The 5 biggest hurdles to offshore wind in Maine

November 27, 2023

by Lori Valigra

EXCERPTS

Construction costs
High interest rates related to inflation in the nascent offshore wind market were one of the factors that caused Danish wind developer Orsted to cancel two projects under development off New Jersey in late October.

In early November, U.K. lawmakers said they are considering raising subsidies for new offshore wind developments to meet climate goals because costs have risen so sharply, 40 percent by some accounts, according to The Guardian.

Projects elsewhere are moving ahead into installation or contracting phases, noted Dan Burgess, director of Mills’ energy office, said. Maine released a roadmap for offshore wind earlier this year with strategies for the state to get economic, energy and climate benefits.........................

Supply chain
The offshore wind industry is new, with supply chain issues already affecting established wind developers like Orsted. Things could get even tighter as the industry expands.

“Trying to scale up a new industry quickly can create supply chain issues,” Habib Dagher, executive director at the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center and the researcher behind the university’s experimental offshore wind turbines, said.

Logistics
Maine’s approach to offshore wind — building football-field long hulls to steady the tall blade structures at an onshore port — takes a lot of the risk away from shipping large components to assemble at sea.

Identifying a terrestrial port able to handle the large parts is critical to building them more efficiently and less expensively, James Gillway, Searsport’s town manager and a former Republican legislator, said.

Searsport is home to two locations being considered for the port: Mack Point and Sears Island. Gillway also is a member of the Offshore Wind Port Advisory Group, which is studying the feasibility of such a port.

Scotland uses three different ports to assemble the turbines, which is more expensive, he said. Still, a 100-acre space will be needed for the laydown yard and assembly to build the core bases for the turbines.

Gillway sees the port as a plus, because it may help reduce Searsport’s tax burden and bring several hundred jobs. Not everyone sees it that way.

Public pushback
Fishermen and local residents both have pushed back against turbine development for aesthetic and business reasons.

Lobstermen have worried that the turbines could harm the ecosystem and threaten their livelihood, while Friends of Sears Island have worried that a port there would overdevelop land and create nuisances such as lights being on all night. A recent meeting in Belfast showed off the wide group of skeptics from conservative Republicans to tribal officials..................................

Billions up front
It will cost up to $10 billion to get the planned 3,000 megawatts of power for Maine, UMaine’s Dagher said.

That may be a lot for some to stomach at once. However, he noted that consumers spend some $6 billion annually on heating oil and natural gas, meaning the investment should pay for itself quickly....................

https://www.bangordailynews.com/2023/11/27/mainefocus/5-biggest-hur...

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Comment by Willem Post on November 27, 2023 at 1:39pm

Floating Offshore Wind Systems in the Impoverished State of Maine

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/floating-offshore-wind...

Offshore Wind Capacity Placed on Operation in 2021

World: During 2021, worldwide offshore wind capacity placed in operation was 17,398 MW, of which China 13,790 MW, and the rest of the world 3,608 MW, of which UK 1,855 MW; Vietnam 643 MW; Denmark 604 MW; Netherlands 402 MW; Taiwan 109 MW

Of the 17,398 MW, just 57.1 MW was floating, about 1/3%

At end of 2021, 50,623 MW was in operation, of which just 123.4 MW was floating, about 1/4%

https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/articles/offshore-wind-market-repo...

NOTE: Despite the meager floating offshore MW in the world, pro-wind politicians, bureaucrats, etc., aided and abetted by the lapdog Media, in the impoverished State of Maine, continue to fantasize about building 3,000 MW of 850-ft-tall floating offshore wind turbines by 2040!!

Maine government bureaucrats, etc., in a world of their own climate-fighting fantasies, want to have about 3,000 MW of floating wind turbines by 2040; a most expensive, totally unrealistic goal, that would further impoverish the already-poor State of Maine for many decades.

