VERMONT SOLAR MARKET PATHWAYS REPORT BASED ON OPTIMISTIC ASSUMPTIONS

Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, VEIC, is involved in “energy solutions for an evolving world”. It helps various, mostly government entities, meet economic and environmental goals with sustainable solutions “designed for impact”. Major areas of interest are energy efficiency, building electrification, transportation electrification, and a clean and flexible grid.

 

SOLAR IN VERMONT

 

VEIC states: Vermont is on its way to becoming an advanced solar economy, one in which solar power provides at least 20% of total electricity use, by 2025.

 

The below image shows heavily subsidized solar became about 8.5% of 5600 GWh of electricity use, i.e., fed to user meters, in 2019. The graph was constructed based on outputs of the on-line solar systems under the Net-Metering program (mostly roof-top) and the Standard Offer program (mostly field-mounted systems), plus utility systems. It excludesout-of-state solar bought by VT utilities under power purchase agreements, PPAs.

 

NOTE: Via this URL you can, after clicking on Vermont Solar Market Pathways Update, scroll down a few pages, download a PDF of only Volume I of the Update. But Volumes, 2, 3 and 4 are not available.

 

It so happens, I found another source which had the four volumes. They contained the relevant information I needed to perform the analysis.

VEIC tried to cut me off from information. Nice try, but no cigar!

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

 

NOTE: The 8.5% of electricity use in 2019, in this article, based on data I was able to access (see table 4B), is identical to the about 8.5% in the 2020 Pathways report by VEIC. See below image and URL

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

 

NOTE: 

- It is amazing, after about 10 -15 years, there is no publicly available spreadsheet that shows the year-by-year output of each Standard Offer solar system, and an estimate of each Net-Metered solar system.

- That data has to be available, because Vermont utilities and VT-DPS provide it to ISO-NE, the NE grid operator.

- It is made available to the Vermont Energy Action Network, EAN, VEIC, etc., whenever they need to write one of their pro-RE reports.

- If a private Vermonter would ask for it, there would be no response.
- Such information, regarding publicly subsidized solar systems, should be in the PUBLIC DOMAIN, readily accessible, in easy-to-use Excel spreadsheet format. It should not be hidden in secret files.

UPDATED VEIC SOLAR PATHWAYS REPORT

 

In 2016, VEIC published a Solar Pathways report, at a cost of about $740,365, paid for by the US Department of Energy

https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1434651

 

In 2020, VEIC published an updated Solar Pathways report, at a cost of about $50,000, courtesy of private donors

The 2020 report informs current and future decisions regarding solar implementation.

 

VEIC claims Vermont could reach its goal of 20% electricity use from solar by 2025 (requiring about 1000 MW of solar capacity), if solar capacity would grow by about 19%/y from end 2019 until end 2025, 6 years.

- “informs” may not be correct, because of VEIC errors detailed below.

VEIC CLAIMS CUMULATIVE NET BENEFITS OF $8 BILLION DURING THE 2019 – 2050 PERIOD

 

This $8 billion savings claim is highly dubious for several reasons.

 

VEIC claims the Vermont capital costs and energy expenditures for continuing the business-as usual, BAU, scenario are about the same as for the Solar Development Pathways, SDP, scenario.

 

VEIC claims, the SDP scenario would create $8 billion in net benefits to Vermont during the 2019 – 2050 period, or 8/31 = $258 million/y, compared to the BAU scenario.

 

I doubt anyone can see that far into the future. For example, who would have thought fracking would yield such an abundance of low-cost, low-CO2, clean-burning natural gas to replace coal?

 

VEIC REPLACING LOW-COST STEADY ELECTRICITY WITH HIGH-COST TROUBLESOME ELECTRICITY

VEIC aims to replace low-cost, steady electricity, with wholesale prices of about 5 c/kWh, starting in 2009, courtesy of low-cost, low-CO2, domestic natural gas, and low-cost, near-zero-CO2 nuclear, with highly subsidized, high-cost, variable/intermittent, i.e., troublesome DUCK-curve electricity.

