Some Boothbay residents angered by wind power developments, including drill tests on private property

By Fred Bever | Maine Public | December 3, 2021 | www.mainepublic.org ~~

The developers of a wind-energy turbine off Monhegan Island are apologizing to Boothbay residents angered by unannounced work in town last month, some of it on private property.

And the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is taking heat from locals as well, for signing a deal to allow cable from the turbine to come ashore on its waterfront property there.

The New England Aquaventus project aims to use deep waters off Monhegan to test an 11-megawatt wind turbine based on new floating-platform technology developed at the University of Maine. It’s a partnership between the university, the Mitsubishi Corporation and RWE Renewables, a German energy giant.

“We are here because we screwed up. I’m not happy with my team, for having done that,” said project leader Chris Wisseman at a meeting in Boothbay on Thursday night.

“What we said last night and I’ll say it again tonight is: Never again will we do that without telling people it’s going to happen.”

Wisseman said that to gauge soil suitability for an underground cable to run from the shore to a local substation, the company deployed surveyors last month to drill dozens of test-borings – some of them inadvertently on private property.

After publicly apologizing, he said that following discussions around the event the company had already decided to avoid one particular area. And he emphasized that project planning is still in very early stages, promising more public consultation as specific routes become clearer.

Many local residents, including Andrew Morley, were not placated.

“Having this meeting after the fact sounds hollow to me because it’s obvious you got caught with your hand in the cookie jar. And now you want to… pretend like you have our best interest at heart but you don’t,” Morley says.

Some Residents also said they felt betrayed by the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, which has agreed to let the cable come ashore at its waterfront property, and will earn $200,000 over the easement’s 20-year span.

Eben Wilson, a local lobsterman, says a decades-long history of good relations between the community and the lab is at risk.

“I do think that Bigelow failed miserably at communicating,” he says.

Wilson also sits on a wind energy task force put together by Gov. Janet Mills. But he does oppose this project.

He also says he understands why a scientific institution dedicated to understanding and improving ocean health would support the development of technologies that could help slow global warming.

“They’re seeing the effects of climate change in real time and they are studying that. And that’s very honorable and understandable. The problem is that they made this decision and they never communicated with the community that they reside in. And until very recently they hadn’t thought this would be any form of an issue,” he said.

“One of the things that really concerned us is that we were going to face the wrath of the fishing community. We didn’t see any way around that. So how early do you open yourself up to what has been a national controversy?” says Deborah Bronk, Bigelow’s president.

She says the lab owes an apology for poor communications with residents upset about the possibility of cable being laid near their homes.

But she adds that once completed, the visual impact will be small, because most of the system will be buried. And, she says, given the accelerating urgency of finding ways to slow climate change, she stands by the decision to support the wind project.

“Am I going to apologize for signing the easement itself and saying we want to help this project move forward? No. I think we were right in doing that. Because we need this. Humanity needs this,” she says.

“If you care anything abut a future that we’re leaving our kids, we ought to be pulling out the stops. And this could be just incredibly powerful technology.”

Aquaventus aims to have what would be the nation’s first floating-platform wind turbine up and running in 2023.

A larger, 12-turbine “research array” of wind farms Mills is proposing to site in waters farther south could follow a few years after that. New England Aquaventus would also develop that project.

Both projects are to be paid for by Maine consumers’ electricity bills.

https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2021/12/05/some-boothbay-residents-...

************************************* 


Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Views: 127

Comment

You need to be a member of Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine to add comments!

Join Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine

Comment by Willem Post on December 8, 2021 at 11:03am

The 12 MW floating wind turbine project turnkey capital cost, including grid extension/augmentation from wind turbine to mainland grid would be at least $60 million

Assuming the owners earn 9%/y on their investment, and a 20 year life, the ANNUAL amortizing cost would be $6.478 million

The cost of electricity would be 12.317 c/kWh. This is only the amortizing cost

All other costs are IN ADDITION.

This compares with an average NE WHOLESALE price of 5 c/kWh, which has been the same, starting in 2009 to the present, courtesy of low-cost, low-CO2, clean-burning, DOMESTIC gas plants, and low-cost, near-zero CO2, DOMESTIC nuclear plants, which produce electricity at less than 5 c/kWh

Maine floating offshore

Turnkey, $million

60

Amortize, $million/y

6.478

Turbine, MW

12

h/y

8766

Annual CF

0.5

Electricity cost, c/kWh

12.317

Comment by Willem Post on December 7, 2021 at 9:49am

“All-in” Electricity Cost of Wind and Solar in New England

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

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

 

WIND AND SOLAR TO PROVIDE 30 PERCENT OF NEW ENGLAND ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION BY 2050

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-and-solar-provide...

