There they go with the "aging transmission lines" again. Why do they never figure the cost of new transmission lines (and a lot of other things) into the costs typically cited?

New transmission infrastructure needed for offshore wind

Aging coastal grid must be upgraded for industry’s expansion

EARLIER THIS MONTH, Attorney General Maura Healey posed a fundamental question to the Department of Public Utilities. Now that Massachusetts has proclaimed a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, how do we get there? Implicit in Healey’s question is our recognition that the entire world must do this together. If we don’t, Boston and all the other great coastal cities will soon find themselves underwater.

In the face of global catastrophe, we see a glimmer of hope. Within the past two years, the US offshore wind energy industry has grown from 1,600 megawatts of commitments in Massachusetts alone to just under 30,000 megawatts of state commitments from Maine to Virginia. That’s enough electricity to power New England.

To think about 2050 for real is to think big – 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind is a good start, but we need 300,000 megawatts in order to transition our East Coast energy system to renewables. An industry of 300,000 megawatts would mean half a million new jobs, a chance to put social justice front and center on our coastlines, and over a trillion dollars of private investment in our energy infrastructure.

The full propaganda piece can be read at the following weblink:

https://commonwealthmagazine.org/opinion/new-transmission-infrastru...

Note

Author Eric Hines directs the offshore wind energy graduate program at Tufts University, where he is the Kentaro Tsutsumi professor of the practice in structural engineering.

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Comment by Willem Post on June 15, 2020 at 5:12pm

Comments on Below Wind and Solar Cost Table

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

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 1

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-powe...

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...

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-b...

 

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...

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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