 

Vermont Net-Metered solar is charged to the rate base at about 21.8 c/kWh

Vermont Standard Offer solar is charged to the rate base at about 11.8 c/kWh, for recent, competitively bid systems, about 21.8 c/kWh for legacy systems.

See table 1 and URL

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

 

Such a large quantity of solar capacity, 1000 MW at end 2025, would have significant daily, midday DUCK curves (especially on sunny days), which would require:

 

1) Significant up and down ramping of outputs by traditional generators, mostly gas turbines, to offset the variability of solar (and of wind). The cost of that is not charged to solar system owners, to reinforce the fantasy solar is competitive.

 

2) Battery and/or liquid air storage systems, as proposed by the $1.2 billion FORTRESS VERMONT concept, to store excess, mid-day solar electricity during low demands, and discharge it during late afternoon/early evening during high demands. The cost of that is not charged to solar system owners, to reinforce the fantasy solar is competitive.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/liquid-air-energy-stora...

 

3) The $1.2 billion would be merely a down-payment during the 2020 – 2025 period, with much more to follow thereafter, as installed solar would increase from 1000 MW at end 2025, to 2250 MW at end 2050, i.e., huge DUCK curves, huge storage, huge $$$.

See URL and table 3

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fortress-vermont-a-mult...

 

VEIC claims, whereas SDP would have higher investments in energy efficiency, solar, and new electric end uses (air source heat pumps and electric vehicles), it would have lower costs for imported electricity and fossil fuels.

 

That likely would be a dubious claim regarding:  

1) Air source heat pumps, ASHPs, in energy-hog houses

2) EVs, if evaluated on a lifetime basis. See Note.

VEIC SCENARIO MODELLING STARTS OUT WITH UNREALISTIC OPTIMISM

 

1) VEIC Requires Annual Solar Capacity Growth at Least 50% Greater than at Present

 

The on-line solar capacity was 438.84 MW dc, at end 2019. It took at least 10 years to build.

The on-line solar capacity would become about 1000 MW dc, at end 2025, per VEIC scenario.

The growth would have to be about (1000 – 438.84)/6 = 93.53 MW dc/y. See table 9

 

However, the growth of the past 3 years has been 66.6 MW dc, and would likely not increase due to:

 

1) The recession from the Corona virus, and

2) Federal Investment Tax Credits decreasing.

 

Increasing taxes, fees and surcharges on ratepayers, taxpayers or adding to government debt likely is not an option. See tables 2 and 3

 

Table 2/ Federal ITC

2019

2020

2021

2022, etc.

%

%

%

%

Residential

30

26

22

0

Commercial

30

26

22

10

2) VEIC Requires Annual Capital Costs at Least 50% Greater than at Present

 

Capital costs would be about (1000 – 438.84) x $3 million/MW = $1.7 billion from end 2019 to end 2025, 6 years, or about $281 million/y, excluding:

 

1) Expensive battery storage (to reduce daily, mid-day DUCK curves, especially on sunny days)

2) Grid augmentations/expansions

3) Curtailment payments to solar owners.

 

This level of spending would be at least 50% greater than in each of the past 3 years, i.e., 2017, 2018, 2019. See table 3 

 

3) VEIC Overestimated Solar On-line Capacity and Capacity Factor in 2015

 

VEIC assumed a solar on-line capacity of 225 MW dc and a production of 281 GWh at end 2015

 

NOTE: VEIC may have included out-of-state solar bought by VT utilities under power purchase agreements, PPAs.

 

Capacity factor = 281000/(8766 x 225) = 0.1425, which appears excessive.

 

The ISO-NE pv forecast report shows 239.02 MW dc was installed, at end 2016. See URL

New installed solar was 88.96 MW dc in 2016.

Actual installed solar was about 239.02 – 88.96 = 150.08 MW dc, at end 2015, per ISO-NE, which obtains its information from VT-DPS. See URL and table 3

https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2016/09/2016_solar_f...

 

4) VEIC Overestimated Solar On-line Capacity and Capacity Factor in 2020

 

VEIC assumed a solar on-line capacity of 612 MW dc and a production of 770 GWh at end 2020

 

NOTE: VEIC may have included out-of-state solar bought by VT utilities under power purchase agreements, PPAs.