Pro RE folks 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 at about 9%/y

4) Grid extension/augmentation

5) Grid support services

6) Future battery systems

 

Comments on table 5

   

- Vermont legacy Standard Offer solar systems had greater subsidies paid to owner, than newer systems

 

- Wind prices paid to owner did not have the 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 rate base" is the cost wind and solar are added to the utility rate base, used to set electric rates.

 

- “Total cost”, including subsidies to owner and grid support, is the cost at which wind/solar are added to the utility rate base

 

- “NE utility cost” is the annual average cost of purchased electricity, about 6 c/kWh, plus NE grid operator charges, about 1.6 c/kWh

for a total of 7.6 c/kWh.

 

- “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) NE wholesale grid price averaged about 5 c/kWh, starting in 2009, due to low-cost CCGT and nuclear plants providing at least 65% of all electricity loaded onto the NE grid, in 2019.

 

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

https://nepool.com/uploads/NPC_20200305_Composite4.pdf


2) There are Owning costs, and Operating and Maintenance costs, of the NE grid

ISO-NE charges these costs to utilities at about 1.6 c/kWh. The ISO-NE charges include: 

 
Regional network services, RNS, based on the utility peak demand occurring during a month

Forward capacity market, FCM, based on the utility peak demand occurring during a year.

NOTE: A 12 MW floating offshore project would cost at lest $65 million, including the 30-mile high voltage connection to existing mainland grids. Amortizing at 3.5%/y for 20 years would cost $4.524 million per year, or (4.524)/(12 x 8766 x 0.50) = 8.6 c/kWh, plus all other costs 

 

Table 5/VT & NE sources

Paid to

Subsidy

Grid

GMP

 Added

ISO-NE

Total

NE

Times

 

 

paid to

support

 

to rate

RNS+

 

utility

 

owner

towner

cost

adder

base

FCM

cost

cost

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

Solar, rooftop, net-metered, new

17.4

5.2

2.1

3.5

20.9

1.6

29.8

7.6

3.92

Solar, rooftop, net-metered, legacy

18.2

5.4

2.1

3.5

21.7

1.6

30.8

7.6

4.05

Solar, standard offer, combo

11.0

6.74

2.1

11.0

1.6

21.44

7.6

2.82

Solar, standard offer, legacy

21.7

10.5

2.1

21.7

1.6

35.9

7.6

4.72

Wind, ridge line, new

9.0

4.1

2.4

9.0

1.6

17.1

7.6

2.25

Wind, offshore, new

12.1

5.4

2.8

12.1

1.6

21.9

7.6

2.88

 

Sample calculation; NE utility cost = Purchased, 6 + (RNS + FCM), 1.6 = 7.6 c/kWh

Sample calculation; added to utility base = 17.4 + 3.5 = 20.9 c/kWh

Sample calculation; total cost = 17.4 + 5.2 + 2.1 + 3.5 + 1.6 = 29.8 c/kWh

 

Excludes costs for very expensive battery systems

Excludes costs for very expensive floating, offshore wind systems

Excludes cost for dealing with shortfalls during multi-day wind/solar lulls. See URL

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-and-solar-provide...

 

“Added to rate base” is for recent 20-y electricity supply contracts awarded by competitive bidding in NE.

“Added to rate base” would be much higher without subsidies and cost shifting.

Areas with better wind and solar conditions, and lower construction costs/MW have lower c/MWh, than NE

Comment by Penny Gray on December 7, 2021 at 7:03am

How comforting that we have these super intelligent academics telling us ignorant hicks what we (and the planet) need whilst sneaking around behind our backs making back door deal$$$ with the snake oil salesmen... err, wind developers.  Sound familiar?

Hopefully the wrath of the fishermen and local residents will come down on their heads.

Comment by Stephen Littlefield on December 6, 2021 at 9:24pm

Oops, got caught doing a behind the back! And the spokesperson for the Lab is just pathetic, they have to hurry because in five months it'll be getting warmer. Oh, that's called SPRING followed by SUMMER, the carbon footprint creating these wind turbines is more than they will ever save even if they last twenty years without catching fire and polluting the ocean. Just more psychobabble from elitists lining their pockets with taxpayers money!

Comment by Kenneth Capron on December 6, 2021 at 9:20pm

Why are we paying for this shit? At least go after the Federal energy grants. 
BTW - they will forever and ever have little yellow signs in the ground pointing to
the underground line  CAUTION - ELECTRICAL HAZARD - DO NOT DIG HERE STUPID.

I have seen beaches where the line comes to the surface due to wave action.
Human is so stupid.

 

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/

Not yet a member?

Sign up today and lend your voice and presence to the steadily rising tide that will soon sweep the scourge of useless and wretched turbines from our beloved Maine countryside. For many of us, our little pieces of paradise have been hard won. Did the carpetbaggers think they could simply steal them from us?

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

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

 -- Mahatma Gandhi

"It's not whether you get knocked down: it's whether you get up."
Vince Lombardi 

Task Force membership is free. Please sign up today!

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/

© 2022   Created by Webmaster.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service