Essay by Eric Worrall
h/t M; While the Virginia SCC is “keenly aware of the ongoing rise in gas prices, inflation, and other economic pressures”, they have to obey the legislature.
The Spinning of Virginia’s Wind Farm
If the weather doesn’t cooperate, Dominion wants consumers to pay.
By The Editorial Board
Dominion Energy plans to build 176 wind turbines 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. That’s enough to power about 660,000 homes. The capital cost is $9.8 billion. The state Corporation Commission assented to a related rate increase, but it noted that the downside risk is on consumers. Typically, the commission says, a utility might buy such power from an outside developer, “which limits the risks to customers.” Yet Dominion “has chosen to construct, own and operate the Project.”
What could go wrong? The commission says that “designs for various components of these turbines” have “yet to be finalized.” Because offshore wind at this scale is new to the U.S., “there is no developed supply chain,” which “could lead to construction delays and cost overruns.” What if it falls through for some reason? “Even if the Project is abandoned at the end of 2023,” the order says, “Dominion still estimates it would have prudently incurred approximately $3.7 billion of costs to be recovered from customers.”
So why approve the wind farm at all? Because the state Legislature mandated that such an offshore project “is in the public interest, and the Commission shall so find.” The commission’s order sounds nearly apologetic in saying that regulators are “keenly aware of the ongoing rise in gas prices, inflation, and other economic pressures,” but “this is a prescriptive statute.”
…Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-spinning-of-virginias-wind-farm-climate-spending-bill-democrats-turbines-clean-energy-power-cost-11660494471
Virginia doesn’t get hammered as hard by hurricanes as Florida and South Carolina, but the Virginia coastline still gets a good battering every few years, so I don’t expect the offshore turbines to last long.
None of this matters to the Virginia legislators, who left the SCC no choice other than to grant a rate rise to pay for this white elephant.
The only people who can fix this mess are Virginia voters, who have one chance this November to vote for new legislators who will stop this politically imposed power bill blowout. Of course November will not be soon enough to avoid all the electricity bill surcharges – Dominion have already said they will charge $3.7 billion if the project is cancelled.
In other words, Dominion Energy has told electricity consumers in the state of Virginia that “It’s heads I win, tails you lose.”
…at the instruction of the State legislature.
I wonder what the Republican Governor has to add.
The law was passd when the Dems won the legislature and was signed by the then DEMOCRAT governor. If we can elect a Republican legislature, we might be able to stop this nonsense.
And currently the state senate is controlled by the Democrats, who will not allow this mandate to be overturned.
This is like riding on the Titanic with the elite White Star line leader pushing for high speed transit records to show off and ignoring the warnings while other elites crowd out the radio message room with their special interests. Even if you see danger ahead, you can’t stop the bad decisions by the elites that call the shots. The rate payers in the lower decks have no options.
I sure wish that I could charge $3.7 billion for delivering nothing!
I could probably achieve that level of productivity several times a year.
I can do daily, for just 1B.
That is competitive capitalism. That is not allowed!
Griff can explain to you in terms of nuclear power plant increments but not this, not nothing.
This looks like a boondoggle by the previous Democrat governor and his policies.
Idiocy. You can’t fix stupid.
So Dominion Energy wants to build the project, the legislature wants it, but the SCC has worries about the viability, and is full of helpful advice. Dominion are the people with money at stake and who actually think it is necessary for their business. Here is what they said:
“”Our customers expect reliable, affordable energy, and offshore wind is key for delivering on that mission. We are very pleased that the commission has approved this important project that will benefit our customers. We are reviewing the specifics of the order, particularly the performance requirement,” said Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy Chair, President and CEO.
CVOW represents a clean-energy investment of approximately $9.8 billion, and as the largest project of its kind in the United States, CVOW is good for energy diversity, the environment and Virginia’s economy.
As a renewable energy resource, offshore wind turbines have no fuel costs, which is especially beneficial considering the recent rise in fuel costs across the country. The project is expected to save Virginia customers more than $3 billion during its first 10 years in operation. However, if these ongoing commodity market pressure trends continue, those savings could total up to nearly $6 billion – almost double the savings.”
This is where the fantasy begins.
It takes a massive amount of fossil fuel to manufacture, transport, erect and then maintain wind turbines in the ocean.
In sum, the wind farm and the associated hardware will use more fossil fuel energy before it is built then it can produce in its lifetime. They are simply unsustainable crap.
The thing about all this is that reality is a tough master. The sad thing is that the proponents walk away unscathed.
“The thing about all this is that reality is a tough master. The sad thing is that the proponents walk away unscathed.”
Dominion currently supply energy (and gas) to Virginia. They are not unacquainted with reality. And if the project fails they will not walk away unscathed. It is their money they are investing.
Dominion already has permission to pass along all costs to ratepayers. “unscathed” pretty well describes it!
That just puts them in the same position as almost any other company in the capitalist system, who can pass on costs without permission. There is still a penalty for investments that go wrong.
Looks like Nick is as ignorant of economics as he is climate science.
In the free market, companies can’t just pass costs along to the consumer. If they have competitors, they can’t raise prices above the current market level.
“Looks like Nick is as ignorant of economics as he is climate science.
In the free market, companies can’t just pass costs along to the consumer.”
Looks like you can’t read. That is exactly what I am saying.
Better read what you actually wrote instead of relying on what you think you wrote.
And true to form, Nick doubles down on stupid.
I know what you said, and it was your usual ignorant drivel.
Repeating a lie, doesn’t make it a truth.
“That just puts them in the same position as almost any other company in the capitalist system, who can pass on costs without permission. “
Add economics to the many subjects you know nothing about. Higher prices cause fewer sales. Unless you have a monopoly on a product people will buy regardless of price. I don’t know of such a product. You are an economics dingbat.
