Assessing Virginia’s Hidden Wind and Solar Costs

Governor Youngkin and Virginia must address ecological and human costs of ‘green’ energy

Paul Driessen

Among Governor Glenn Youngkin’s first actions was Executive Order #9 initiating Virginia’s withdrawal from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the Northeastern US “carbon market” that sets and enforces emission limits for coal and gas power plants. RGGI also lets utilities buy “carbon credits” when emissions exceed those limits, and pass costs on to families, businesses, hospitals and schools.

Special interests will contest withdrawal, but the EO sets the proper tone for reforming Virginia’s energy system. Meanwhile, though, the 2020 “Virginia Clean Economy Act” still requires that utility companies close all fossil fuel generating plants – and replace them with wind and solar power by 2045.

The VCEA also stipulates that “not less than 5,200 megawatts” (rated capacity) of that “clean, renewable” power must come from offshore wind. That translates into 370 14-MW turbines, 430 12-MW turbines or 865 6-MW turbines off the Virginia coast. Construction of the first 180 has already hit cost overruns and could reach $10 billion.

The offshore turbines will supposedly power 660,000 homes. But that will happen only when winds are blowing at speeds required for full rated capacity, perhaps 40-45% of the year, sporadically and unpredictably. When winds do not cooperate, Virginia will need backup power.

So the VCEA says utilities must “build or acquire” 3,100 “megawatts” (megawatt-hours?) of “energy storage.” This likely means battery modules. If Tesla 85-kilowatt-hour modules are used, some 37,000 would be needed – to provide several hours or days of electricity requirements, depending on how widespread a blackout might be following a hurricane or other storm, or simply amid inadequate wind.

Virginia’s carbon-free energy plan doesn’t contemplate new hydroelectric or nuclear power. It mostly means thousands of onshore and offshore wind turbines and millions of solar panels, covering 10-25 times the area of Washington, DC – depending on the types of turbines and mix of wind and solar power. Hundreds of miles of new transmission lines will bring this far-flung electricity to Virginia urban centers.

Threats to raptors and other birds, bats, whales, dolphins and other wildlife are significant. But the act “declares” that all these installations are “in the public interest,” because they will help “combat climate change.” That suggests that environmental reviews could be fast-tracked and cursory.

That cannot be permitted. Indeed, the realities of wind, solar and battery power demand that any assessment of their supposed “clean, renewable and sustainable” virtues be globalin its scope. Land use, pollution and human rights issues surrounding these highly touted energy sources affect people, habitats and wildlife all over Virginia, the USA and the world, in significant, disparate and disproportionate ways.

Wind and sunshine certainly are clean, renewable and sustainable. However, harnessing them to meet society’s huge and growing energy needs is not.

Wind, solar and battery facilities can be deemed clean, renewable and sustainable in Virginia, if land use, scenic, wildlife, infrasound, light flicker and other impacts are ignored. However, they require greatly increased mining, fossil fuel use, emissions and environmental impacts in China and other countries that provide most of the raw materials and manufacturing for these technologies.

A recent International Energy Agency report says onshore wind turbines require nine times more raw materials per megawatt than combined-cycle gas generating plants. Offshore turbines require 14 times more materials. Solar panels and backup battery modules also require prodigious amounts.

Virginia’s 5,200 MW of offshore wind alone will require nearly 20,000 tons of copper. At an average of 0.44% copper in ore deposits worldwide, the copper alone would require mining and processing 4.5 million tons of ore, after removing some 7 million tons of overburden to reach the ore bodies.

A single 3-MW onshore turbine foundation needs 600 cubic yards (1,500 tons) of concrete, plus rebar.

These technologies also require vast amounts of steel, aluminum, lithium, cobalt, nickel, rare earth metals, plastics, fiberglass and other materials – all of which involve extensive drilling, mining, processing, manufacturing and shipping. Because the United States increasingly restricts or prohibits such activities, or regulates them into unprofitability, most of that work is now done in China or by Chinese companies in other countries – using fossil fuels, and under pollution control, mined-land reclamation, workplace safety, and child and slave labor standards far below what US laws permit.

Coal and gas-fired generating units typically operate at nearly full nameplate capacity for 40 years or more; nuclear power plants for decades longer. Onshore wind turbines, solar panels and battery modules may have 15 to 20-year life spans; offshore wind turbines far less than that, because of salt corrosion. Their efficiency, electricity output and already-low reliability also decline from Day One.