Those bureaucrats, etc., would help fatten the lucrative, 20-y, tax-shelters of mostly out-of-state, multi-millionaire, wind-subsidy chasers, who likely have minimal regard for:

1) Impacts on the environment and the fishing and tourist industries of Maine, and

2) Already-overstressed, over-taxed, over-regulated Maine ratepayers and taxpayers, who are trying to make ends meet in a near-zero, real-growth economy.

Those fishery-destroying, 850-ft-tall floaters, with 24/7365 strobe lights, visible 30 miles from any shore, would cost at least $7,500/ installed kW, or at least $22.5 billion, if built in 2023 (more after 2023)

Almost the entire supply of the projects would be designed and made in Europe, then transported across the Atlantic Ocean, in specialized ships, also designed and made in Europe, then unloaded at the Maine pre-assembly/staging area, then barged to specialized erection ships, for erection of the floating turbines.

About 200 Maine people would have short-term erection jobs. About 30 Maine people would have long-term O&M jobs

They would produce electricity at about 40 c/kWh, without subsidies, about 20 c/kWh with subsidies, the wholesale price at which utilities would buy from Owners (higher prices after 2023)

https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/news/governor-mills-signs-bill...

The Maine woke bureaucrats are falling over each other to prove their "greenness", offering $millions of this and that for free, but all their primping and preening efforts has resulted in no floating offshore bids from foreign developers

The Maine people have much greater burdens to look forward to for the next 20 years, courtesy of the Governor Mills incompetent, woke bureaucracy that has infested the state government 

The Maine people need to finally wake up, and put an end to all the climate scare-mongering, which aims to subjugate and further impoverish them, by voting the entire Democrat woke cabal out and replace it with rational Republicans in 2024

The present course leads to financial disaster for the impoverished State of Maine and its people.

The purposely-kept-ignorant Maine people do not deserve such maltreatment

NOTE: The above prices compare with the average New England wholesale price of about 5 c/kWh, during the 2009 - 2022 period, 13 years, courtesy of:

 

Natural gas-fueled CCGT plants, with low-cost, low-CO2, very-low particulate/kWh

Nuclear plants, with low-cost, near-zero CO2, zero particulate/kWh

Hydro plants, with low-cost, near-zero-CO2, zero particulate/kWh

APPENDIX 2

Russia building more nuclear reactors than any other country, IAEA data show

MOSCOW, November 13, 2023

According to the IAEA, a total of 412 nuclear reactors are in operation at power plants across the world, with their total capacity at about 370.2 gigawatts

Russia is building more nuclear reactors that any other country in the world, according to data from the Power Reactor Information System of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The data show a total of 58 large-scale nuclear power reactors are currently under construction worldwide, of which 23 are being built by Russia. A plant may have up to 4 reactors, usually 1100 MW each

Rosatom is doing the most construction of international nuclear power units.

In Egypt, 4 reactors, each 1,200 MW = 4,800 MW for $30 billion is about $6,250/kW, which includes financing by Egypt $5 billion and by Russia $25 billion
That cost is at least 40% less then US/UK/EU

In Turkey, 4 reactors, each 1,200 MW = 4,800 MW for $20 billion is about $4,200/kW, entirely financed by Russia. The plant will be owned and operated by Rosatom

It is interesting, Rosatom's direct competitors, according to PRIS data, are three Chinese companies: CNNC, CSPI and CGN.

They are building 22 reactors, but it should be noted that they are being built primarily inside China, and the Chinese partners are building five of them together with Rosatom.

If we talk about the Americans and Europeans, they are lagging behind by a wide margin,” Alexander Uvarov, a director at the Atom-info Center and editor-in-chief at the atominfo.ru website, told TASS.

APPENDIX 3

Floating Offshore Wind in Norway

Equinor, a Norwegian company, just put in operation 11 Hywind, floating offshore wind turbines, each 8 MW, for a total of 88 MW, in the North Sea. The wind turbines are supplied by Siemens

Production will be about 88 x 8766 x 0.5, claimed lifetime capacity factor = 385,704 MWh/y, which is about 35% of the electricity used by 2 Norwegian oil rigs.