I didn’t say that they can pass on costs without penalty. Read my other posts. I said they could pass them on without permission. Can you deal with that?
“That just puts them (utilities) in the same position as almost any other company in the capitalist system, who can pass on costs without permission. There is still a penalty for investments that go wrong.”
Utilities are NOT in the same position as almost any other company — YOU WERE WRONG — and there is no penalty for investments that go wrong — there is a guaranteed rate of return — YOU WERE WRONG AGAIN. Care to try for a strikeout?
Utilities do not operate in a normal free market system where prices and profits are determined by the willingness of consumers to pay. Instead, they are “regulated monopolies” in which public officials guarantee the companies a monetary return on their investments while also fixing prices for consumers
Utilities do not earn profits on the products they sell—gas, water, and power are provided “at cost” to consumers—but rather from the investment in the assets (the pipes, substations, transmission lines, etc.) that are used to provide the service.
PG&E has declared bankruptcy twice in 20 years. The 2019 filing was because of lawsuits over the Butte County fire, and the company climbed out from it in 2020. It was called the “first climate change bankruptcy,” because it was caused by liabilities stemming from California’s wildfires.8
PG&E also filed for bankruptcy in 2001 after the California power crisis, reemerging in 2004.
Utilities are in the unique position where they can acquire large amounts of debt because of their important and capital intensive nature, but these same factors make determining the real debt risk difficult. Although utility bankruptcies are rare, they are not immune to some of the same risks that other companies face, including economic factors. Like other companies, utilities should be careful not to over-lever simply because they have the ability to obtain large amounts of relatively cheap debt.
Wow. First you tell me
“ Unless you have a monopoly on a product people will buy regardless of price. I don’t know of such a product. You are an economics dingbat.”
Then you say
“Utilities do not operate in a normal free market system where prices and profits are determined by the willingness of consumers to pay.”
That was quick.
You compared utilities to other companies with a WRONG no permission idea.
It is only theory that utilities will get rate increases for cost increases. Reality is that regulators have often rejected utility requests for fixed charge increases or lowered the requested increase. Electricity rate hikes will tend to reduce electricity demand. That will increase the cost per unit of electricity produced. There is no guarantee that the price of electricity will be allowed to increase immediately to cover the higher costs per unit of electricity delivered.
Utilities need permission from state regulators to raise prices to cover costs and to get a guaranteed rate of return on investments.
They are also heavily leveraged companies and can go bankrupt if they face huge lawsuits (such as for CA forest fires)
Other corporations need permission from their managements, and sometimes their Boards of Directors, who represent the interests of their customers, for price hikes. Which will reduce sales, especially if price hikes exceed inflation rates.
No company raises prices without “permission” from someone, either directly by governments or indirectly by their customers.
Nick, those two statements are not incompatible.
If you weren’t ignorant, you would know that.
If you weren’t arrogant, you might be able to learn something new.
Nick, as a child I was taught about government utility monopolies. At the time around 1970 VEPCO, Virginia Electric and Power company since to be part of Dominion was our power provider in VA where I lived at the time.
My father told me, after watching a VEPCO TV commercial, about how they had no reason to advertise, there was no where else for us to get electricity or natural gas, but they advertised because their tariff allowed them a set % for their profit AND allowed them to spend some on advertising so they spent the MAX allowed. The MORE THEY SPENT THE MORE DOLLARS OF PROFIT THEY MADE!
So you are being either ignorant or obtuse.
Almost ALL utilities around the world are not free market operations.
They are going to do what they are REQUIRED by the legislation to do, and as soon as they can before the Republicans gain control of both houses of the legislature and overturn the law, so that they can make their guaranteed % of the wasted expenditures. They are going to NET a massive amount of money for their shareholders on this scam. If they didn’t do it ASAP, they could be in trouble with their shareholders and the SEC.
Once again, there is no contradiction between the two statements.
Nick, why are you so eager to demonstrate your lack of reading comprehension?
Well done, Nick. An utterly irrelevant point, that is technically correct, but designed to mislead, and pretend to present an argument against what was stated, and yet doesn’t at all.
An almost perfect Stokism, in fact.
DING DING DING!!!
Dominion does have a monopoly, granted to them by Virginia. According to the countyoffice.org site for Fairfax County utilities:
IOW, if you’re in a Dominion territory, you buy power and gas from Dominion. Period. No choice.
That’s really dumb Nick.
No. In a capitalist system, you wouldn’t make this crazy investment. But if you did, and it failed, you’d go broke. In our fascist system they do the project because their overseers want it, and it if goes bust, the rate payer is forced to cover it.
Nick this is a disingenuous statement and you of all people should know better. The issue in this article is not based upon the capitalist system. There is no benefit possible to be passed on to the consumer and choices being made in the matter are solely between an energy conglomerate and the government without respect to the consumer. It’s by definition the very thing the WEF is pursuing globally to implement as its non-capitalist economic system which is nothing short of a corporate, communist dictatorship ruling over energy issues. It will only create one sure thing for those affected: energy dystopia. People who support these things, from the president to the end consumers are nothing but lying, ignorant dotards, at best.
You don’t know much about utility rate regulation, do you?
“It is their money they are investing.”
After all the subsides they get paid, and the rise in cost to consumers, and the loans from “green” investors that control the investment market
Their money ?.., BS !!
The thing about all this is that there’s no good reason for doing it.
I’m guessing you didn’t bother to actually read the article.
It states quite clearly that they already have permission to pass the costs on to the consumers.
No, that was the subject of their application to the SCC:
“The Application requests the Commission grant:
(iii) Approval of a rate adjustment clause, Rider OSW, for the recovery of costs incurred to construct, own, and operate the offshore wind generation facilities and related interconnection and transmission facilities that compose the CVOW Project; and”
…and the legislature told the Commission that as a matter of public policy, the Commission shall approve the request.