Virginians need to know: How much electricity will these VCEA-mandated facilities actually generate every day, week and year? Who gets to decide where they go? What are their expected life spans, especially for offshore turbines? How many could be destroyed in a hurricane, tornado or ice storm? How long will it take to repair or replace them? Where will electricity come from in the meantime?

Since most of their systems and components cannot be recycled, where will the obsolescent or ruined turbines, turbine blades, solar panels, batteries, power lines and concrete foundations be disposed of? How much will the repair, replacement, removal and landfilling cost? Who will pay?

How will wildlife habitats, raptors, bats, and other rare and endangered species be protected as these industrial-scale installations proliferate? What fines and penalties will be assessed for violations?

How many tons of metals, minerals and other materials will be required to build all these “clean economy” facilities? How many tons of ore will have to be mined? How many tons of overburden removed? How much coal, oil, diesel and natural gas fuel will be involved? How much land?

Will Virginia actively campaign to have more US lands opened to exploration, mining and drilling for these materials, so that Virginia and the United States are not 90-100% dependent on China, Russia and other often less-than-friendly foreign sources for these essential materials and technologies?

How many African, Asian, Uighur and Latin American children and parents will work in the mines, processing plants and factories that provide these “clean, green” technologies? How will Virginia ensure workplace health and safety, fair living wages and human rights for them?

The VCEA was promoted as a solution to “dangerous manmade climate change.” In evaluating the global costs and benefits of energy programs initiated under the act, how many tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will be emitted by all these overseas operations?

Under this law, Virginia will shut down some 6,000 megawatts of coal-based electricity generation. But China already had 900,000 MW of coal-fired power plants, put another 380,000 MW into operation in 2020, and is financing or building hundreds of coal and gas power plants in Asia and Africa.

China alone will soon have 200 times more coal-fired generation than Virginia will eliminate – plus all the fossil fuel units it is building in other countries. Chinese units will improve people’s living standards – and build “clean, renewable” energy equipment for export.

What specific global greenhouse gas emission, land preservation, wildlife, climate change and extreme weather benefits will the VCEA actually generate (assuming CO2 actually drives climate and weather)?

A Youngkin-appointed commission could study all these matters. Its findings could help determine whether the Virginia Clean Economy Act can possibly deliver on its promised benefits; whether the global damages actually exceed any Virginia, US or global benefits; and whether the VCEA should be modified, or repealed outright.

The time to act is now – before this wind, solar and battery “transformation” is any further along.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, environmental, climate and human rights issues.

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Tom Halla
January 29, 2022 2:09 pm

A brief explanation of why the Virginia Clean Economy Act should be repealed forthwith.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 29, 2022 4:36 pm

“The VCEA says utilities must “build or acquire” 3,100 “megawatts” (megawatt-hours?) of “energy storage.”
There is clearly a confusion regarding “megawatts”. I propose that the “megawatt” is inherently racist, and we should measure energy storage in miles instead.

Kevin McNeill
January 29, 2022 2:09 pm

What is the total cost of a single 3mw onshore wind turbine? Inquiring minds are trying to find an answer

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Kevin McNeill
January 29, 2022 2:29 pm

Did the calcs over at Judith’s a few years ago in post ‘True Cost of Wind’. The correct LCOE of onshore wind (3MW being present typical largest possible) is $146/MWh. By comparison, CCGT is $58.
EIA 2021 says offshore wind is about 7x onshore. VCEA has a BIG problem.

Joe B
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 29, 2022 6:52 pm

Mr. Istvan,
The Lazards LCOE can be an informative source on these matters as long as one closely looks at the footnotes and the parameters as found in the last pages.
(The numbers are strongly skewed to advantage Renewables).

Real World implementation of CCGTs is FAR superior to virtually ANY currently competing sources when one incorporates the Utilization Factor.
Specifically, the ultra fast ramp time for CCGTs enables rapid capture of the high revenue, high demand windows for electricity consumption during the morning and evening ‘rush hours”.
During low priced/low demand overnight/mid afternoon periods, CCGTs simply idle in low overhead mode.
(Infuriatingly, overnight and mid afternoons are the highest output times for wind and solar, respectively).

The scale of this entire Renewable Scam is simply unfathomable.

Graeme#4
Reply to  Joe B
January 29, 2022 7:13 pm

I believe that the Lazard data is calculated on a 30-year lifespan, which is supposed to be the lifespan of both wind and solar, so they don’t allow for the extra replacement costs. Also 30 years is too short for both coal and nuclear plant lifetimes. If a true cost comparison was done over say 60 years, then wind and solar would clearly be more expensive.