The existing diesel and gas-turbine generators on the rigs, will provide the other 65%.

The generators will counteract the up/down output of the wind turbines, on a less than minute-by-minute basis, 24/7/365

The generators will provide almost all the electricity during low-wind periods, and during high-wind periods, when rotors are feathered and locked.

The capital cost of the entire project was about 8 billion Norwegian Kroner, or about $750 million, as of August 2023, when all 11 units were placed in operation.

That cost was much higher than the estimated 5 billion NOK in 2019, i.e., 60% higher

The production cost likely will be about 46 c/kWh, without subsidies, about 23 c/kWh, with subsidies.

In Norway, all work associated with oil rigs is very expensive.

Workers are on the rigs for 6 weeks, and get 6 weeks off, and are paid well over $150,000/y, plus benefits.

Floating Offshore Wind in Maine

If such floating units were used in Maine, the production costs would be even higher in Maine, because of the additional cost of transport, of almost the entire supply, including specialized ships, across the Atlantic Ocean

A high voltage cable would be hanging from each unit, until it reaches bottom, say about 500 to 1000 feet. The cables would need some type of flexible support system
All the cables would be combined into one cable to run horizontally to shore, for at least 25 to 30 miles

Rich Norway people can afford to dabble in such expensive demonstration follies, but the over-taxed, over-regulated, impoverished Maine people would buckle under such a heavy burden, while trying to make ends meet in the near-zero, real-growth Maine economy.

Maine folks need lower energy bills, not higher energy bills.

Comment by Willem Post on November 27, 2023 at 1:26pm

Lot of Crappola in this article

World's Largest Offshore Wind System Developer Abandons Two Major US Projects as Wind Bust Continues 

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/world-s-largest-offsho...

Various Excerpts

Oersted said a month ago, it could not to get any specialized ships for years, because they had been contracted by others years before. That is called "having supply chain issues"

The 3,000 MW of floating wind turbines will cost $22.5 BILLION, or $7.500/kW, plus onshore facilities at about $400 million, plus specialized barged and cranes

Worldwide Offshore Wind Capacity Placed on Operation

- During 2018/2019, the industry received record orders, which were placed in operation in 2021

Company stock prices were high

During 2021, worldwide offshore wind capacity placed in operation was 17,398 MW, of which China 13,790 MW, and the rest of the world 3,608 MW, of which UK 1,855 MW; Vietnam 643 MW; Denmark 604 MW; Netherlands 402 MW; Taiwan 109 MW

Of the 17,398 MW, just 57.1 MW was floating, about 1/3%

At end 2021, 50,623 MW was in operation, of which just 123.4 MW was floating, about 1/4%

https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/articles/offshore-wind-market-repo...

- During 2019/2020, the industry received about 46% less orders than in 2018/2019

Company stock prices started to decrease

During 2022, worldwide offshore wind capacity placed in operation was 9,433 MW, of which China 6,800 MW, and the rest of the world 2,633 MW

At end 2022, 57,600 MW was in operation, of which China 25,600 MW, or 44%

https://renews.biz/83918/global-offshore-wind-capacity-rises-to-94g....

- During 2020/2021, the industry , affected by COVID, received orders, including from the US, but:

1) high interest rates;

2) high inflation;

3) high prices of energy, materials, components and labor;

4) a lack of timely availability of specialized ships for erection;

5) losses on existing orders, and

6) the prospect of more losses on new projects, caused the industry to walk away from many new projects, and pay cancellation fees, instead of completing the new projects with no prospect of a profit, unless subsidies were increased to exorbitant levels, which likely would be politically impossible, especially with the 2024 Election coming up. 

A recent, highly visible sign regarding bidding for new offshore projects in the North Sea

About 7,000 MW of offshore wind bids were awarded by the UK 4th Auction, in 2022, but some of those projects have been cancelled, or placed "on hold"
No bids were submitted for the UK 5th Auction, in 2023; European companies protesting low UK subsidies.
No bids were submitted for a new floating offshore wind project off the coast of Scotland.