I don’t know if Nick is as dumb as his posts make him seem, or if he’s just that desperate to change the subject?
They are requesting permission to recover the costs, and because of legislation passed, the regulatory agency is required to grant the request. As a result, no matter what happens, the company gets it’s money back.
Nick, once again the proof you offer up, ends up disproving your claims.
Well played Nick! It can’t be easy pretending to be an idiot douchbag, but you still managed to pull it off. You deserve some sort of award for that performance.
No, it is ratepayer money paid in the form of higher rates.
So why the fvck are they proposing a WIND FARM????
Lefties have that affordability problem covered with defunding the police-
Los Angeles PD warns criminals against making latest looting tactic ‘a new trend’ (msn.com)
That sentence in red resulted in a laugh out loud response on my part. “PD warns”! Or else what? They’ll read a harsh statement to the press about it?
In the UK, when a copper warns criminals they shout “Stop! Or else I’ll shout “Stop!” again”
In LA even foot pursuits have been banned. Too many criminals were getting hurt.
He is either grossly ignorant about wind turbines or deliberately lying. Either way, I’m glad I sold my stock in the company.
They are proposing a wind farm because the legislature ordered them to.
Read the damn law the DEMS passed, idiot. The law demands getting to Net Zero and Dominion is more than happy to spend billion on which they are guaranteed profit, and the cost gets paid by the ratepayers. There is nothing better than sucking on the government provided public teat.
“Read the damn law”
Specifics? I’d like to see the law that requires Dominion to build this wind farm.
Once again, Nick doesn’t bother to read the article he’s disagreeing with.
“those savings could total up to nearly $6 billion – almost double the savings.”
Magical thinking at its finest.
And from where is the electricity coming, when the wind doesn’t blow – or blows too hard?
And, when the damage has been done and the money wasted (as it WILL! Nevr mind “could”), will you be admitting your guilt, Nick?
I thought not!
“Magical thinking at its finest.”
This is not magical thinking. Dominion are the people who currently supply Virginia with electricity and will do so in future. They think they can best do it with the addition of a wind farm.
No, they’ve been offered a $1B win or lose opportunity. If their goal was to provide dependable power they’d build coal or nuclear plants.
The SCC isn’t offering a$1B. They are simply rubberstamping a commercial decision which for almost any any other company in the free market would not require a rubber stamp. The decision still has stand up commercially.
Didn’t you read the article?
Even if the legislature pulls the plug after the November elections, Dominion still gets $3.7 billion.
Nick’s goal is to change the subject and muddy the waters.
His goal is never to actually understand complex subjects.
Once again, Nick demonstrates his ability to deliberately not understand anything he doesn’t want to understand.
The regulators, under direction from the legislature has guaranteed that no matter what Dominion spends on renewable energy, they will be allowed to recover their costs by charging the consumers more.
If this was the free market that Nick thinks it is, higher prices would drive costumers to Dominion’s competitors.
However Dominion operates in a government protected monopoly. Their customers can’t go anywhere else. Their options are to pay Dominion’s prices, or do without electricty.
Or vote out the asshole Leftists.
AND natural gas.
” Dominion are the people who currently supply Virginia with electricity and will do so in future. They think they can best do it with the addition of a wind farm.”
Incorrect: There was, obviously, NO thought at all going into this project.
They have been ordered to build wind by the legislature.
Regardless, nobody builds either wind or solar without tons of subsidies.
Dominion is a listed public company operating over several states. Virginia State cannot order them to build wind.
Apparently, by order of the legislature, the operating agency is required to get a wind project built. To whom they will offer the project may or may not be up to them. A company in the business of doing such projects, given the opportunity, will say ‘this is what it is going to cost you’. If there is a competitive bidding process, the operating agency still has essentially the working conditions. They may get ‘offers’ from several companies but maybe one or more offers will be at substantially less cost (such costs almost always seem to go way up between offer and operation).
Nick, you are right that Virginia cannot order Dominion to build a wind plant. But Virginia has set a renewable use standard that mandates a certain level of renewables in the generation mix. In order to meet that target, new generation (required by coal plant closures, among other things) has to be renewables. Therefore, the regulatory agency can’t approve new projects unless most of them are renewables.
Dominion isn’t forced to construct renewable generation, but if it wants to construct generation, it has to be renewables. So you are technically accurate but wrong in any practical sense.
Wrong again, you fool. The state did order it.
The legislature has required Dominion to go Net Zero, and the legislature has guaranteed that whatever they spend to achieve this result can be charged to the consumers.
What part of reality gives you so much trouble?
So now you have PROVEN, without a shadow of a doubt, that you are an IDIOT.
The more desperate Nick gets, the dumber he sounds.
Really, you actually believe that since Dominion operates over several states, the state of Virginia has no say in how they operate?
They are a state regulated monopoly, the state government has absolute control over how they do business in that state.
First the legislature ordered them to go net zero. Then the legislature ordered the regulators to recover any money they spend on renewable energy.
According to Nick, this means that Dominion is eager to build wind farms and would have done so even if it wasn’t the law.
I’ll sell you my used car for only $100k. I was asking a million. How can you pass up savings like that?!
Apparently Dominion has nothing at stake if it can reap billions without delivering anything.
Oh, by the way Virginia, batteries not included!
Apparently, it’s about 2.6GW for the proposed windfarm, which should work out to about 1GW actually hitting the grid – hopefully mostly when people want it, but no guarantees.
The almost $10B could have bought about 2GW of Korean nuclear power plant and that power is steady.
Barakah is a new plant with South Korean tech, 4 reactors in the UAE totalling almost $25B and will produce over 5GW of steady, clean, safe, carbon -free (if that really matters to anyone) and fuel market shock-free energy.