Last edited 5 months ago by Graeme#4
AndyHce
Reply to  Joe B
January 30, 2022 5:14 pm

If the wolves are sure to get everyone unless enough are sacrificed first, the weaker get thrown off the sled.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 30, 2022 7:57 am

Kevin is looking for a cap cost, I believe, not LCOE, LCOE is like saying your car costs 50 cents per mile…..

Dave Fair
Reply to  DMacKenzie
January 30, 2022 5:07 pm

1) Capital costs must be spread over the lifetime of the asset. In the case of wind and solar generators, the lifetimes are one half to three times shorter than FF plants and at least four times shorter than nuclear plants.

2) The lessened availability of wind and solar over the load cycle increases their costs dramatically compared to FF and nuclear generation. Wind is so variable that one must provide for 100% backup over time periods of one hour to several weeks, if not months. Solar can be relied upon for at the most seven hours per day, not even considering cloudy and stormy from days to weeks. The costs of FF and nuclear generation for “unreliables” backup generation resources for unserved load, stability, frequency control & etc., especially gas-fired, must be included in LCOE calculations.

Last edited 5 months ago by Dave Fair
willem post
January 29, 2022 2:25 pm

Virginia’s offshore wind turbine dream dream is an outgrowth of Biden’s 30,000 MW of offshore wind turbines by 2030, 8 years from now, which is impossible for many reasons as described in this article.

Have fun.

EXCERPT from:

BIDEN 30,000 MW OFFSHORE WIND SYSTEMS BY 2030; AN EXPENSIVE FANTASY  
https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/biden-30-000-mw-of-offshore-wind-systems-by-2030-a-total-fantasy
 
The Biden administration announced on October 13, 2021, it will subsidize the development of up to seven offshore wind systems (never call them farms) on the US East and West coasts, and in the Gulf of Mexico; a total of about 30,000 MW of offshore wind by 2030.
 
Biden’s offshore wind systems would have an adverse, long-term impact on US electricity wholesale prices, and the prices of all other goods and services, because their expensive electricity would permeate into all economic activities.
 
The wind turbines would be at least 800-ft-tall, which would need to be located at least 30 miles from shores, to ensure minimal disturbance from night-time strobe lights.
 
Any commercial fishing areas would be significantly impacted by below-water infrastructures and cables. The low-frequency noise (less than 20 cycles per second, aka infrasound) of the wind turbines would adversely affect marine life, and productivity of fishing areas.
 
Production: Annual production would be about 30,000 x 8766 h/y x 0.45, capacity factor = 118,341,000 MWh, or 118.3 TWh of variable, intermittent, wind/weather/season-dependent electricity.
 
The additional wind production would be about 100 x 118.3/4000 = 2.96% of the annual electricity loaded onto US grids.
That US load would increase, due to tens of millions of future electric vehicles and heat pumps.
 
This would require a large capacity of combined-cycle, gas-turbine plants, CCGTs, to cost-effectively:
 
1) Counteract the wind output variations, MW, aka grid balancing
2) Fill-in wind production shortfalls, MWh, during any wind lulls
 
Such lulls occur at random throughout the year, and may last 5 to 7 days in the New England area.
.

willem post
Reply to  willem post
January 29, 2022 2:28 pm

New England has a similar offshore wind turbine dream

EXCERPT from:

BIDEN 30,000 MW OFFSHORE WIND SYSTEMS BY 2030; AN EXPENSIVE FANTASY  
https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/biden-30-000-mw-of-offshore-wind-systems-by-2030-a-total-fantasy
 
The Biden administration announced on October 13, 2021, it will subsidize the development of up to seven offshore wind systems (never call them farms) on the US East and West coasts, and in the Gulf of Mexico; a total of about 30,000 MW of offshore wind by 2030.
 
Biden’s offshore wind systems would have an adverse, long-term impact on US electricity wholesale prices, and the prices of all other goods and services, because their expensive electricity would permeate into all economic activities.
 
The wind turbines would be at least 800-ft-tall, which would need to be located at least 30 miles from shores, to ensure minimal disturbance from night-time strobe lights.
 
Any commercial fishing areas would be significantly impacted by below-water infrastructures and cables. The low-frequency noise (less than 20 cycles per second, aka infrasound) of the wind turbines would adversely affect marine life, and productivity of fishing areas.
 