 

CF = 770000/(8766 x 612) = 0.1435, which appears excessive.

 

The ISO-NE pv forecast report shows 438.84 MW dc was installed at end 2019. See URL

VEIC would require an increase of about 612 – 438.84 = 173.16 MW dc, about 3 times greater than in 2019, to achieve 612 MW in 2020. Such an increase would be highly unlikely.

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

 

5) VEIC Overestimated Solar On-line Capacity and Capacity Factor in 2025

 

VEIC assumed a solar on-line capacity of 1000 MW dc and a production of 1255 GWh at end 2025

CF = 1255000/(8766 x 1000) = 0.1432, which appears excessive.

 

VEIC would require an increase of about 1000 – 612 = 388 MW dc, from end 2020 to end 2025, 5 years, or 77.6 MW dc/y, which would be about 15% greater than of the past 3 years; 2017, 2018, 2019, which is highly unlikely due to solar tax credits having expired in 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025.

 

VEIC CAPACITY FACTORS COMPARED WITH REAL-WORLD CAPACITY FACTORS

 

NE Benchmark Capacity Factor Based on Real-World Conditions

 

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.

 

This calculation will serve as a benchmark, because it is based in real-world conditions, as reported by ISO-NE

 

In 2019, the NE grid had about 1355.70 MW dc of “Market” solar capacity connected to the NE regional grids, which produced about 1644 GWh, at a CF of 1644/(8766 x 1355.7) = 0.1383

See URL

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

 

Go to spreadsheet “3.1 Forecast of PV Resources by Category and State” to find 1355.7 MW dc of “Market” solar capacity. See table 3

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

 

- The “Market” capacity consisted of more than 100 hundred, larger-scale, field-mounted, solar systems; likely facing south; at the ideal tilt angle; with no shading; average age about 3 years.

 

- The 1355.7 MW dc (connected nameplate capacity), 1644 GWh (monitored by ISO-NE to compensate solar system owners) and CF (calculated) are real-world numbers that reflect real-world conditions.

Vermont Three Major Categories of Solar

1) Vermont Standard Offer Capacity Factor and Production 

 

Click on the URl. Click on “Projects Built” to download spreadsheet with projects.

By subtracting 2020 projects, one obtains projects on line, at end 2019

By subtracting 2019 projects, one obtains projects on line, at end 2018, etc. See top of table 3

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

 

The kW dc values of the capacities were obtained from: kW ac/0.83 = kW dc, per ISO-NE
This VT-DPS report shows the production of Standard Offer solar at 66,099 MWh for 2016. See page 55 of URL

 

The CF for 2016 = 66,099 MWh/(8,766 h/y x 53,719 kW dc) = 0.1404, which includes aging and other factors.

The production for years 2017, 2018 and 2019 were calculated, based on the CF = 0.1404 of 2016.

 

NOTE: A Standard Offer summary graph, prepared by the VT-DPS, shows the capacities, kW, of various technologies, including SO solar capacity. A graph, but no numbers. I had to obtain the numbers by working backwards. See page 16 of URL

https://publicservice.vermont.gov/sites/dps/files/documents/2019%20...

 

NOTE: If that production had been readily available in Excel spreadsheet format on the VT-DPS website (Germany has much better RE data sites), I could have calculated the CFs for each year. However, it was not, so I had to use the CF for 2016.

https://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Legislative-Reports/Annual-2...

 

Table 3/ Standard Offer Solar

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

kW ac

kW ac

kW ac

kW ac

kW ac

Capacity, end of year, VEPP, Inc. URL

42487

46687

51067

53542

58797

Added during year

4200

4380

2475

5255

ac/dc conversion, per ISO-NE

0.83

0.83

0.83

0.83

0.83

kW dc

kW dc

kW dc

kW dc

kW dc

Capacity, end of year

51189

56249

61527

64508

70840

Average capacity during year

53719

58888

63017

67674

MWh

MWh

MWh

MWh

Production during year, see pg. 55 of URL

66099

72459

77540

83270

Capacity Factor, CF; includes aging, etc.

0.1404

0.1404

0.1404

0.1404

 

See page 55

https://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Legislative-Reports/Annual-2...