At least there is common sense somewhere in the world.
And those countries exhibiting such common sense will be ruling the future world. Learn Mandarin, young man, learn Mandarin. Going West has not worked in decades and won’t for the foreseeable future given current trajectories.
Funny how “free fuel” somehow always means increased cost to users.
There are no exceptions to this rule.
Nick, the SCC had to raise electricity rates to convince Dominion to proceed. If Dominion had bid to supply power at existing rates or better, and absorbed the capital cost, because renewables are cheaper than coal (/sarc), this would have been a very different article.
“SCC had to raise electricity rates”
No, it didn’t. It approved a rate adjustment clause which would allow Dominion to increase rates in the future if it turned out to be necessary.
ie, Dominion want to increase prices to cover the cost of
renewables erratic unreliables.
Read the big red print:
The capital cost is $9.8 billion. The state Corporation Commission assented to a related rate increase
Nothing there about a clause. They assented to a rate increase.
I read, with usual scepticism, what Murdoch was saying via WSJ. But I also read the SCC finding. What Dominion requested, and they granted, was
“The Application requests the Commission grant:
(iii) Approval of a rate adjustment clause, Rider OSW, for the recovery of costs incurred to construct, own, and operate the offshore wind generation facilities and related interconnection and transmission facilities that compose the CVOW Project; and”
“Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT: (1) The Company’s request for approval of a rate adjustment clause, designated Rider OSW, is approved as set forth herein.”
If the company did the “normal” thing and purchased the power rather than being responsible for generating it,
So you agree. An ordered rate increase. Or are you naive enough to think the rates will actually go down?
“An ordered rate increase.”
By how much?
And once again, instead of admitting he’s wrong, Nick just moves the goal posts and makes a new absurd stand.
It appears there is no limit to any future rate increase associated with this project, by fiat.
By WHATEVER it takes for Dominion to make their guaranteed minimum profit.
If they just had a 3rd party do the build, they would miss out on most of the guaranteed profit.
If you have to ask how much something is, you probably can’t afford it.
I’m guessing that Nick either didn’t read as closely as he claims, or he simply doesn’t understand English.
The part he quoted states that the requested rate increase is approved.
So again, what was the requested rate increase? How much?
There wasn’t one.
The requested increase was for enough money to cover the costs. They don’t have to be listed out at this stage of the game.
Since the wind mills haven’t been built, they don’t know how much it costs. When they do, they will raise the rates, and the consumers will then have the opportunity to appeal the increases if the consumers feel they are excessive.
Do you really know nothing about how the world works?
The really sad thing is that Nick actually appears to believe there is a difference between those two statements.
It is impossible for someone to understand something if his [ideology] depends on his not understanding.
Dominion has NOTHING at stake. CUSTOMERS will be forced to pay for every bit of it. Nick, you are usually a bit more sneaky with your sophistries. I’m disappointed.
Customers aren’t forced. There is competition. Dominion can’t increase its rates without penalty.
The SCC explains the competitive arrangements here
No. If you live in Fairfax County VA, you buy from Dominion Power, except for a few places . From the fairfaxcounty.gov site:
That’s over a million people right there. You don’t get options. You buy from whoever services your territory.
Fairfax county has an elected board of supervisors. They can choose another supplier.
Virginia sets the policies. You want to see the state map of power company territories?
All suppliers must meet the standards set by the Virginia legislature. Unless Fairfax county manages to move itself outside the state of Virginia, who ever the board of supervisors selects, must meet the same standards that Dominion is required to meet.
Also there are contracts involved. Fairfax can’t just declare that tomorrow we are going with a different supplier.
What a great suggestion, move Fairfax, Louden, etc. to Maryland, already hopelessly leftist, and the rest of VA could have a reasonable legislature and governor for years to come.
Additionally, Dominion owns the infrastructure currently in place. All of the power lines, all of the sub-stations, all of the house meters.
Anyone who replaces Dominion either needs to completely replace this infrastructure, or buy the current infrastructure from Dominion, at a price set by Dominion.
Nick, Fairfax County does not issue the required Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for a utility to operate in a given area. Please quit embarrassing yourself.
PS: I love the way Nick changes the subject when he finds himself losing an argument. It happens so often that he is really getting good at it.
There’s competition in electricity generation???
Really Nick, any other fantasies you want to get off your chest?
There seems to be in my area. I get power from Potomac Edison, but every now and then I get a flier telling me about different power companies I can sign up with, and lock in a rate for X years.
I see no reason to, as my fully-electric home (heat pump for heat/AC) costs me around $158/month on my budget plan and hasn’t changed much in years.
So now Nick is going to try pushing the lie that renewables are actually cheap, despite the fact that science, logic and all the data show that it is actually the most expensive. Especially the offshore wind kind.
I am quoting what Dominion says.
As is Nick.
Basically you are saying that unquestionably accept what Dominion claims?
Do you do this with every company, or only those that are saying what you want to hear?
Dominion is aware of the absolute corruption of Democrats and the need to spew fiction in order operate. In case there were any doubts about the Democrats forcing this onto the company, realize that the legislation does not apply to all providers in the state, but specifically targets only Dominion Energy and Amercian Electric. In addition Dominion filed a motion in that they would have to scrap the project if rate protections for consumers were included in the SCC order, meaning they are fully aware that wind is not a cost-efficient method to deliver electric power to consumers.
“Dominion are the people with money at stake . . .”
Nick, did you even bother to read—more importantly, to understand— the above article?
Dominion Energy has a sweetheart deal where all of their costs, even if they fail completely, will be reimbursed by Virginia utility customers.
They have no money “at stake” long term . . . none!
All Dominion has is what almost every other company in America has – the ability to set charges to cover their costs. They have to do that in the face of competition.