Production: Annual production would be about 30,000 x 8766 h/y x 0.45, capacity factor = 118,341,000 MWh, or 118.3 TWh of variable, intermittent, wind/weather/season-dependent electricity.
 
The additional wind production would be about 100 x 118.3/4000 = 2.96% of the annual electricity loaded onto US grids.
That US load would increase, due to tens of millions of future electric vehicles and heat pumps.
 
This would require a large capacity of combined-cycle, gas-turbine plants, CCGTs, to cost-effectively:
 
1) Counteract the wind output variations, MW, aka grid balancing
2) Fill-in wind production shortfalls, MWh, during any wind lulls
 
Such lulls occur at random throughout the year, and may last 5 to 7 days in the New England area.

willem post
Reply to  willem post
January 29, 2022 2:29 pm

EXCERPT from:

HIGH COSTS OF WIND, SOLAR, AND BATTERY SYSTEMS IN US NORTHEAST
https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/high-costs-of-wind-solar-and-battery-systems

Any transition from fossil fuels to low-CO2 sources, such as wind, solar, nuclear, hydro and biomass, could occur only when the low-CO2 sources are: 1) abundantly available everywhere, and 2) at low-cost, say 5 to 6 c/kWh, wholesale, and 3) as reliable as fossil fuels, 24/7/365, year after year. 

This article presents the all-in cost of wind, solar and battery systems in the US Northeast.
Table 1 shows the all-in cost of wind and solar are much greater than reported by the Media, etc.

Much of the cost is shifted from Owners of these systems to taxpayers and ratepayers, and added to government debts 

willem post
Reply to  willem post
January 29, 2022 2:42 pm

EXCERPT from:

WIND AND SOLAR TO PROVIDE 30 PERCENT OF NEW ENGLAND ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION BY 2050
https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-and-solar-provide-50-percent-of-future-new-england

Energy systems analysts of Denmark, Ireland, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, etc., have known for decades, if you have a significant percentage of (wind + solar) on your grid, you better have available:
 
– An adequate capacity, MW, of other power plants to counteract any variations of (W+S), 24/7/365
– High-capacity, MW, connections to nearby grids
– An adequate capacity of energy storage, such as:

1) Pumped hydro storage
2) Hydro plants with reservoir storage
3) Grid-scale battery systems

The more presence of variable (W+S) on the NE grid, the more the other generators have to vary their outputs, which causes these other generators to be less efficient (more wear and tear, more Btu/kWh, more CO2/kWh).
Owners in European countries with much wind and solar on the grids get compensated for their losses.
Those compensations are charged to the general public, not to the Owners of wind and solar systems, as part of the political (subsidy + cost shifting) regimen, to make wind and solar appear price-competitive versus fossil fuels.

RE folks often advocate:
 
1) Electricity must be 100% renewable, or zero carbon, or carbon-neutral by 2050
2) Getting rid of the remaining nuclear plants
3) Getting rid of natural gas, coal, and oil plants
4) More biomass burning

Dave Fair
Reply to  willem post
January 30, 2022 5:21 pm

Increased cycling of FF and nuclear generation lessens the revenue required to pay off capital costs. As we are seeing, government subsidies for ruinables forces more subsidies for all reliable resources. Catch 22: The government causes all of its own and, additionally, citizens’ problems. Let’s Go Brandon!

willem post
Reply to  willem post
January 29, 2022 2:44 pm

The above comment is a duplicate.
Please delete it.

Gregory Woods
January 29, 2022 2:27 pm

Slightly off-topic: Intel and other companies plan for new factories. How does the availability and reliability of energy factor into their decisions?

gringojay
Reply to  Gregory Woods
January 29, 2022 2:39 pm

Our betters have figured out all our problems.

3BFE13F5-1855-484A-BC32-3D5BDAE7CBB3.jpeg
Rud Istvan
Reply to  Gregory Woods
January 29, 2022 2:42 pm

Having headed MOT strategy for several years in the late 1990’s, easy Intel answer. Reliable electricity 24/7 is an absolute must. Ditto abundant very pure water. Else huge batches of wafers get ruined.
Same would be true for Nucor electric arc steel furnaces/rolling mills.
Which is why VA isn’t landing any such investments.

Joe B
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 29, 2022 7:21 pm

Abundant, cheap electricity is a driving force behind the spate of new, multi-billion dollar steel and aluminum plants in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky.
When Shell’s cracker plant – north of Pittsburgh – comes online shortly – the ultra low cost polyethelene feedstock will be a boon for countless down stream customers/manufacturers. The new, world class Procter and Gamble plant near Martinsburg, WV is just one example of what cheap power and raw materials enables industrial concerns to bring forth.