US Offshore Wind 

In operation: At end 2021, US offshore in operation was 30 MW (five 6 MW units) near Rhode Island, owned by Oersted, and a single 12 MW (two 6 MW units) wind turbine near Virginia, both owned by JV Oersted/Dominion Energy 

Under Construction: Two commercial-scale offshore wind projects – Vineyard Wind off the coast of Massachusetts, and South Fork Wind off the coast of New York – are under active construction, presently scheduled for operation in 2024/2025

NOTE: Despite the meager floating offshore MW in the world, pro-wind politicians, bureaucrats, etc., aided and abetted by the lapdog Media, in the impoverished State of Maine, continue to agitate for building 3,000 MW of 850-ft-tall floating offshore wind turbines by 2040, to further impoverish the Maine people with higher costs of everything done with electricity 

New York State had signed contracts with EU big wind companies for four offshore wind projects

Sometime later, the companies were trying to coerce an additional $25.35 billion (per Wind Watch) from New York ratepayers and taxpayers over at least 20 years, because they had bid at lower prices than they should have.

New York State denied the request on October 12, 2023; “a deal is a deal”, said the Commissioner 

 

Owners want a return on investment of at least 10%/y, if bank loans for risky projects are 6.5%/y, and project cost inflation and uncertainties are high 

The about 3.5% is a minimum for all the years of hassles of designing, building, erecting, and paperwork of a project

The project prices, with no subsidies, would be about two times the agreed contract price, paid by Utilities to owners.

The reduction is due to US subsidies provided, per various US laws

All contractors had bid too low. When they realized there would be huge losses, they asked for higher contract prices.

It looks like the contract prices will need to be at least $150/MWh, for contractors to make money. Those contract prices would be at least 60% higher than in 2021

Oersted, Denmark, Sunrise wind, contract price $110.37/MWh, contractor needs $139.99/MWh, a 27% increase

Equinor, Norway, Empire 1 wind, contract price $118.38/MWh, contractor needs $159.64/MWh, a 35% increase

Equinor, Norway, Empire 2 wind, contract price $107.50/MWh, contractor needs $177.84/MWh, a 66% increase

Equinor, Norway, Beacon Wind, contract price $118.00/MWh, contractor needs $190.82/MWh, a 62% increase

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/liars-lies-exposed-as-wind-electricity-price-increases-by-66-wake

Floating Offshore Wind Systems in the Impoverished State of Maine

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/floating-offshore-wind...

Offshore Wind Capacity Placed on Operation in 2021

World: During 2021, worldwide offshore wind capacity placed in operation was 17,398 MW, of which China 13,790 MW, and the rest of the world 3,608 MW, of which UK 1,855 MW; Vietnam 643 MW; Denmark 604 MW; Netherlands 402 MW; Taiwan 109 MW

Of the 17,398 MW, just 57.1 MW was floating, about 1/3%

At end of 2021, 50,623 MW was in operation, of which just 123.4 MW was floating, about 1/4%

https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/articles/offshore-wind-market-repo...

NOTE: Despite the meager floating offshore MW in the world, pro-wind politicians, bureaucrats, etc., aided and abetted by the lapdog Media, in the impoverished State of Maine, continue to fantasize about building 3,000 MW of 850-ft-tall floating offshore wind turbines by 2040!!

Maine government bureaucrats, etc., in a world of their own climate-fighting fantasies, want to have about 3,000 MW of floating wind turbines by 2040; a most expensive, totally unrealistic goal, that would further impoverish the already-poor State of Maine for many decades.

Those bureaucrats, etc., would help fatten the lucrative, 20-y, tax-shelters of mostly out-of-state, multi-millionaire, wind-subsidy chasers, who likely have minimal regard for:

1) Impacts on the environment and the fishing and tourist industries of Maine, and

2) Already-overstressed, over-taxed, over-regulated Maine ratepayers and taxpayers, who are trying to make ends meet in a near-zero, real-growth economy.