2) Vermont Net-Metered Capacity Factor and Production 

The on-line, end of year capacities, kW, for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, shown at the top of table 4, were obtained from the interactive graph of this URL. I was very lucky to find that information. See Appendix 5

https://vtdigger.org/2019/11/13/in-net-metering-talks-state-ideals-...

 

The net-metered CF was assumed at 0.1300, which is less than the 0.1404 of Standard-Offer systems, because:

 

1) Almost all rooftop systems do not face true south.

2) Almost all roof angles are not the optimum angle for maximum electricity production

3) It is likely some of the thousands of rooftop systems are out of service for various reasons

4) Many of the rooftop systems have some shading.

5) Almost all the rooftop systems have snow and ice on the panels that is not easily accessible.

 

With a CF = 0.1300, the production for 2016 would be 0.1300 x 8,766 h/y x 118917 kW dc = 135,717 MWh

The production for years 2017, 2018 and 2019 were calculated, based on the CF of 2016.

 

Table 4/Net-Metered

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

 

kW ac

kW ac

kW ac

kW ac

kW ac

Capacity, end of year, VT digger URL

77692

120004

162062

196492

229924

Added during year*

42312

42058

34430

33432

 

 

ac/dc conversion, per ISO-NE

0.83

0.83

0.83

0.83

0.83

 

kW dc

kW dc

kW dc

kW dc

kW dc

Capacity, end of year

93605

144583

195255

236737

277017

Weighted average capacity during year

119094

169919

215996

256877

 

MWh

MWh

MWh

MWh

Production during year, see pg. 55 of URL

135717

193637

246145

292732

Capacity Factor, CF; includes aging, etc.

 

0.1300

0.1300

0.1300

0.1300

https://vtdigger.org/2019/11/13/in-net-metering-talks-state-ideals-... 

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

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


3) Vermont Utility Solar Capacity Factor and Production 

Some of the solar systems are owned by Vermont utilities

Other systems are owned by private partners, who sell all their production to Vermont utilities under PPAs, at VT-PUC-approved rates; lately about 10 to 11 c/kWh.

The solar systems reduce the electricity utilities would have to buy from the grid.

Wholesale grid prices have averaged less than 5 c/kWh, starting in 2009.

 

Some of the solar systems are combined with battery systems.

Any electricity passing through those battery systems would have a loss of about 15 to 20%, on a high voltage-to-high voltage basis, which would reduce the effective output (and CF) of the solar systems.

The battery systems perform various functions that produce cash flows.

 

Utilities and private partners:

 

1) Receive generous federal and state investment tax credits

2) Write off almost their entire investment within about 5 years, as part of “accelerated depreciation”

3) Write off interest on borrowed money.

4) Have a rate of return on investment of about 9%

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

 

NOTE: The tax credits and write-offs reduce solar production costs by about 45%, which enables owners to sell at 10 to 11 c/kWh, which is still two times as high as buying from the grid at wholesale.

Without those measures, owners would have to sell their production at about 20 c/kWh.

That price would be even higher, if grid extension/augmentation, DUCK-curve management, and storage costs had not been shifted on to ratepayers, taxpayers, and adding to government debt. See URL.

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

 

NOTE: Vermont total use was about 5,600,000 MWh (as fed to user meters), of which solar was about 473.686/5600 = 8.5%, in 2019

See page 24 of URL and table 4B

https://www.velco.com/assets/documents/2018%20LRTP%20Final%20_asfil...

 

Table 4B summarizes the above three major categories of solar in Vermont.

Table 4B/ Vermont Total Solar

End 2018

End 2019

Average 2019

Average 2019

 

 End 2019

 

MW ac

MW ac

Average MW ac

Average MW dc

CF

MWh

Vermont Net-Metered, VTDigger URL

196.492

229.924

213.208

256.877

0.1300

292,732

Vermont Standard Offer, per VEPP, Inc.

