Offshore Wind Tripped Up by the Trump Administration

Guest ROTFLMFAO by David Middleton

From the too fracking funny files…

ENERGY TRANSITIONS
Trump admin throws wrench into offshore wind plans
Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter Climatewire: Monday, August 12, 2019

The Trump administration is ordering a sweeping environmental review of the burgeoning offshore wind industry, a move that threatens to derail the nation’s first major project and raises a host of questions for future developments.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a division of the Interior Department, is ordering a study of the cumulative impact of a string of projects along the East Coast. The review comes in response to concerns from fishermen about the impact of offshore wind development on East Coast fisheries.

[…]

The analysis throws Vineyard Wind’s future into doubt. The developer, a partnership of Avangrid Inc. and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, warned it would be difficult to proceed if BOEM delayed its environmental analysis beyond the summer. But Vineyard Wind officials sought to strike an upbeat tone after BOEM’s supplemental EIS was announced Friday.

They called the decision “a surprise and disappointment” but insisted the project “remains viable and continues to move forward” (E&E News PM, Aug. 9).

Vineyard Wind’s problems are several, according to industry analysts and those familiar with the project (Climatewire, Aug. 7). First and foremost is the availability of the investment tax credit, a federal subsidy available to wind projects. The project had anticipated taking a 24% tax credit on $2.8 billion in capital costs. That enabled the company to sign a contract with three Massachusetts utilities at a price far lower than what analysts had initially expected.

But the tax credit expires at the end of the year. While the project could still qualify for an exemption because of the permitting challenges it has faced, the logistics associated with building America’s first major offshore project makes that more complicated.

[…]

E&E News

Vineyard Wind, welcome to our world…

If you can’t handle permitting challenges and you’re dependent on subsidies, you have no business trying to build things in the ocean.

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104 thoughts on “Offshore Wind Tripped Up by the Trump Administration

        • Bryan A is correct. Using wind to do work is not 21st century technology as many alarmists claim.

          • First came steam power, then diesel power and finally electricity to replace windmills used for pumping, which is what all the pretty windmills in the Netherlands were for.

          • It is a scientific and technological advance, to build 1000, 525′ tower s in the ocean. It takes a vivid imagination and advanced engineering to make a wind turbine big.

            Over 20 years of modern research and development before they had the epiphany and courage to introduce cutting edge technology.

            BIG. They thought of it, never before considered. How did the think of it.

            Small dont work, big. Think of just the computer power needed to make that giant leap.

          • No matter how big you make it they are still a piss poor idea. A big turd is just as incapable of polishing as a small one.

        • Bryan is right. Although the records are poor the scanty evidence seems to suggest that the first wind mills were built in Europe sometime between 500 and 800 AD.

      • Carbon Bigfoot: I don’t know, but I’ve seen restored/maintained wind mills in the Netherlands using wooden structure and wooden gears, many of them using wooden pegs for meshing , often for changing direction as well as ratios.

          • The BIG windmill breakthrough came as the result of the empirical discovery that the wind velocity increases as a function of the seventh power of the windmill height.

      • It’s much older. But it was first applied on a large and coordinated scale by the Dutch in the 17th century when they used tens of windmills in unison to drain a number of inland lakes in what was then and is now the province of North Holland.

      • It 1085 or 1086 it is recorded in the doomsday book a windmill owner had his taxes reduced as wind was unreliable and could not be trusted like a water wheel. That much is on record.

  1. My Canadian Province of Ontario has had a catastrophic experience with Wind generation. A 15 year love affair with a Liberal ( progressive ) Government 2003-2018 soured very quickly when the extravagant Wind contracts, and closure of coal fired plants sent electricity prices soaring. The Provincial Government responded with taxpayer funded rebates which sent the Provincial Debt over $300 Billion ($CAN), making us the most indebted sub-national government in the world ( Yes, worse than California). So damaged were we that Ontario voters wiped out the Liberal Party a 14 months ago leaving only seven members in the Legislature. Run America, run from the windmills.

    • Correction, made us the most indebted “per-capita” sub-national government in the world. (Still worse than California)

    • These things are not economical on land. They are marginally maintained on land. They are are worse than losers on water. No one ever considers the cost of maintenance and the infrastructure required for these things on water.

      • You are correct about the additional costs being on water.

        It is even worse being on SALTWATER.

        Oil field steel equipment that is in contact with oil – lasts for the entire life of the well.

        Oil field steel equipment that is in contact with saltwater – replace frequently.

        • 20 years in the Navy as an Electronic Technician. Even with humidity controlled environment inside the ship any portion of the electronic equipment that will corrode has begun to show corrosion within a month or so.

