On To The Great Future Of Offshore Wind Power


Francis Menton

Today was a big day on the way to New York’s energy future: Our “Climate Action Council” voted to approve the final “Scoping Plan,” telling us all how we are going to achieve, among other goals, 70% of statewide electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030 and a zero-emission electricity system by 2040. The press release has the headline “New York State Climate Action Council Finalizes Scoping Plan to Advance Nation-Leading Climate Law.” Here also is a link to the Scoping Plan itself.

Taking a look at the Scoping Plan and its Executive Summary, I find that the two biggest elements in getting to this zero-emissions electricity system are supposedly going to be offshore wind turbines and energy storage. I’ve covered the energy storage issues extensively in other posts. But how about this offshore wind thing? Surely, to commit New York to transitioning to using offshore wind as the primary source of electricity only seven years from now, they must have a very solid game plan for how it is going to happen.

Actually, as with everything else here, they have no idea. As of today, there isn’t a single functioning offshore wind turbine in New York State, nor is there a single offshore wind turbine under construction. The climate cultists on the Climate Action Council think that they can just order this up, and then it will happen.

From the Executive Summary, here is what the CAC says will be necessary to achieve its emissions goals:

[The Scoping Plan] requires that the State install:
6,000 megawatts (MW) of distributed solar by 2025

3,000 MW of energy storage by 2030

9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035.

That 9,000 MW of offshore wind might initially sound like a lot. At 10 MW per turbine (huge), that would be 900 of these behemoths.

The EIA gives the total annual amount of electricity consumed in New York State for 2021 as 141,423,778 MWh. Divide by 8760 (hours in the year) and you get average demand of 16,144 MW. 9,000 MW starts off sounding like more than half of that. Not bad!

But of course wind turbines only generate at about 35% of capacity averaged over the year. So this 9,000 MW of offshore wind turbines will at best give us an average of about 3,000 MW, so well under 20% of our electricity demand for the year. Oh, and they’re planning to double electricity demand by electrifying cars and home heat, so make that 10%. And peak demand is as much as about 25,000 MW, 50,000 MW after doubling. When the peak hits you can’t count on the 9,000 MW of offshore wind for anything,. So why are we doing this again?

Undoubtedly, if this were being done competently, there must be a working demonstration project to show how the offshore wind will be built and then integrated into the existing system? Wrong. Rather, the plan appears to be to let some gigantic subsidized contracts and then hope that something gets built some day.

Here is a link to the website of the New York Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA). They claim to have 4300 MW of offshore wind projects “under active development” in the state, which is less than half of the 9,000 MW supposedly coming. Of the 4,300 MW, almost all is in the Atlantic Ocean off New York City and Long Island. Here is the key piece of their map:

But go to the Empire Wind website, for example, and you find a timeline indicating that they are just about up to the point of submitting applications for permits to federal and state authorities. Construction — if it ever actually occurs — is multiple years in the future. Nothing different over at the Beacon Wind website.

And what if well-funded environmental opposition emerges to these projects? That is almost inevitable. As an example, there have already been lawsuits by wealthy homeowners seeking to prevent cables from these windfarms from making landfall in their areas. Here is an example of one such brought in 2021 in the Town of East Hampton.

Is there any offshore wind project farther along than these from which we can get an idea how things might develop? Yes, there is the Commonwealth Wind project in Massachusetts, off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. That one was approaching the start of construction, when in September the contractor told the state that it would need to “rewrite the contracts” because of a sharp increase in costs. On Friday (December 16) the contractor gave up on renegotiation efforts, and said it wants out of the contracts altogether. James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal has the story in his Best of the Web column today, relying on reporting from Jon Chest of the Boston Globe:

The state’s nascent offshore wind industry suffered a big setback on Friday when Avangrid told state regulators it wants to end its contracts with three major utilities to build a massive wind farm south of Martha’s Vineyard… In September, chief executive Pedro Azagra said Avangrid would postpone construction of Commonwealth Wind, which could eventually provide enough power for up to 750,000 homes, by pushing its completion date out to 2028, and would need to rewrite the contracts because of a sharp increase in commodity costs. With Friday’s move, Avangrid has given up on those renegotiation efforts.