53.542

58.797

56.170

67.674

0.1404

83,270

Vermont Utility, by subtraction

56.266

75.519

65.893

79.389

0.1404

97,684

Total, per ISO-NE pv solar forecast

306.300

364.240

335.270

403.940

 

473,686

ISO-NE DATA FOR VERMONT SOLAR CAPACITY AND PRODUCTION

 

The 2020 ISO-NE pv solar forecast report shows ISO-NE estimated Vermont production at 408,000 MWh in 2019.

The 408,000 MWh was grossed up by 6%, due to reduced transmission and distribution losses.

The net production would be 384,906 MWh, significantly less than the 473,686 MWh, in table 4B

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

NOTE: The data I needed to write this article does exist, but not in any organized manner, so it would be easily accessible to the Public, in useful form, for analysis.

However, the data does exist in the files of some insider people/entities, mostly in government, such as VEPP, Inc., VT-DPS, VT-PUC, EAN, VEIC, Efficiency Vermont, etc.

Occasionally some data tidbits appear in various articles, which usually have a somewhat "restricted distribution", i.e., primarily the Legislature, government departments, various "stakeholders", etc.

Of course, one has to be an experienced energy systems analyst to recognize the value of these tidbits to get some idea what is going on. Requests for additional pertinent information usually elicit no response.

I looked through many internet-published articles to finally find the necessary information. It was pure luck to find the very rare interactive graph in the VTDigger article, as otherwise it would have been even more difficult to calculate the CF of Net-Metered solar. At first, I did not realize the graph was interactive. It was not obvious by just looking at it!

 

VEIC ASSUMED TOO HIGH CAPACITY FACTORS 

  

VEIC assumed a CF of 0.1435 for 2010 and 0.1432 for 2025 and likely similar values for 2030, 2040 and 2050, which would make the VEIC modelling much more optimistic than in reality. See table 5, 5A, and URLs.

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

 

It is abundantly clear, VEIC consistently overestimated its modelling CFs, compared with the above benchmark CFs.

 

The high CFs might be justified, if more-expensive, single- and double-axis tracking systems (sun-following systems) were a significant percentage of the total solar MW. However, Vermont has only a few of such systems.

 

NOTE:

The ISO-NE capacity values are MW ac

MW dc = MW ac/0.83, per ISO-NE

The ISO-NE production estimates are grossed-up by 6%, because of less transmission and distribution losses.

The VEIC capacity values are MW dc

Table 5/VEIC pathways

2015

2020

2025

2050

PV solar capacity*

MW dc

MW dc

MW dc

MW dc

Residential, N.M.

54

117

180

420

Commercial

36

78

120

280

Parking Canopy

8

26

45

100

Community, N.M.

43

149

255

550

Utility-scale

84

242

400

900

Total capacity, MW dc

225

612

1000

2250

.

PV solar production*

GWh

GWh

GWh

GWh

Residential, N.M.

67

145

222

519

Commercial

44

96

147

343

Parking Canopy

9

32

54

120

Community, N.M.

51

179

306

660

Utility-scale

110

318

526

1183

Total production

281

770

1255

2825

CF

0.1425

0.1435

0.1432

0.1432

* Vermont Solar Market Pathways / Volume 4: Methods and Detail Tables, Page 22 and 23

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 6:

 

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 3 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 3 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 6/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 to 5

Gas, combined cycle, new

5 to 6

Gas, open cycle, peaking, existing

9 to 10

Gas, open cycle, peaking, new

18 to 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

* Competitively bid projects lowered prices paid to owners.

APPENDIX 3

Highly Sealed, Highly Insulated House

In 2008, Transformations Inc., Townsend, MA, was chosen among six builders to participate in the state’s investor-owned utilities Zero Energy Challenge, a competition to encourage builders to plan and develop a home with a HERS Index below 35 before December 2009.

 

Carter Scott, President of Transformations, Inc. brought together a team of design and energy experts to not only meet the challenge, but to figure out how to get all the way to zero, while still building an affordable, new house. The team designed a three-bedroom 1,232-sq ft house, called the “Needham," which has a “- 4” HERS rating, i.e., the house produces more energy than it is using. Sales price: $195,200 in 2009

https://www.buildingscience.com/sites/default/files/2011-03-08%20NE...