        • Many structures have sacrificial anodes installed to reduce the effect, but yes, it is a losing battle.

          • Anodes might help some on the subsurface infrastructure, but they will do no good on the topside corrosion from humidity + salt.

      • No, maintenance cost was considered then buried in a deep hole so the general public wouldn’t catch wind of the cost until it was to late. They are depending on the ignorance of the general population to not ask questions. Of course anyone that’s spent time maintaining equipment in and around salt water knows the truth. Six years as Machinist Mate in the USN taught me more than just a little about what happens to everything that hangs around the ocean.

    • But has the ‘conservative’ government done anything to undo the economic and social agenda of the leftist government, or is it just more of the cowardice and collaboration we have come to expect from almost all ‘conservative’ governments?

      • The problem is the voters often want the conservatives to fulfill the promises of the liberals, not understanding that they failed mostly because their promises are impossible dreams.

        • The people demanding “renewable” power (the gentry, the press, the bureaucracy) should be given their demands. 100% renewable power, no backups. Not gas-fired, not coal, not hydro, not nuclear. When the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, they do without. They can go back to quill pens and parchment.

          • I have advocated this plan for years, all the people who clamor for an end to “fossil fuels” should be listed and permanently banned from use of anything derived from “fossil fuels”. No electric, no running water, no pharmaceuticals, no foods out of season, travel restricted to foot only. Put them on reservations and let them glory in their return to Paleolithic Paradise.

          • If we go this route make sure that the first people changed to 100% renewable are the government offices, outside of the immediate offices of the president..

    • In my country, the government is touting electric cars, emphasizing that New Zealand has a surplus of hydro and other natural generation.

      However they seem to forget that the country’s biggest single generation plant is a coal plant that supplies more than 30% of the total generation.

      So our government’s propaganda is simply causing more coal powered generation and no more hydro in the pipeline.
      Yup we voted in a leftist party last election which has effectively a policy that anything goes so long as it is well intentioned. Never mind that the populace accept that this policy wont increase carbon emissions which it of course will.

      Wow!

      https://www.electricvehicles.govt.nz/
      https://www.christchurchnz.com/media/newsroom/new-zealands-first-fully-battery-powered-electric-car-sharing-scheme/

      Cheers

      Roger

        • So sad. Two of my Canadian great uncles were killed in action in the Great War. One at Hill 60 Ypres, and the other six months after at Mouquet Farm, Somme. Two places the Aussies, and New Zealanders should know well. Our Commonwealth Common Law liberties are disappearing one by one.

    • Yes. And those Ontario Liberals canceled all future planned wind farms, before being sent to oblivion in the last election. What are the odds they will try to build wind farms again, once the electorate forgets what a disaster they were for so long.
      Come to think about it, I just answered my own question. 🙁

  2. Good news post! This should result in less windmills that the taxpayers will eventually be on the hook for when they all stop working and there are no funds to fix and remove the the eyesores.

  3. Thank You President Trump. The time to end the solar wind boondoggle is long past due. Whatever it takes to run out the clock on this offshore stupidity will be one of the greatest achievements of your first term.

  4. “If you can’t handle permitting challenges and you’re dependent on subsidies, you have no business trying to build things in the ocean.”

    This one sentence says it all. Perfect!

  5. Offshore windmills are artificial reefs just as oil platforms are.
    Artificial reefs are built to enhance fisheries.
    Someone needs to explain how artificial reefs with a windmill attached are going to negatively effect the fishery.

    • Ever tried to cast a fishing line with a 100m high propellor blade turning at 100mph behind you?
      Fly fishing is definitely out, maybe handlining with cement building blocks as weights for a bait rig would work.

      • This! Has anyone bothered to do an analysis of the underwater vibrations, if any, of these rapidly rotating blades?

        Every fisherman knows that accidentally slapping an oar in the water can scare off fish.

        Now, that’s a freshwater thing, especially in rivers or lakes.

        But a continual vibration from the pylons supporting big turbines might be another kettle of…fish.

        Anyone know?

    • Vibration induced sound waves may be a serious problem for fishery that has been identified by numerous scientists but it appears funding for studies aren’t forth coming. Who would have guessed.

    • After the windfarms offshore stop working, ie. shortly after they are installed an artificial reef is a good idea. Just make the developers post a bond so they can be dropped into the water w/o the taxpayers picking up the tab.

      • To create a new artificial reef on top of the existing one? Doesn’t the creation of an artificial reef require permits?