Bill Rocks
Reply to  Joe B
January 30, 2022 5:49 am

Joe B

What will produce the electricity for these industrial plants? Gas turbine, coal, nuclear??

“Reliable electricity 24/7 is an absolute must.” 

Joe B
Reply to  Bill Rocks
January 31, 2022 9:31 am

Mr. Rocks,
A couple of dozen – mostly huge – CCGT plnts have been/will be built in Pennsylvania and Ohio.(West Virginia is building its first CCGT unit, finally overcoming long entrenched coal obstructionists).
One consequence of the fierce opposition to large takeaway pipelines from Appalachia is the rock bottom pricing available to in region natgas customers.
This makes for very attractive economics for new CCGT projects.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 30, 2022 5:23 pm

MOT?

willem post
January 29, 2022 2:36 pm

The EU bureaucrats in Brussels also have wind turbine dreams.

Their victim was El Hierro, an island on the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa.

The people on the island were not aware they had an electricity system problem, but the EU bureaucrats knew better.

The EU bureaucrats had the SUBSIDIEs to prove it, come hell of high water, because this would be saving the world from climate change

OK, here we go.

EXCERPT from:

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM WITH WIND, SOLAR, PUMPED-HYDRO STORAGE, AND DIESEL-BACKUP
https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/example-of-wind-solar-pumped-storage-diesel-backup-electrical

This example shows storage would need to be very large, in order for wind and solar to supply 100% of electrical requirements, which is only 23% of total primary energy requirements.

El Hierro is the second-smallest and farthest-south and -west of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean , off the coast of Africa, with a population of 10,968 (2019). Its capital is Valverde. At 103.67 sq mi, it is the second-smallest of the eight main islands of the Canaries.

Since startup in June 2015, Gorona del Viento, GdV, the owner of the EU-subsidized, wind/pumped-storage project, has supplied only 40.9% of El Hierro’s electricity, or 9.4% of total primary energy; the original goal was 100% of electrical energy. 
The shortfall is made up by the pre-existing diesel plant

For all of 2016, GdV supplied 40.7% of El Hierro’s electricity, or 9.4% of total primary energy 
For all of 2017, GdV supplied 46.3% of El Hierro’s electricity, or 10.6% of total primary energy 

In December 2017, GdV supplied 37.6% of El Hierro’s electricity, or 8.6% of total primary energy, up from 24.7% and 5.7% in November, 2017. 

In 2017, winds were strong enough to generation 68% of El Hierro’s electricity, but a third of it had to be curtailed (wasted by feathering the wind turbine rotor blades), thereby reducing the usable wind generation to 46.3%, because of inadequate hydro plant storage capacity

Hydro plant storage would have to be increased by a factor of at least FORTY, and wind system capacity by at least 50%, for GdV to supply 100% of El Hierro’s electricity, equivalent to 100/46.3 x 10.6 = 23% of total primary energy requirements

NOTE: Much more wind, solar and storage capacities, and grid expansion/augmentation would be required, if El Hierro had heat pumps and electric vehicles.

The Future of Renewable Energy and Materials

Having 100% renewable electricity, based on wind, solar, pumped-hydro storage, and/or battery storage and grid expansion/augmentation is relatively easy. 

The major question remains, not just in El Hierro, but all over the world, 

1) How would the other 100 – 23 = 77% of primary energy, be provided by renewable energy sources?
2) What materials would be used to make millions of products, including wind turbine systems and solar systems, etc., currently embodying fossil-based materials, such as plastics, fiberglass, etc.

http://euanmearns.com/el-hierro-end-2017-performance-update/
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/01/27/how-about-a-pilot-project-to-demonstrate-the-feasibility-of-fully-wind-solar-battery-electricity-generation/

Comments on Images:

The top image shows surplus and deficit wind generation in 2017
Winds were strong from mid-March to beginning-October; storage increased during the period
All surpluses of wind generation, in excess of demand, were added to storage, or wasted, if storage were already full
Winds were weak during Oct., Nov., Dec., Jan., mid-Feb.; storage decreased during the period.
All deficits of wind generation required withdrawals from storage, or help from the diesel plant, if storage were too low.
The net effect is the storage balance diagram (bottom image)
Minimum required storage capacity is about 8,000 MWh, excluding losses.
This storage capacity covered 46.3% of El Hierro’s electricity, which was only 10.6% of total primary energy in 2017

Dennis
January 29, 2022 2:37 pm

I understand that wind turbine installations have an effective working life before dismantling and being replaced is around 20-years subject to location and conditions prevailing, and holding companies have already advised shareholders that the business will be shut down because the cost of removal and replacement would effectively neutralise shareholder’s dividend gains from past operation and supply after tax profits and starting again therefore not viable.