Meanwhile, again from Freeman, over in Rhode Island, regulators are considering suspending a permit already granted for a cable to bring ashore power from another project called Mayflower Wind. The issue there is not the environmental impact of the cable, but rather the financial viability of the whole project:

Rhode Island utilities regulators are considering suspending Mayflower Wind’s application for transmission cables that would run up the Sakonnet River to the former site of the Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset after the developer raised questions about the financial viability of the first phases of the $5 billion offshore wind project it has proposed off Massachusetts.

Is there any chance that New York will fare any better? Unlikely. Expect long delays and demands for lots more money before anything gets built.

Meanwhile, what is the total number of offshore wind turbines currently operating the the U.S.? According to Wikipedia here, the number is 7 — 5 for Block Island (part of Rhode Island) and 2 off Virginia. The same article says the Biden Administration plans to increase the capacity of offshore wind by around a factor of over 1000 by 2030. Sure.

Read the full article here.

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December 21, 2022 6:10 am

Thanks, Francis Menton, for the fact-filled post, and thanks, WUWT for cross posting it here.


PS: The following link takes you to the webpage that lists the members of the NY Climate Action Council:
Climate Action Council – New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) (ny.gov)

Oy vey!

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 21, 2022 6:18 am

“70% of statewide electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030”

Impossible- we should be taking bets on this failing. That’ll be some very easy profits.

I like the art at the top.

Mike Maguire
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 21, 2022 8:43 am

Agree, Bob!
Francis Menton has been shining a bright light on this topic, armed with profound facts to debunk the false assumptions and unjustified faith in the renewable energy source from unreliable and environmental hell, wind.

December 21, 2022 6:47 am

I was getting bored, a little, in retirement and wondering when the grim reaper was going to show. This gives me a reason to want to live longer to see this colossal failure play out. As the winters get more severe in the coming years, I can see citizens with pitchforks storming the capitol building in Albany. Where’s my popcorn?

Reply to  Mason
December 21, 2022 6:56 am

planned povertyhood

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Mason
December 21, 2022 8:52 am

but the citizens are so brainwashed they’ll be screaming to the politicians, “why don’t we have more wind and solar energy to save us from disaster?”

that’s certainly the case in Massachusetts where well over 90% of the public believe this new cult

amongst the state’s politicians, I think it’s 100% and If there are any that are not dedicated climate alarmist cultists, they aren’t brave enough to admit it

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 21, 2022 9:31 am

It’ll soon be Massacrechusetts

Reply to  Mason
December 21, 2022 1:01 pm

Mason, a jumbo bowl of popcorn will be just the thing to have when a storm with the same track as the 1938 hurricane approaches these wind turbines once completed. The result will be grim; the remnants would be lucky to resemble the artist’s version at the top of this post.

Reply to  Windsong
December 21, 2022 1:01 pm
December 21, 2022 6:55 am

From the Blue blight to the Green blight to the Blue blight, with winds that must blow within range, and water droplets that do not produce a rainbow effect.

December 21, 2022 7:06 am

Build these things in Biden’s backyard….build’em in all these pols backyards.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  antigtiff
December 22, 2022 3:32 am

Or better yet, don’t build them at all.

December 21, 2022 7:11 am

Hey, wind has proven to be such a great success elsewhere(not), just build the ‘Goldberg” contraptions all over the planet. Sure, that’s it. That’ll fix it.
I no longer take these climate cultists seriously. I see them as dangerous clowns with no viable brain cells between their ears. Just grifters collecting the rubes bucks and moving on to the next scam.
Climate Action Council is a mechanism to get at the NY taxpayer bucks and sounding somewhat legit doing so. Who will stop them? NY citizens? Wake up.

Bruce Cobb
December 21, 2022 7:16 am

The land-based wind energy ruse has faltered, so they have glommed onto offshore wind instead because gee whiz, it sidesteps the issues of land-based wind. Well, some of them anyway. But then offshore wind adds its own set of problems, which they will just conveniently ignore, as is their wont. They’ve also glommed onto “green hydrogen” in similar fashion. Because it just “sounds good”.

December 21, 2022 7:24 am

Wont survive the first hurricane

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  zzebowa
December 21, 2022 9:26 am

It’s just a matter of time before another hurricane hits Long Island like the one that nailed it and New England in 1938…..


And then of course there are all the maintenance and repair costs to think about as well, especially in the salty offshore environment.