    • Please provide links to studies showing NO NEGATIVE EFFECTS from them. That is what the EIS are for. The Trump administration is just making them follow the rules in place. This was not happening under the previous administration and current bureaucrats.

    • Yeah, its common lefty knowledge that fishermen and farmers are stupid and need socioligical scientific guidance to do things right. But hey, I go along with the fishermen about the sea and the farmers about the land, but then I admit I never studied social science.

    • AdeleDad :Offshore windmills are artificial reefs just as oil platforms are.
      Artificial reefs are built to enhance fisheries.
      Someone needs to explain how artificial reefs with a windmill attached are going to negatively effect the fishery.

      By law, the environmental impact studies have to be done to show that there are no excessive negative effects, before the building starts. Like it or not, the absence of negative effects can not simply be assumed.

      It’s tough being green, eh?

  6. If you can’t handle permitting challenges and you’re dependent on subsidies, you have no business trying to build things in the ocean.

    My understanding is that the project died shortly after it’s initial proposal when the Kennedy Clan (yes, those Kennedys) came out in opposition. After that, the rest is just decade(s) long theater. Of course, “permitting challenges” were the preferred device so as not to make it too obvious that the fix was it.
    After all, we could not little matchsticks on the horizon spoiling the view of our Betters on the island of Nantucket. That would not do, perish the thought.

    After all paying the price for saving the world is for the little people, not us.

  7. Many decades ago I recall an environmental objection to a middle east coast, maybe NC or Va, plan for an offshore platform, can’t remember details. I do remember that the problem was that the lights were going to interfere with bird migration. Well, they do land on them in the Gulf, probably appreciate the stopover.

  8. I’m split on this one.

    The first thing that comes to mind is this is the tact that Obama used to put in his rules: Delay and throw everything in bureaucratic and judicial turmoil. So since it is giving the liberal/green side a taste of their own medicine, I’m for the delay.

    The second is Martha’s Vineyard along with the Hamptons is the summer hideaway of the NY/MA/CN rich and famous (at least those that haven’t become tax refugees) and they deserve to walk outside their doors and stare at the awesome sight of and listen to hundreds of thump/thumping windmills killing birds right and left. And when everything is tied into the wind farm and the wind dies, listen to all the in-home generators fire up burning all that propane. So in this case I’m against the delay.

    Decisions, decisions.

  9. Dirty politics swirls around wind farms, as commonly as the wind itself.
    In Osage County, Oklahoma, all mineral rights are owned by the Osage Nation. When a large wind power facility was being built in the county, the wind company mined local limestone for the concrete tower bases and for the gravel roads.
    When the wind power company failed to pay for the stone, the Osages sued, of course. The judge ruled that since the company just put the stone back into the ground from whence it came, the Osages were owed nothing.

    The Osage people are generous with their limestone and allow any residents to gather all the stone they want for home building and personal use. However, any stone mined for commercial purpose, must be paid for. In light of the fact that the power company gave money here and there for town “beautification” projects, etc. and promised local schools increased ad valorem tax benefits (then worked the system to remain tax free,) the judge’s decision is highly suspect.

    • Impossible, there has to be much more to the story. Not even an Obama appointed judge would dare rule that using rock for roads and tower bases isn’t a commercial taking of assets.

  10. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a division of the Interior Department, is ordering a study of the cumulative impact of a string of projects along the East Coast. The review comes in response to concerns from fishermen about the impact of offshore wind development on East Coast fisheries.

    The alarmists are willing to ignore any and all environmental impacts of windmills an solar panels. On the other hand, just try to build a pipeline …

    It’s nice to see the greenies hoist with their own petard.

    • The ocean fishery along the east coast of the US is very valuable, both to the eaters and the fishers. It already has been heavily disrupted by other more direct environmental effects such as surface run off and pollution from oil leakage, and excess fertilizers.

      Another pollutant- disruption of the air and water circulation by a planned thousands of windmills would devastate a lot of productive people. Not to mention gourmet cooks and gourmet eaters.

  11. The 84-turbine ocean junk project would be “capable of producing 800 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply 3% of New England’s annual energy needs.”
    Key words: “capable” and “3%”.

  12. So, without stealing 2 billion dollars from tax payers these charlatans can’t build their monorail? Homer will be so disappointed.

    • I am confused by your number “2 billion”. The tax credit is 24% of 2.8 billion.

      I did run some numbers.

      If the 3% potential is $2.8 bn then the capacity minimum to go “renewable” is roughly $95 bn. Then the capacity factor has to be considered. Suppose it is 40%. Then 95/0.4= 237 bn. For backup, one needs (at a lower installed cost per MW) at least 60% let’s add 40% which comes to $333 bn. It might be closer to 500 but bear with me.