Those fishery-destroying, 850-ft-tall floaters, with 24/7365 strobe lights, visible 30 miles from any shore, would cost at least $7,500/ installed kW, or at least $22.5 billion, if built in 2023 (more after 2023)

Almost the entire supply of the projects would be designed and made in Europe, then transported across the Atlantic Ocean, in specialized ships, also designed and made in Europe, then unloaded at the Maine pre-assembly/staging area, then barged to specialized erection ships, for erection of the floating turbines.

About 200 Maine people would have short-term erection jobs. About 30 Maine people would have long-term O&M jobs

They would produce electricity at about 40 c/kWh, without subsidies, about 20 c/kWh with subsidies, the wholesale price at which utilities would buy from Owners (higher prices after 2023)

https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/news/governor-mills-signs-bill...

The Maine woke bureaucrats are falling over each other to prove their "greenness", offering $millions of this and that for free, but all their primping and preening efforts has resulted in no floating offshore bids from European developers

The Maine people have much greater burdens to look forward to for the next 20 years, courtesy of the Governor Mills incompetent, woke bureaucracy that has infested the state government 

The Maine people need to finally wake up, and put an end to all the climate scare-mongering, which aims to subjugate and further impoverish them, by voting the entire Democrat woke cabal out and replace it with rational Republicans in 2024

The present course leads to financial disaster for the impoverished State of Maine and its people.

The purposely-kept-ignorant Maine people do not deserve such maltreatment

NOTE: The above prices compare with the average New England wholesale price of about 5 c/kWh, during the 2009 - 2022 period, 13 years, courtesy of:

 

Natural gas-fueled CCGT plants, with low-cost, low-CO2, very-low particulate/kWh

Nuclear plants, with low-cost, near-zero CO2, zero particulate/kWh

Hydro plants, with low-cost, near-zero-CO2, zero particulate/kWh

Floating Offshore Wind in Norway

Equinor, a Norwegian company, just put in operation 11 Hywind, floating offshore wind turbines, each 8 MW, for a total of 88 MW, in the North Sea. The wind turbines are supplied by Siemens

Production will be about 88 x 8766 x 0.5, claimed lifetime capacity factor = 385,704 MWh/y, which is about 35% of the electricity used by 2 Norwegian oil rigs.

The existing diesel and gas-turbine generators on the rigs, will provide the other 65%.

The generators will counteract the up/down output of the wind turbines, on a less than minute-by-minute basis, 24/7/365

The generators will provide almost all the electricity during low-wind periods, and during high-wind periods, when rotors are feathered and locked.

The capital cost of the entire project was about 8 billion Norwegian Kroner, or about $750 million, as of August 2023, when all 11 units were placed in operation.

That cost was much higher than the estimated 5 billion NOK in 2019, i.e., 60% higher

The production cost likely will be about 46 c/kWh, without subsidies, about 23 c/kWh, with subsidies.

In Norway, all work associated with oil rigs is very expensive.

Workers are on the rigs for 6 weeks, and get 6 weeks off, and are paid well over $150,000/y, plus benefits.

Floating Offshore Wind in Maine

If such floating units were used in Maine, the production costs would be even higher in Maine, because of the additional cost of transport, of almost the entire supply, including specialized ships, across the Atlantic Ocean

A high voltage cable would be hanging from each unit, until it reaches bottom, say about 500 to 1000 feet. The cables would need some type of flexible support system
All the cables would be combined into one cable to run horizontally to shore, for at least 25 to 30 miles

Rich Norway people can afford to dabble in such expensive demonstration follies, but the over-taxed, over-regulated, impoverished Maine people would buckle under such a heavy burden, while trying to make ends meet in the near-zero, real-growth Maine economy.

Maine folks need lower energy bills, not higher energy bills.

 

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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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/

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