It would be interesting to know how many of those businesses have already been shut down.

DaveR
Reply to  Dennis
January 29, 2022 3:01 pm

That raises the question of whether wind turbine companies at the end of their operating life are going to either: a/ shutdown, decommission, dismantle and rehabilitate the turbine farms, with all the costs for that needed to be included in any cashflow-based valuation of the project; or b/ just walk away from the shuttered project, maybe declare Chapter 11, and try to avoid the avalanche of legal suits reigning down on them for clean-up.

Either way its material for turbine project investors in the current low interest rate environment when large negative cashflows 20 years out have a significant impact on project viability.

Joe B
Reply to  Dennis
January 29, 2022 7:39 pm

Dennis,
The operational expenses/problems with offshore wind farms are the biggest under reported aspects in this entire offshore wind drama.
If you google (actually the Yandex search engine is the only objective, comprehensive tool when researching ‘controversial’ topics) ‘grout problems’, ‘leading blade edge degradation’, ‘cable issues’ … you can spend hours learning of the ongoing challenges that are both now and in the future confronting these projects.
This is never publicised.

The labor costs alone regarding the then-largest farm London Array are simply mind boggling.
This operation had a fleet of 6 boats, a crew of nearly 100, and was weather constricted about 1/3 of the time doing maintenance. Output was under 400 Megawatts. Simply unfreaking believable.

willem post
January 29, 2022 2:47 pm

Maine is also going nuts about FLOATING offshore wind systems

EXCERPT from:

AQUA VENTUS FLOATING WIND TURBINE RESEARCH PROJECT 

blob:https://wattsupwiththat.com/457ee034-e799-410e-a6d6-d13d7323cb6c

RWE Renewables (Germany) and Mitsubishi-owned Diamond Offshore Wind (Japan) announced on August 6, 2020, they formed a joint venture, JV, known as New England Aqua Ventus, that will acquire, develop and operate the single-turbine floating wind project,
 
RWE claims to be the world’s second-largest developer of offshore wind projects, after Denmark’s Ørsted.
 
New England Aqua Ventus would be the JV’s first project in US waters
It would be one of several floating demonstration projects the JV has invested in, globally, Wiechowski said.

University of Maine, whose Advanced Structures and Composites Center has been researching floating wind technology since 2008, and has carried the project this far, will own the intellectual property behind the VolturnUS floating hull concept, and will license the technology to the JV, which will perform the detailed design of the entire project. 

Project Schedule and Description: The JV hopes to finalize the design work in 2021, sign the supply-chain contracts in 2022, and build the project in 2023, said Wojciech Wiechowski, senior manager at RWE Renewables
 
The JV design is for a single wind turbine rated at 11 MW, which would be representative of the range of commercially available, offshore wind turbines, at present.
 
The total height above sea level would be 732 ft (a 70-story building), the rotor diameter would be 656 ft (4 times the width of a football field), the rotor hub would be 403 ft above sea level (a 40-story building).
  
NOTE: The Empire State Building, at 102-floor elevation is 1,250 ft. Adding the spire and antenna, the elevation is 1,454 ft
 
Turnkey Capital Cost: The estimated turnkey capital cost would be about $100 million.
 
Production: 11 MW x 8,766 h/y x 0.45, capacity factor = 43,392 MWh/y
  
Extremely Adverse Impact on CMP Electric Rates: It is highly likely, the prices paid to the JV would be similar to the abandoned, super-expensive Hywind project, described under Appendix 2, i.e.:
 
– 23 c/kWh during Year 1
– Escalating at 2.5%/y for 20 years
– 37.7 c/kWh during Year 20. See Note
 
Those prices are only a fraction of the “all-in” cost of offshore wind. See Appendix and URL

January 29, 2022 2:51 pm

Elon Musk sez we need to double the grid output…soon, Hurry Joey or it will be an even bigger disaster? All those EVs and no electricity…what a bummer.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Anti-griff
January 29, 2022 3:23 pm

Heh.