Dominions’ customers don’t get a choice. And even if you choose another supplier, Dominion owns the capital plant that delivers the electrons to your meter. They charge for that. If it’s like NJ, it’s typically half the bill. You don’t get to ignore that.
There is no competition in electricity production. Beyond that, all companies are required to meet the net zero standards.
Outside utility markets, there are no companies that have a guarantee that no matter what they spend, they can force the customers to pay for it.
No,not at all. The way this sweetheart deal was cut between Dominion and Democrats in control of Virginia government at the time (see separate posts by others on this subject) is that even if their offshore wind farm project is abandoned or fails, the Virginia electricity customers have to reimburse Dominion for all costs they incurred for the project up to that point.
This is specifically stated in the above article . . . as I pointed out, it’s really not that hard to understand.
In comparison, most competitive businesses in the US can only wish for such a sweetheart deal . . . most run the risk of going BK, and taking away shareholder value, if they make poor business decisions . . . the names of Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, Worldcom, Enron and Solyndra are just a few that come to mind.
It has been said that Boeing “bets the worth of the company” every time it undertakes development of a new class of commercial jet aircraft (such as the 777). They are not able to assert that if that new development falters (as happened with their 787 “Dreamliner”) they will recover all their costs from future purchasers of their aircraft . . . no, in this case it is the Boeing shareholders that bear the brunt effect of poor business decisions or mismanagement by company management.
Get the idea?
Well, not on military contracts. They always recover the costs there, even if the program ends up being canceled. (There is risk, of course – breaking even is not the goal, either.)
Did you not understand my specific wording of “new class of commercial jet aircraft”?
Sigh. I wasn’t contradicting you, Gordon, but expanding.
But… A fair chunk of the 707 development was bankrolled by DoD, as they were already looking at it for AWACS. (Also on the 747, for a later abandoned “Super-AWACS.” Brother in law worked on the team at Roswell AFB for that plane’s certification – many of the later flight tests had load plans that made no sense for either passenger or cargo use.) Some other base airframe developments become lower risks when it is anticipated that DoD will issue an RFP for “lesser” intelligence/command/control aircraft.
DoD also chips in some on the engineering when other large planes for the commercial market are being developed – to ensure that engineering is done to allow for military cargoes. Plus a “subsidy” paid to commercial carriers like FedEx to offset the requirement that their planes may be pressed into Federal service (last done on a large basis in the build-up to Gulf II).
I’m going to quote George Dressler & his comment on this post. Dominion’s position is essentially :
“It’s heads I win, tails you lose.”
The sub-title of the WSJ article says it all:
“If the weather doesn’t cooperate, Dominion wants consumers to pay.”
If you read the whole WSJ article, they make a compelling case for this position. This doesn’t sound like an entity wanting to help it’s customers but a company who sees an opportunity to take advantage of a government handout at the expense of it’s customer.
Such is the case all too often when it comes to anything the corporate world supports when it comes to the so-called “climate crisis”.
As it is said in politics, never let a “crisis” go to waste … seems like the case here. Pure politics!
And the sub title was BS! The truth is the Democrat controlled legislature and governor at the time, wants their constituents to pay.
Another case of fake news by misinformation.
‘We are reviewing the specifics of the order, particularly the performance requirement,” said Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy Chair, President and CEO.’
The main outcome at Nuremberg was that ‘just following orders’ didn’t get the executioners off the hook. Given that Dominion’s executives know a lot more about power delivery than their politically motivated regulators, it will be entirely fitting when Dominion’s shareholders are eventually forced to eat the cost of this white elephant for failing to push back against an obviously stupid regulatory order.
There is no regulatory order requiring them to invest in wind. Dominion chose to do that. The SCC order allowed them to adjust their charges (if they choose).
‘There is no regulatory order requiring them to invest in wind.’
Please stop being evasive. There IS an order that allows Dominion to recoup their entire investment in wind come hell or high water, which would only be ‘necessary’ pursuant to prior legislation that requires some portion of Dominion’s energy supply to be sourced from ‘renewable’ sources.
In effect, then, what we have is government mandated stupidity, facilitated by a regulatory ‘out’ for when that stupidity becomes apparent. And when that happens, and because it’s entirely the result of political coercion, both the politicians (whether electoral or regulatory) and Dominion will deserve the back of our hands.
There is a legislative requirement for net zero. Dominion chose to go with wind.
So technically you are correct, there is no regulatory requirement for Dominion to build this wind farm in that location.
As usual, you lie through half truths.
I think that SEC regulation mandating a corporate Board and Management to maximize profit would be regulations that make this decision by Dominion the ONLY correct fiduciary decision they could have made. They will, without a doubt, be maximizing shareholder value by moving forward on this project before Republicans can revoke the requirement.
If Virginia passed a law mandating that Dominion must repeatedly dig and immediately fill holes in the ground, and then issued a regulatory order allowing them to not only recover, but also to earn a generous return on, the costs of doing so, Dominion would technically be at fiduciary risk not to comply.
While this might satisfy any ‘legal’ questions, it leaves untouched the ‘moral’ question of why a major utility, which should know something about economic and reliable power delivery, has never pushed back on the economic and reliability problems of renewable energy.
The only reliable thing about wind turbines is how unreliable they are
Nick; for an English major, your reading comprehension is deplorable. Dominion are NOT “the people with money at stake.” They are going to recover the potential $3.2 billion of sunk costs via rate increases even if the entire project goes belly up
“Even if the Project is abandoned at the end of 2023,” the order says, “Dominion still estimates it would have prudently incurred approximately $3.7 billion of costs to be recovered from customers.”
Nick does not post to seek understanding. Rather he is attempting to change the subject and confuse the issue.
“Prudent” in the regulatory sense only because the legislature told them to waste the ratepayers’ money.