      What else can you get for $333 billion in terms of generating capacity? You could buy about 42 GW worth of nuclear power, 133 GW of coal power and a bit more for natural gas. Apparently the need is only 26 GW if 3% is 800 MW.

      The tax credit of 24% of “enough wind” is sufficient to replace 86% of the generation fleet needed to power the whole state (assuming no credits for the backup systems).

      Seems expensive.

      • Add it all up, this scam has been stealing tax dollars for quite some time, 2 billion is a very conservative estimate. Leftist grifters are very adept at hiding their crimes and shading the numbers we tax payers can access.

      • Crispin in Waterloo, Astounding! Seems expensive? Yes, I’d say so. Too bad our crooked politicians are cowardly public service commissioners don’t provide some leadership for willfully uninformed voters ..away from this Trash. Hooray for Trump.

  13. Trump needs to do the right thing and ask for a full, public review of the Endangerment Clause. And then rip it to shreds, preferably while the U.N. is in session.

  14. The GreenSlime is in desperation mode now. Hence the propaganda campaign at volume 11. Their entire game plan for fat ROIs depends on tax credits, tax credits they can’t get if projects get delayed and the ITC-PTC schemes expire.

    It’s all connected and coordinated. More than people know.

  15. It’s a good develop, logically, but watch what happens when lack of power from the idiotic closure of ff power plants hits New England in the dead of winter. It will be Trump’s fault for not allowing the structure of these wind turbines. It will not matter that other, powerful people objected to them. It will never be noted that the power generated from these turbines would not have prevented the outages. It will be Trump’s fault, period.

    Considering it was a relatively ‘local’ project in blue state areas, I think it may have been worth the taxpayers’ money to build these monstrosities, let them suffer power outages and enormously expensive electric bills, and have no one to blame but themselves and their leftist policies.

  16. Capitalism at risk from best alternitive with natural and no pollution & superior wind energy thats already downplayed 47% with false betz limits let alone the magneticaly controlled frictionless bearings being held back are capable of infinite values.
    That ends the oil era anyway . .Einestines learning curve fact

  17. Research from the UK shows that offshore windfarms act as refuges for marine life and fish nurseries… seals off East Anglia seek them out as feeding areas. They have no impact on commercial fishing.

    There are tens of GW of wind turbines off the UK, Netherlands, Danish and German coasts and they have no impact on fishing whatever.

    Have any of the posters above any idea at all about offshore wind?

    • Yes Griff , a lot of posters know about offshore wind .
      It is ridiculously expensive & very inefficient .
      The latest one to come online in the UK , Hornsea 1 , is being paid £158.75 per MWh, nearly 4 times the market price , & will continue to get that massive subsidy for 15 years , which is about its total life factor .

      As well as the expense , Hornsea is responsible for the large blackout across a lot of the country last week .
      Several people have screen captures of the grid details at the time which show the sequence of events . The authorities are trying to cover this up at the moment , but we will have to wait & see if the truth comes out that it was wind power which caused the problem .

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/windpower/12138194/Worlds-biggest-offshore-wind-farm-to-add-4.2-billion-to-energy-bills.html
      Newspaper article about Hornsea from a few years ago when the media where allowed to still tell the truth about unreliable energy .

      • Not that the owners of Hornsea are anyway bothered by their role in the blackout:
        From the Telegraph yesterday:
        -“The wind farm which contributed to a massive blackout was awarded nearly £100,000 in compensation after being ordered to reduce its output the day immediately after the power cut, the Telegraph can reveal.
        Nearly one million homes and businesses were left without electricity last Friday when Hornsea Wind Farm and Little Barford gas-fired station went off grid within minutes of each other.
        After getting back online, National Grid ordered Hornsea to reduce the electricity it supplied the network on Saturday night and Sunday morning entitling its owners, Orsted, to compensation.”-

        Further extension to Hornsea will double its nameplate capacity – Joy (but not for us miserable consumers)

  18. If, according to snikdad (above), the project would have 84 turbines, it may be difficult for fishing boats to navigate between all of them on their way out to sea or back to port. It would also spoil the view for all the rich and famous who hang out at Martha’s Vineyard every summer, even though most of them are liberals on other issues.

  19. Normalizing the comparative value between technologies is a welcome change, which will help guide development while minimizing anthropogenic divergence.

  20. The first wind turbine fire offshore needs to be treated exactly the same as the Deepwater Horizon accident, including the shutdown of all other offshore turbines out of the abundance of (Obama) caution.

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