Joe Crawford
December 21, 2022 7:38 am

I have seriously doubts that the people that make up New York’s “Climate Action Council” are that ignorant. My guess is they assume their plans will never have to come to fruition. And, that they expect by 2030 to 2040 the “powers that be” will have successfully crashed the economy, replacing it with ‘Democratic Socialism’ and democracy with an Oligarchy of which they are part of the ruling “Elite”.

Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 21, 2022 11:07 am

Yes, but it’s proper name is Fascism.

Erik Magnuson
December 21, 2022 7:43 am

3,000 MW of energy storage????? Is that a peak power supply capacity or short for 3,000 MWhrs? Either way, it’s a bit small to handle the energy storage requirements for NY state.

Rick C
Reply to  Erik Magnuson
December 21, 2022 8:38 am

You know that this is either a scam of the commission is completely incompetent when they list 6,000 MW solar, 3,000 MW storage and 9,000 MW wind as if the storage is a production source. That’s 18,000 MW total, right? They don’t even know that storage units are MWhr.

In any case, I wouldn’t take any such “plan” seriously that does not include a credible cost estimate and cost/benefit analysis. Anything less is just bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo designed to give the illusion that something useful is being done.

Curious George
Reply to  Rick C
December 21, 2022 12:53 pm

In California the storage is specified in megawatts by law. Usually in megawatt-hours as well. These commissions are usually composed of lawyers, who make sure that other lawyers won’t run out of work.

Reply to  Rick C
December 21, 2022 9:59 pm

They are setting the goals. It’s up to the little people to figure out the details.

As it was spoken, so let it be done.

December 21, 2022 7:44 am

Blame the movie industry again. There was a rather poor movie made, “Field of Dreams”, that showed a guy with mental problems raising money to buíld a big sport stadium in the middle of nowhere. Somewhere they had the line “Build it and the people will come” or words like that. In the movie some beings did come, but they were ghosts, not real people.
As with this movie fantasy, so it seems with the plans for these windmills. Build them, all will be OK.
Windmills were so last century in the US by 1900. Why flog a dead horse?
Geoff S

Reply to  sherro01
December 21, 2022 1:44 pm

(Stanford now says that ‘flog a dead horse’ is essentially hate speech that may encourage violence agin animals … so be nicer….)

More Soylent Green!
Reply to  DonM
December 21, 2022 2:21 pm

You mean “encourages violence against deceased horses?” Hmmm…

Reply to  More Soylent Green!
December 21, 2022 5:07 pm

“normalizes violence against animals”

(I didn’t see anything that says that you shouldn’t talk about swinging a dead cat … those Stanford people must biased agin cats)

Last edited 5 months ago by DonM
Reply to  sherro01
December 21, 2022 5:05 pm

OT, but the “Field of Dreams” exists in Dyersville Iowa, and is a tourist attraction.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  sherro01
December 21, 2022 7:37 pm

Greet book by Kinsella
Great movie

December 21, 2022 7:50 am

Wind & solar – those great useless entities that would not exist without heavy consumer subsidies, that fill land fills with toxic waste, that hoover up many of the worlds finite resources in their manufacture, that sterilise obscene acres of land that should be growing crops or farming animals, that simply make a few landowners & suppliers extremely rich – what’s not to love

December 21, 2022 8:05 am
December 21, 2022 8:08 am

Don’t confuse actual planning with virtue signaling.

Andy Pattullo
December 21, 2022 8:08 am

The best reason to build offshore windmills is to have some place to tie up the folks who think this is a good idea. Let them all have a nice cozy spin in the wind as the blades rotate. Should have a great view and no lack of kinetic energy. Reminds me of that movie “Life of Brian” – “always look on the bright side of life” – plenty of time to learn the lyrics before those blades start turning.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
December 22, 2022 3:38 am

“Crucifixion? Good. Through the door, line on the left, one cross each.”

December 21, 2022 8:13 am

According to a UK report turbines lose ~3% efficiency per year on average. So, after 10 years that’s a third gone and they supposedly have a lifetime of 25 years…

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  strativarius
December 22, 2022 3:40 am

And that “lifetime” is probably as overstated as the fictional “range” of BEVs.