How many times in the past 100 years have the Virginia coastal waters been visited by Tropical Storms and Hurricanes of various magnitudes?
Ask, and it shall be answered:
“On average, a tropical storm, or its remnants, can be expected to impact the Old Dominion [Virginia – GD] yearly, with hurricanes expected once every 2.3 years. These averages are competitive to what is seen down south along the Gulf coast, even though major hurricanes are far more rare . . . Surprisingly, some of the most active decades for Virginia were during the “Little Ice Age”, a period of global coolness, that lasted from around 1870 to 1900. One would expect more storms to impact the state during warmer years than cool years, but this is not the case.”
LOL on their “expectations.”
The climate pseudo-scientists insisted that weather would get “more extreme” BOTH times – during the “ice age cometh” 70s global cooling that was supposedly our fault AND during the current “global warming” scare that followed on the heels of the “global cooling” scare.
Which shows you that “climate science” is propaganda and not actual science.
One SHOULD expect more “extra-tropical storminess” in a COOLER climate, NOT a warmer climate, as the observations noted support.
Sure, Virginians get screwed, but think of the powerful — powerful — virtue signal that Virginia is sending. They’ll be talking about it in faculty lounges for years.
This was done when the Democrats took the legislature and the governorship. We now have a Republican governor and hopefully a Republican legislature next election to bring some sense to our state. The problem will be the progreessives in Northern VA who keep electing Democrats and then complain about the rates and inflation caused by the idiots they elect.
One constant with socialists, they are always convinced that THIS TIME, it’s going to work.
Dominion Energy plans to build 176 wind turbines 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. That’s enough to power about 660,000 homes.
Is that only when the wind blows 24/7? I suspect it is, which would be typical of the misinformation (lies) that surround renewables.
Actually the wind has to be blowing within a fairly narrow range. Too slow, no power. Too fast, no power.
Maximum power is only generated when the wind is blowing at the perfect speed. Above or below that, less power.
Or even negative power. When not generating, the turbines need to be turned to prevent deformation of the bearings. This takes a lot of electricity.
I’d forgotten that. To add to your point, they also have to be kept warm when it gets cold so that the grease that lubricates the bearings and transmission doesn’t get hard.
Note: 27 miles off the coast.
How are they going to get all those electrons ashore where they can do some good?
Maybe they’ll float some bev’s out to the turbines and ug them in…
All it takes is unlimited OPM, Yooper.
They forgot to say “on one day in five, if you’re lucky.”
This is where the reality of “cheap renewable energy” gets exposed. You have to pay more up front and ongoing for the renewable energy infrastructure but we …. as in the energy final provider …. will pay less/kwh subsidized hence it’s “less expensive”.
Replacing reliable, dispatchable energy with unreliable solar & wind
BEFORE the adequate backup to make it dispatchable was in place is
definitely the biggest INTENTIONALLY IGNORED/PLANNED man-made
disaster EVER. Everyone everywhere will continue to pay for it, some with
I think that there is a lot of competition. Take the banning of ICEs and gas heating, for example. The infrastructure to replace them is utterly missing, and there is absolutely no plan, or even a feasibility study, to install it. That will probably cause more poverty and death than even unreliables, although I’m sure that they will help it along with gusto.
Both are part of the “Going Green” man-made disaster.
We could add sustainable agriculture, like Sri Lanka,
to that list, too. The list will keep growing. What could
go wrong with them!
They’re planning 2.6GW of nameplate capacity, US$3.77M per MW nameplate for this offshore project ($9.8B).
About US$0.08/kWh wholesale over 20yrs for 33%CF but I don’t know how expensive maintenance & finance costs will be or more accurate avg wind. YMMV.
For no good reason at all.
There are many good reasons, not the least of which is more money to crony capitalists for donations to compliant politicians and the hiring their relatives.
That’s only if they have a captive customer who will buy every single kWh regardless of demand, like the poor ratepayers.
“Dominion Energy plans to build 176 wind turbines 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.”
Hmmm . . . just wondering what the electrical resistance losses (= wasted energy) will be for high voltage, high amperage electricity transmitted through undersea electrical cables over that distance?
A break or short in that cable (those cables) when under load would be spectacular, even if unobserved.
Anyone here want to bet against that distance being lowered to 2-5 miles before construction begins?
Tasmania has some fun a few years back when they melted their undersea connector to mainland Australia, they take quite a while to repair, and the repairs are expensive…
“According to the EIA, in 2017 . . . the average household electricity consumption kWh per day is 28.9 kWh.”
So, that is equivalent to a 24-hour load leveled average consumption of about (28.9/24) = 1.2 kW per household.
Let’s multiply that by the claim in the above article that the offshore wind farm of 127 turbines will supply power for “about 660,000 homes”. That’s then equivalent to an average of 792,000 kW, or 792 MW of continuous power transmission.
The article that you linked reports that the Australia-Tasmania undersea power/Internet cable failed as a result of the power company operators trying to force 630 MW of power through a cable having an operating design limit of only 500 MW (i.e., 26% above max. design load capacity).
So, Virginia offshore wind farm will need either a much large transmission cable than that used for the Australia-Tansmania power link, or multiple such cables.
Of course, there are no plans for battery storage capacity to go along with the planned offshore wind farm, so the cables will not, in fact, have such an average steady power load . . . they will operate at peak load only when there is demand for such, and if at peak demand they operate over the design-limit power carry capacity, the operators bear the consequences (well, actually, according to the above article, the utility customers will bear consequences).
They should build them 200 feet off of Virginia Beach, so the people who voted for the politicians who support this mass stupidity can be confronted with the “consequences of elections” every day they go to the beach.