 

Major Design Features:

 

Roof (R75): 5 inches of high-density polyurethane foam, HDF, and 13 inches of high-density cellulose all along the slope of the second-floor roof rafters; 2 x 12s and a 2 x 4s held off by 3 inches for a thermal break separation 
Walls (R49): 2 x 4 outside wall; added a second 2 x 4 wall for a total depth of 12 inches; filled 3 inches with HDF and 9 inches with cellulose 
Basement Ceiling: 3 inches of HDF and a layer of R-30 fiberglass batts 
Windows: Paradigm triple-pane model with Low-E and krypton gas 
Heating/Cooling: Two Mitsubishi Mr. Slim mini-split, ductless, ASHPs

Ventilation: Lifebreath 155 ECM Energy Recovery Ventilator 

Leakage: About 175 cfm at 50 pascal, per blower door test (or 284 cfm for a 2000 sq ft house. See table 8)
Solar: Evergreen Solar’s 30 Spruce Line 190-watt PV panels to create a 6.4-kW system;

Hot Water: SunDrum Solar’s DHW heating system

Heat Loss: About 10,500 Btu/h, at 70F indoor, 6F outdoor (or 2000/1232 x 75 delta T/64 delta T x 10500 = 19,975 Btu/h for a 2000 sq ft house, at 65F indoor and -10F outdoor, in Vermont)

 

APPENDIX 4

Weatherizing Housing Units Reduces Minimal CO2 at High Cost

 

In 2017, about 2012 housing units were weatherized, for about $20 million, about $10,000/unit.

CO2 reduction about 6 million lb/y, or 2716 Mt/y.

 

Assuming the older houses would last another 30 years, the CO2 reduction cost would be $19.75 million/(2716 Mt/y x 30y) = $242/Mt, which is high. See URL, page 30

https://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Legislative-Reports/Annual-2...

  

Because these units had an average fuel use reduction of 23%, does not mean they are out of energy-hog territory, i.e., they likely would still not be sufficiently energy-efficient for 100% space heating with ASHPs.

 

The rate of weatherizing is far too slow, and not "deep" enough, for the CEP 63% goal of space heating of all buildings using only ASHPs. See table 3

 

A new approach, hopefully not involving government and Efficiency Vermont, is needed.

 

1) Entire neighborhoods, with old houses, would need to be leveled for replacement with modern Passivhaus buildings.

2) A new statewide, enforced, building code is required. See URL.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-savings-of-air-sou...

 

Table 7/Weatherized housing units

2012

Average fuel use reduction, %

23

Cost, subsidies, $

11,083,404

Cost, owners, $

8,666,786

Total cost, $

19,750,190

Cost/unit, $

9816

.

CO2 reduction, lb

5,988,367

CO2 reduction, Mt/y

2716

CO2 reduction, $/Mt, based on 30-y life

242

APPENDIX 5

Table 8 shows Vermont net-metered capacity, kW ac, from 1999 to 2019.

Source: VT-DPS.

 

Table 8/Vermont Solar

Capacity

Addition

Growth

Year/Net-Metered

kW, end of year

kW, added during year

% y-y

1999

3

2000

7

3.5

101.755

2001

21

14.5

210.934

2002

50

28.3

131.751

2003

81

31.1

62.555

2004

122

41.7

51.567

2005

185

62.1

50.722

2006

301

116.5

63.118

2007

381

79.8

26.522

2008

931

550.4

144.532

2009

2133

1201.4

129.010

2010

5121

2988.3

140.119

2011

8897

3776.0

73.736

2012

13711

4814.0

54.108

2013

25365

11654.0

84.997

2014

48627

23262.0

91.709

2015

77692

29065.0

59.771

2016

120004

42312.0

54.461

2017

162062

42058.0

35.047

2018

196492

34430.0

21.245

2019

229924

33432.0

17.014

APPENDIX 6

GRAPH OF HISTORICAL SOLAR PV GROWTH AND ONE-YEAR STRAIGHT LINE PROJECTION

Includes: Net-Metered + Standard Offer + other in-state generated solar

Does not include solar purchased from out-of-state sources

Source: VT-DPS

https://www.velco.com/assets/documents/2018%20LRTP%20Final%20_asfil...

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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/

 

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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