December 21, 2022 8:25 am

One might think that the lamebrain morons who wrote the package might just know the difference between power and energy so the infantiley stupid statement of
“3,000 MW of energy storage by 2030” #
is beyond stupid it is just not even wrong. Is it not a disgrace that these clueless idiots were paid taxpayer monet to write such complete drivel.
Write one hundred times “a Megawatt is not a unit of energy”

December 21, 2022 8:41 am
Last edited 5 months ago by lgl
Reply to  lgl
December 21, 2022 12:02 pm

What about storage and intermittency?

Reply to  michel
December 21, 2022 2:21 pm

That’s why they should keep 1/3 of the gas, for a while.

Reply to  lgl
December 21, 2022 4:33 pm

for a while

being until the genetically modified unicorn herd has reached critical size?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  lgl
December 22, 2022 3:45 am

And after “a while,” presumably magical leprechauns will store energy for free? And when you need the full 2/3rds of non-intermittent generation to keep the lights on during an extended period with little wind, I guess it’s back to candles.

Oh, and you seem to forget New York’s zeal for closing its nuclear power plants is but a step behind their zeal to close coal fired power plants. Guess you’ll need to build even more gas fired plants to make up for that, thereby INCREASING “emissions” (not that they mean anything).

Last edited 5 months ago by AGW is Not Science
Beta Blocker
Reply to  michel
December 21, 2022 2:49 pm

Normally, backup for wind and solar’s intermittency during long dry spells would include some combination of gas-fired capacity held on standby inside the state’s boundaries, plus access to power generation resources located outside the state’s own borders.

However, as I read the Climate Act, access to gas-fired backup generation resources would eventually be forbidden regardless of where those resources were located, either inside or outside the state’s borders.

The question may become academic if most gas-fired backup resources in the region have already been closed as a consequence of the Biden administration’s national Net Zero mandates.

Beta Blocker
December 21, 2022 9:05 am

The key near-term issue is just how far and just how fast New York City, New York State, and federal authorities will go in forcing the early retirements of the legacy fossil-fuel power generation resources which serve the state’s and the region’s power markets.

New York’s governor has said explicitly that anyone who is not on board with the state’s current economic and energy policies is encouraged to leave the state and move elsewhere. The Biden Administration has said explicitly it will ignore any court rulings adverse to its Net Zero agenda.

The results of the 2022 mid-term elections demonstrate that there is no political price to pay for pursuing an aggressive anti-carbon energy policy. IMHO, the forced early retirements of legacy power resources in the state and in the region will not be postponed even if power shortages reach crisis proportions and the price of electricity doubles or even triples.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Beta Blocker
December 21, 2022 12:11 pm

‘The results of the 2022 mid-term elections demonstrate that there is no political’ way out of this increasingly socialist mess until the wheels seriously begin to fall off. And then it will be a closely run thing whether we then revert back to a limited government constitutional republic or continue falling down the abyss to full blown fascism.

December 21, 2022 9:34 am

here is what the CAC says

When I was a boy, CAC meant poo, so quite appropriate

Reply to  Redge
December 21, 2022 1:13 pm

Without a ‘k’?

Reply to  strativarius
December 21, 2022 9:14 pm

Poetic license

David Dibbell
December 21, 2022 10:29 am

Thank you for this update. The inmates … er … residents … er … clients are running the asylum. Trying hard not to offend. But wow, this is just nuts.

December 21, 2022 11:03 am

Those who advocate offshore wind turbines seem ignorant of the eternal blight of ocean shipping and warfare which is – Salt eats the …. out of everything. It is the constant torment of every marine engineer. Will these things last more than 10 years without major rebuilding?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Denis
December 22, 2022 3:48 am

With any luck, they’ll never get built and we’ll never find out.

Chris Hanley
December 21, 2022 12:37 pm

Today was a big day on the way to New York’s energy future: Our “Climate Action Council” voted to approve the final “Scoping Plan,” telling us all how we are going to achieve, among other goals, 70% of statewide electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030

Positively Orwellian: in Nineteen Eighty-Four Winston Smith watches an announcement on his telescreen that 50 million pairs of boots were produced but thinks to himself apathetically that for all he knows no boots at all were produced.

Commonwealth Wind, which could eventually provide enough power for up to 750,000 homes

Projections of that kind are common in wind and solar puffery however they ought to add that sometimes without much warning there will be zero power being produced.