I thought I’d try searching Wattsup to see if I could find any stories that discuss the amount of energy required to construct wind turbines vs how much they produce during their lifetime, but found a story about 2 turbines being installed off the Virginia coastline instead…
I guess this would have been a bit of an experiment. Do we know how these two turbines have fared?
Is it really true that turbines produce less energy during their lifetime than it takes to make them?
Without going into great detail, the cost of offshore wind turbines installed is $4M/MW. That is equivalent to 20,000 tonnes of coal at $200/t. That much coal has a heating value of 600TJ.
Each MW of offshore wind capacity will produce 1800MWh each year. That is 6.5TJ/year. So it will take a little under 100 years for the wind turbine to produce the same energy as the coal that went into it or could be purchased today.
Some may argue that the coal could not produce electricity at 100% efficiency but then a lot of the electricity goes into just heating appliances while the processes to make the steel, cement, fibreglass and all the other materials predominantly rely on heating or the oxygen reducing ability of coal.
Have used a capacity factor just over 20% for the wind farm. That will be achieved if there is not excessive curtailment; the cable stays intact and no serious failures. That also means there needs to be a lot of storage capacity with a high penetration of intermittents. The storage capacity is at least as expensive as the wind generating capacity. Then there are the transmission cables, very expensive and have low utilisation due to the low capacity factors.
It makes far more sense to spend the money on coal resources and leave them in the ground till needed. Right now China is digging up more than 4,000,000,000 tonnes of coal each year – a significant portion going into steel, aluminium, glass, cement and other materials being consumed by developed countries chasing their NetZero fantasy.
“It will take a little under 100 years for the wind turbine to produce the same energy …… .”
But the turbine will only last about 15 or 20 years before it needs to be replaced.
Doesn’t add up.
Never did, never will.
Was never intended to.
Data available from the EIA, but only to May (at the time of posting).
URL : https://www.eia.gov/opendata/v1/qb.php?category=4457290
I used the ““Net generation : … : wind : all primemovers : monthly (megawatthours)” option, near the bottom of that page, to plot how well CVOW has performed.
NB : The August dip seems to be systemic for US coastlines.
See the posts I made under a WUWT article about Texas windfarms just over 3 weeks ago, starting with the following :
Virginians will be the envy of the rest of the world as their electricity prices surpass those currently on offer in Germany; nudging EUR750/MWh regularly last week:
And already looking stupendous for today with Greece winning the race at EUR616/MWh:
These are eye watering prices. Makes diesel at AUD2/l look attractive.
There is no Jon Snow to fight agains the raiding Putin from the north – winter is coming. The could be the last winter for intermittents. The best time to work in a coal fired power station is winter – plenty of warmth. There’s an opportunity, set up temporary buildings at coal fired powered stations with heat changes being heated from waste gas streams.
For the populace to huddle in the wintertime.
Dominion are only operating a minor variation on what Mr Putin is doing. To Germany not least, all of Europe and The World in effect.
They could at least have tried something original – as people in possession of a GSOH might have done.
See now where all the babies have gone – if you were a she/her/female and was ‘in the mood’ would you let ‘Dominion’ have s3x with you?
No you wouldn’t, you wouldn’t give it.
So what happens, Dominion takes it without permission.
There is A Word for that.
The clue is in the name itself – Domination
There must be better energy solutions other than this albatross.
For billions to pay taxpayers would like choices.
I am not a particular fan of Dominion, but this is more about the people of Virginia. No one wants it in their backyard (anything) so it has to be somewhere else. My lot has both a Colonial Gas and Dominion easement. Pipelines are what they are and must run for very long distances, but the powerlines (in Northern Virginia) are coming in all the way from West Virginia because liberals in NoVa won’t have a power plant here. So it has to come from somewhere.
That’s a big contributor to what is going on here.
I don’t think the fishing fleet are big fans of windmills in their fishing grounds.
“…enough to power 660,000 homes…” – maybe, but only when the wind’s blowing; rest of the time…?
Virginia doesn’t get hammered very often because we’re protected by South Carolina jutting out in front of us.
Not mentioned is that we regularly have “near misses” wherein hurricanes run right by us up the coast. We end up with storm surge and tropical rains on land, but guess where those wind turbines are supposed to be? Right in the path that those “near misses” tend to follow.
This is going to be a very expensive boondoggle.
Any installation of wind and solar generation is, by definition, redundant generating capacity, since 100% capacity backup must be maintained to “fill in the blanks”. The investment in the redundant capacity is added to the utility’s rate base and the utility is permitted to earn its allowable rate of return on investment on the increased rate base. Therefore, rates increase. If, at some future time, storage is constructed to store and redeliver sufficient power to “fill in the blanks”, the redundant conventional generating capacity could be retired. However, the investment in the storage capacity would be added to the utility’s rate base. Storage might, or might not, be less expensive than the conventional generation capacity it replaces.
Sounds like Dominion Energy got to the corrupt Virginia state legislators and the previous governor and made a deal. Not sure what the carrot was, but there was one. Of that I’m almost positive. There was no valid reason to build a wind farm, anywhere at all.
Well, unless one considers the faux climate change crap being spouted by the leftist cult believers.
Time for folks to wake up to the actual threat to their well-being, the crooked politicians and academics, etc. pushing unfounded and unprovable climate change on the folks.
I wonder why the US Navy have not objected to this wind farm located near one of their bases?
Noise covering submarine activities, radar/radio reflections from blades and towers over a wide area?
This paper from:
in section 7.3 describes the problems that seafarers and the military can have with offshore windfarms.
With heightened tension with Russia and China I would have thought it would be best to platy safe.
The modern Navy is more concerned with making sure that sailors are comfortable with whatever gender they are today, than with making sure that bases are safe.
The U.S. military’s mission is now to fight climate change, not wars.
