 deployment cruises in its lifetime.  These boats do not work that hard.  Those reactors can produce gobs of power for years on end, they are well designed and totally reliable, and the best we can do is - scrap them?  Outrageous!

Comment by Brad Blake on August 8, 2017 at 10:53pm

Jan, interesting that you should post your comment.  Two weeks ago while vacationing in Lee, Maine, one of the 4 host communities for the Rollins Wind debacle, my brother and I had the nearly same conversation.  When the US Navy has been safely powering hundreds of subs and aircraft carriers with small nukes, why can't we power cities and industrial parks in the same manner?  Nuclear doesn't have a safety problem, it has a PR problem.  It is a highly reliable source of enormous amounts of base load power, with no emissions.
What we need to feed Boston's insatiable need for electricity is NOT destruction of Maine's natural and scenic resources.  It needs a second reactor built at Seabrook, which was developed as a twin nuke site, and that would add 1400 MW into the New England grid.  Also, re-develop the Pilgrim nuke site for a far larger generator.  Or go with your idea!

Comment by jan van eck on August 8, 2017 at 9:40pm

At the tail end of the linked article, the fellow is quoted as saying  "youcan build (offshore wind units) pretty close to urban demand centers, saving those long transmission lines."  Yet, if you want to save ALL transmission lines, you can build small nuclear plants right inside those cities.  For example, there is nothing to stop Boston from purchasing outdated nuclear subs from the Navy, cutting out the missile and crew quarter sections, and installing a big generator on the output of the steam turbine shaft (instead of the shaft coupling with the propeller).  You park that sub right at the downtown waterfront, run your power cable ashore, and bingo! you have another 100 MW. Costs you practically nothing, as that sub would otherwise have to be dismantled at considerable expense. 

But these windmill guys don't want to hear about it.  Too logical for their taste.


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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