Last edited 5 months ago by Chris Hanley
AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 22, 2022 3:52 am

I don’t care how many wind or solar facilities they build and what their “capacity” is, any claim that they can “provide enough power” for even ONE home is a bald-faced LIE.

They ALL require 100% backup to “provide power” for ANYTHING.

December 21, 2022 12:43 pm

It was reported on local news out of Cadillac, Michigan that a wind mill blew down recently near Traverse City. The town has no idea what they will do. The insurance doesn’t cover replacement.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  mkelly
December 22, 2022 3:54 am

If they were smart, they’d build a coal fired power plant and rake in the money selling electricity to idiots who build wind mills and solar panels for their electricity generation.

December 21, 2022 12:46 pm

because of a sharp increase in costs.

If you want to install wind turbines you need to have a chat with the manufacturer of everything and lock in the prices. China is subsidising global manufacturing by fixing the price for the coal mined internally. But buyers need to lock in prices with China before signing contracts to supply things that China makes.

It costs nothing to create USDs. They are just adjustment to decimal places in computer memory. On the other hand, converting coal to wind turbines is a tangible process that takes energy and effort. If China does not have the capacity to meet demand then the prices just go up.

So-called “renewable” energy is unsustainable. It is an illusion based on China’s ability to access low cost coal to manufacture the wind energy extractors. That eventually comes to an end but my bet is China will stop accepting US debt before the coal runs out.

son of mulder
December 21, 2022 1:37 pm

This is all so yesterday, look to the future as the lunacy is heading for Mars.


“Scientists could build wind turbines on Mars to help power future outposts, Nasa has suggested.

Its Artemis Mission to establish a “base camp” on the Moon is widely seen as a stepping stone to Mars and Chinese officials have spoken about a crewed voyage to the red planet by 2033. But questions remain over how a Martian research station would be powered…….

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  son of mulder
December 22, 2022 4:13 am

What a great idea – just think how much faster you can freeze to death on Mars without power.

I think all “climate” true believers should go there as soon as the new wind powered base is completed, so they can show us how “feasible” it is.

December 21, 2022 2:21 pm

Partial cost accounting everywhere with doomster unreliables-

And here’s their lies exposed as Big Gummint pours taxes (actually helicopter money given the red ink everywhere) into the true accounting-

AGW is Not Science
December 21, 2022 2:48 pm

Here’s hoping not one more of these worse-than-useless things gets built.

If they do get built, they will nothing more than, in the words of the great George S. Patton, “monuments to the stupidity of man.”

December 21, 2022 5:35 pm

americas only offshore wind farm has been plagued by structural and engineering problems for years ( worth a google ) and of the five turbines most or all spend more time being repaired than producing electricity . even the uber liberal Brown U paper called cost over runs “ astronomical “ for the wind farm . further wind farm expansion in RI has met with similar soaring projected cost viability problems as those encountered in Mass . and block island has the highest electricity cost in the US .

Reply to  garboard
December 21, 2022 5:39 pm

another problem is that the US has neither the ships nor the expertise to build these things ; if you notice , it is all being done by european companies . the US will provide the supply boats ( and office space ) not the massive construction vessels .

Last edited 5 months ago by garboard
Dave Andrews
Reply to  garboard
December 22, 2022 6:48 am

Earlier this year Wind Europe warned that there was going to be a worldwide shortage of the specialised vessels used to build offshore wind farms, that is Foundation Installation Vessels (FIVs), Wind Turbine Installation Vessels (WTIVs) and Cable Laying Vessels (CLVs) that connect the turbines to the mainland.

The shortage was compounded by the fact the turbines were getting bigger faster than the vessels and by the growing number of offshore windfarms in the pipeline.

“Shortage of FIVs, WTIVs and CLVs poses risk for project execution worldwide”


joe x
December 22, 2022 3:47 am

what is notable in all this is name plate capacity vs field output and the people that don’t know the difference. the article points this out very well. not to mention the push to electrify transportation, industrial process, heating, cooking. a typical range requries a 220v, 30 amp circuit for residential use. scale this up and see what happens to grid stability. something a little closer to home. many locals have tried to fight this but the green hoaxers have won the day. the owners of the farm land here and around the country are being bribed with land peuchases and or lucrative lease contracts. nothing against farmers but the ones that sellout to the greens were neither farmer or noble.

leftists break everything they touch.

joe x

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