January 29, 2022 2:59 pm

Ecological and human costs of ‘green’ energy are not paying Governor Youngkin and the State of Virginia huge amounts of money and thus do not need to be addressed.

Chris Hanley
January 29, 2022 3:14 pm

As usual the discussion is focused on electricity generation that accounts for around only 25% of Virginia’s total primary energy consumption of which only around 6% is classified as ‘renewable’.
Talk of ‘zero-carbon’ in Virginia as most everywhere else is preposterous nonsense.

Last edited 5 months ago by Chris Hanley
Janice Moore
January 29, 2022 3:22 pm
Reply to  Janice Moore
January 29, 2022 3:47 pm

It’s not dead, and it would look much livelier nailed to a perch.

Janice Moore
Reply to  R Taylor
January 29, 2022 5:58 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9SMUzj-_4Q&ab_channel=JohnSmith

Heh.

“It’s just resting.”

“I know a dead parrot when I see one … .”

🙂

LdB
Reply to  Janice Moore
January 29, 2022 8:46 pm

The norwegian blue is a very clever bird 🙂

Mike Dubrasich
January 29, 2022 3:45 pm

“How much coal, oil, diesel and natural gas fuel will be involved?”

Short answer: more BTU’s of fossil fuel will be consumed than if the turbines were never built and the electricity was produced by fossil fuels directly.

Wind turbines result in a net increase in fossil fuel use. They do the opposite of their putative benefit. More turbines = more fossil fuels burned needlessly.

If that’s not a HOAX and a SCAM, then what is it?

sturmudgeon
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 29, 2022 4:10 pm

sleight of hand?

Rud Istvan
January 29, 2022 3:55 pm

No matter VCEA, or UK net zero, or Cali dictates, the bottom line is you cannot get there from here, period.
-EV’s and grid storage batteries. Not enough lithium and cobalt.
-Renewables are intermittent (needing underutilized FF backup) and provide no grid inertia, so frequency destabilizing at any appreciable penetration.
-Costs of all above horrendous compared to alternatives.
-India and China will not play, so self inflicted western wounds accomplishing zero even IF you think CO2 is a problem.

Peta of Newark
January 29, 2022 4:07 pm

The Problem is the child-like thinking of our leaders and their ‘experts’ ‘scientists’ and ‘advisers’
Said problem is actually compounded by the fact that advisers, experts and scientists are money grubbing empire building and fawning liars’
Not that they tell flat-out porkies or blatant whoppers – they ‘Lie By Omission’

What goes through the heads of our leaders is that:

  • Fossil fuels make energy
  • Fossil fuels make carbon oxide
  • Carbon oxide is bad
  • Must replace fossil fuels with something
  • Windmills & sunshine panels make energy
  • Must use windmills & sunshine panels
  • That’s it. Problem solved

And it’s patently no more than that – childish simplicity that no-one can argue with.
And there is *nothing* to argue about because the scientists adviser and experts neglected to give any further information.

For experts it’s OK. Any and all true experts know ‘Everything about nothing and Nothing about everything’
And advisers are only just passing on their own personal opinion

But for scientists, Lying by Omission is unforgivable.

Donald whiteley
January 29, 2022 4:20 pm

This is what happens when non-engineers have the say-so in large, complicated technological decisions in which the true trade offs are not honestly brought forward. Most of the folks on this site can document the problems with going all in on the rash development of “clean” technologies which rely on very rare metals, production in dictator run countries, massive reserve back-up power storage, etc. unfortunately, it’s going to take huge power outages like what happened in Texas to wake the citizens to the consequences of these actions. Nothing like sitting for a week in the cold and dark in Alexandria in winter to get someone’s attention. I just hope they all don’t move to Florida.

Joseph Zorzin
January 29, 2022 5:01 pm

Now the climatistas want to emasculate the American military be decarbonizing it.

Lawmakers urge carbon reduction mandate for Department of Defense
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/01/28/nation/lawmakers-urge-carbon-reduction-mandate-department-defense/

Over two dozen federal lawmakers sent a letter to President Biden on Friday urging him to impose a carbon reduction mandate on the Department of Defense.

The letter, led by Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey and New York Representative Mondaire Jones, focuses on an order that Biden signed last month directing the government to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050, while eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from federal buildings and vehicles. The order includes exemptions for activity deemed “in the interest of national security,” as well as anything associated with intelligence, combat, and military training.