What Virginia needs is large signs posted every few blocks like gasoline prices displaying the price of electricity in large numbers. A related digital billboard could display real time voter approvals of legislators.
First there has to be honest elections. Without that the people have no say.
And none of this will have any effect upon the climate but will certainly destroy the wealth of rate payers.
Not even a Gigawatt. For $9.8 Billion. You could build a couple of beautiful clean coal plants for that. And when it is time for maintenance, you just walk into the turbine room instead of taking a boat ride 27 miles offshore.
The utility is recognizing this is a speculative investment, with cancellation possible in a year of so. Why should ratepayers, not investors, be on the hook for risk?
Because sticking hapless/friendless ratepayers helps them and not investors which in turn is good for the stock price and executive bonuses.
Because they would never go with wind if it was their own money on the line, and Democrats say we need to go with renewables.
Maybe a little off-topic, but this past weekend I drove from Salt Lake City to the Chicago suburbs, passing through Iowa. There are lots of wind turbines in Iowa, probably providing power to a few farms in rural areas, although they were turning slowly in the 5-10 mph breeze last Sunday.
We also saw five trucks hauling wind turbine blades in the other direction, which appeared to be about 80 feet long each, requiring a specially-built trailer to haul them. I wonder how much diesel fuel was required to transport them from the manufacturing site to their destination, and then to power the crane used to lift them into place to be attached to the generator about 100 feet above the ground.
For off-shore wind turbines, such as those by Dominion, they need transported by truck to a port city, then floated 27 miles out to sea aboard a large barge, then hoisted into place using a ship-board crane. This last operation is particularly delicate, as the ship on which the crane is mounted will rock with the waves 27 miles offshore, meaning that the turbine blade will be swinging around on its cable quite a bit before it can be guided into place and attached to the generator. How much fuel needs to be burned to build these wind turbines offshore, and then dredge electrical cables under the sea floor 27 miles to shore?
It’s also interesting that the turbines are located 27 miles offshore, when it would be much cheaper to build them in shallower water closer to shore. Twenty miles is about the distance where a container ship disappears from view on a clear day below the horizon due to the curvature of the earth. Perhaps Dominion didn’t want to spoil the view of beachgoers at Virginia Beach with its wind turbines?
It makes you wonder how they can be justified even within the renewable space. I visited a utility scale solar project and it had two employees on site and one of them was monitoring several other locations in NM from that location. Oh, incentives. I forgot.
Maybe its time to buy about 5000 shares of Dominion Energy. The last dividend they paid was 2.67 a share. Could null the price increases at home thru the dividend payouts and future increase in company value.
Note the fine print in these announcements – “it will deliver power to 650,000 homes at peak”. Nameplate capacity 2,600 MW, average delivery about 900 MW, sometimes just 200 MW.
If average ex generator price is $100/MWhr, annual income $788 million.
Now deduct operating costs and depreciation.
Capital cost $9.8 billion – will net income deliver a return on investment?
I’m a Virginian. I live on the Chesapeake Bay, which is saltwater. I’ve been a sailor for years and the maintenance required on my boat was incredible. Even though everything on deck was 318 Stainless Steel, we still had maintenance to perform.
I can’t imagine the maintenance that would be required for this offshore wind project. I doubt they will build the structures with stainless steel.
When I first moved to Virginia in 1980, Northern Virginia (the DC area and the surrounding cities and counties) was only 15% of the total population of Virginia. Virginia was a red state for years (decades). Then the federal government kept growing and growing. NORTHERN VIRGINIA IS NOW 38% OF OUR POPULATION! they dictate our elections. No wonder we have so much idiot legislation.
Thank goodness we gained some common sense in the last election
More insanity, it just keeps getting worse and worse.
We live in northern Virginia, and purchase our electricity from Novec. It’s a coop, and my wife and I have attended a few of their annual meetings. I have to say, it’s one of the best run businesses I’ve ever seen (and I’ve run some myself). And our electric bills are almost ridiculously low for the size house we have, in the climate of northern Virginia. Our highest ever was $380 for one month, whereas my record for the same size house in southern California – 20 years ago, no less – was $1,200. But I see “greenism” creeping into Novec’s culture, and this idiotic offshore wind farm scheme will no doubt contaminate it further. Fortunately, we have 96 acres in Tennessee as our retirement destination, and the cost of everything there is drastically lower.
They continue to ignore the truth, wind turbines and solar panels will never generate enough power to run a modern country. They cannot be built without massive inputs of fossil fuels. They require generating backup that will not fail if the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. I have been reading about the green c**p for decades and it still is B S.
I am a retired Nuclear Engineer with a large portion of my experience with the Construction after and Startup Testing of Three Mile Island one and two, Startup Testing Manager on the TMI-I restart for the NRC Required modifications. I can unequivocally predict that this project is going to take far more time and money than the Vogtle 3 and 4 project [already at 30 billion. Ten years from now that would be 60 billion with inflation and interest. ]. Just ask any Offshore Oil drilling platform construction service how long it would take to construct ~200 platforms. This project will also need to install three to five underwater -30 mile powerlines. I also predict that with ~200 Wind Turbines that even before half are constructed they will begin repairing/replacing at least one a year, further adding to the cost
We don’t always get hurricanes, but winter storms are guaranteed every year and offshore winds can reach 60-70mph.
Which begs the question how much energy to they take from the grid when not turning.
Maybe this answers it-
“The output to wind speed curve suggested that although generation does start at typically 3m/s it’s not until wind speeds reach 5m/s that there is any meaningful net output. All that first 5 m/s of wind energy is consumed in self-maintenance. overall net outputs of around 27%-29% of rated output depending on the unit type/tower height (and therefore blade size) and location”
Saw the Second Link years ago and have been looking for it for years.
The Naive are completely unaware of how much energy is needed just to keep the nacelle in position.