“The loophole in the President’s Executive Order that largely exempts the Department of Defense from having to meet the scientifically necessary target of net-zero economy-wide emissions by 2050 is a gap big enough to drive a tank through,” Markey wrote in an e-mail to the Globe.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
January 30, 2022 5:42 pm

Markey: “.. scientifically necessary target of net-zero …” is a deliberate lie. Vote Democrat and you will get more of the same.

Ossqss
January 29, 2022 5:20 pm

Soooo, what happens when you pull that much energy out of an ecosystem with turbines. What happens when you clear cut forests or cover grasslands with panels and create a solar desert? Would that not cause climate change for those areas?

Just sayin, queue up the Alanis Morissette – Ironic

January 29, 2022 6:19 pm

Apparently, future American prosperity will be blowing in the wind…
Who do we thank?

eyesonu
January 29, 2022 6:25 pm

Paul Driessen just dropped the hammer on this one! Excellent essay! Plenty of room for the energetic green believers to enter the discussion. Just answer the questions!

Joe B
January 29, 2022 6:36 pm

People may want to take note of the numbers being thrown around regarding these offshore wind monstrosities to truly appreciate just how bizarre this entire pathway is.
One Real World example may enlighten … the 2 New York State boondoggles – Empire Wind and Sunrise Wind in comparison to the just-opened CCGT plant, Cricket Valley.

The total electricity produced by the 2 offshore wind projects amounts to little over 800 Megawatts (~ 1,700 nameplate x 48% capacity factor. CF provided by Vestas). Cost is approximately $10 BILLION and rising.
Cricket Valley reliably produces 1,100 Megawatts and cost NOTHING to build as it was privately financed.

Virtually ALL offshore wind projects are the most insanely expensive, inefficient modes of producing electricity.
Period!

John Hultquist
January 29, 2022 6:50 pm

 Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Klaus.
{My apology to Francis Pharcellus Church & the New York Sun}

John Hultquist
January 29, 2022 6:54 pm

Check out the wind energy this week in the OR/WA region of the BPA:
BPA Balancing Authority Load and Total VER

5-minute updates, prior week trailing = almost nothing

marlene
January 29, 2022 7:00 pm

Imagine, relying on the wind & sun to heat your home. Even the first people to inhabit the earth did better than that!

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  marlene
January 29, 2022 7:02 pm

Yes, building a fire was one of the first big steps out of the dirt

CD in Wisconsin
January 30, 2022 6:42 am

“How will wildlife habitats, raptors, bats, and other rare and endangered species be protected as these industrial-scale installations proliferate? What fines and penalties will be assessed for violations?”

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

KILL WIND TURBINES, NOT AVIAN WILDLIFE!

Olen
January 30, 2022 7:16 am

The solution is to get those out of office who initiate these dangerous projects without the permission of the people they represent. After that find how many are on the take for personal gain.

Ted
Reply to  Olen
January 30, 2022 9:59 am

Electing Youngkin represents only part of Step 1. Unfortunately most of the legislators that supported the law in the Virginia House are still in office.

Andy Pattullo
January 30, 2022 8:36 am

This is a very well written and timely piece. As an inherently optimistic person I am convinced this type of critical thinking, though long overdue, is inevitably going to become more visible to voters and policy makers, and will eventually start the long needed turn toward sanity in energy and environmental policies. I hope the impact on real policy changes comes well before the crash in energy systems and human quality of life that will come if we continue the current direction of most Western economies.

Brett Baker
January 30, 2022 11:55 am

Leopold II did nothing wrong!

Dave Fair
Reply to  Brett Baker
January 30, 2022 5:46 pm

Who cares, Brett?

AndyHce
January 30, 2022 5:11 pm

Why do essentially all the presentations about the problems of wind power for electrical generation determinedly ignore 50 years of research and data showing that continuous or frequent long term exposure to pulsed infrasound causes significant physical harm in the form of induced tissue growth changes? While not the only damaging infrasound industrial source, wind turbines are fast becoming, perhaps already are, the most ubiquitous generators. I’ve so far seen nothing suggesting this is not so, nothing whatever addressing the evidence. Inquiries are simply ignored.

Dave Fair
Reply to  AndyHce
January 30, 2022 5:48 pm

Plus, there are no real science-based requirements to isolate people from wind turbines.

AndyHce
Reply to  Dave Fair
January 30, 2022 7:42 pm

It is exceedingly difficult, nearly impossible, to isolate from infrasound without a handy mountain range in between you and its source.

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