FERC’s Role in the Offshore Wind Stampede


By David Wojick

I am looking at a fat study titled “The Benefit and Urgency of Planned Offshore Transmission: Reducing the Costs of and Barriers to Achieving U.S. Clean Energy Goals”. The term FERC occurs a whopping 92 times. See https://www.brattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Brattle-OSW-Transmission-Report_Jan-24-2023.pdf

Not surprisingly the 103 page report is mistitled. It is actually about the onshore transmission of offshore wind power, not offshore transmission. The urgency is that the present power system cannot handle all that offshore juice coming ashore. FERC is in the crosshairs because they are in charge of the grid. Technically it is the independent system operators or ISOs, which are also repeatedly mentioned, but they answer to FERC.

This study is welcome in its way because it recognizes a deep problem that is not much discussed. The present power system is not set up to handle huge new incoming flows at places that happen to be convenient to offshore wind. As it is it cannot be done.

In fact the term “grid” is something of a misnomer. It suggests that power can move about freely in large amounts, which is false. The proper term is the “Eastern Interconnection” and that much is true. Every major utility is connected to its neighbors, but the amount of allowable power flow is quite limited. It is typically less than 20% of peak need.

A little history is useful here. In the olde days — 1870-1970 — pretty much every utility was responsible for generating its own power. Then in the 1970s we built a huge fleet of huge coal fired power plants that were (1) near the coal, not the cities, and (2) jointly owned. This led to a lot of interconnection, followed by the rise of a relatively limited wholesale power market.

Now we are talking about building a huge fleet of offshore generators. According to the study there are around 52,000 MW of generating capacity already in the US project “pipeline” with a lot more to come. The common news reference to the Biden goal of 30,000 MW is seriously understated. It is a stampede.

Given that 600 MW is a good sized power plant this is a hell of a lot of juice. The existing transmission system was not designed to handle this enormous power flow, coming from a new direction, so it won’t. Hence the “urgency” referenced in the title of the report.

52,000 MW is something like $200 billion in new generating capacity, none of which is needed, so somebody’s power bills are going way up. One of the urgent things they want FERC to do is spread the cost around. No surprise there.

The reason FERC is referred to 92 times is that they want the electric power system rebuilt, physically and contractually, to handle this stampede of new, unneeded, intermittent generation. What is amusing is that FERC has a rule making ongoing on constraining renewables, because they screw up the grid. See my https://www.cfact.org/2022/12/27/ferc-considers-constraining-renewables/

What seems to have triggered this study is a report from the New England ISO saying they will have to upgrade or rebuild 4,500 miles of transmission lines in order to handle this new flood of offshore juice. New England is very small as ISOs go.

To my knowledge none of the ISO’s in the offshore wind crosshairs have approved the hookup of any of this wild wind juice. They and FERC still have to come to terms with the stampede. I wonder if the people investing hundreds of billions of dollars even know this. As things stand they might not be allowed to hook into the grid.

Of particular interest is that the lead sponsor of this study is the Natural Resources Defense Council or NRDC. They are, or used to be, one of America’s biggest environmental advocacy outfits. Now they are “environmental industrialists” a living oxymoron. They want to rebuild the global power system in the name of environmental protection. Surely this is mindless madness.

In any case, connecting all this unneeded intermittent wind generation to the grid is a huge issue that has yet to even surface, much less to be resolved. Stay tuned to CFACT as this monster story unfolds.


David Wojick

David Wojick, Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For origins see http://www.stemed.info/engineer_tackles_confusion.html For over 100 prior articles for CFACT see http://www.cfact.org/author/david-wojick-ph-d/

Available for confidential research and consulting.

4.8 19 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tom Halla
February 7, 2023 2:09 pm

And all the wind power on a grid must have rotating backup, as wind is weather dependent.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 7, 2023 4:43 pm

Seems like we’re FERC’ed.

Bryan A
Reply to  Scissor
February 7, 2023 5:15 pm

W O W…what a FERC’ed up report that was. Almost every page is FERC’ed

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 9, 2023 6:12 pm

What is “rotating backup”?

Tom Halla
Reply to  niceguy12345
February 9, 2023 6:19 pm

As with standard turbo-alternators, the alternator set has quite a lot of physical inertia, aside from being throttled up or down in response to load. This rotating inertia adds stability to the grid.

James Snook
February 7, 2023 2:10 pm

Typical of the fantasy world inhabited by the Net Zero zealots. They just don’t want to know the simple facts that make their pointless objective less achievable than unicorn farming.

David Wojick
Reply to  James Snook
February 7, 2023 2:47 pm

Right but the folks investing untold billions in OSW expect to make a lot of money from it. That is where it gets interesting. If it is a speculative bubble when will it burst?

Reply to  David Wojick
February 7, 2023 7:02 pm

Is it maybe “too big to fail”?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  AndyHce
February 8, 2023 2:44 am

Too much taxpayer money going into it to fail.

Reply to  David Wojick
February 7, 2023 7:49 pm

As long as the democrat party and the RINO contingent are in office, the mandates and subsidies will make the phony power producers rich.

And thousands of whales will die.

BUT, on the bright side, with the whales gone, the “fisheries” will “rebound” to early last century numbers since the whales won’t be eating the fish.

The last sentence was TRUE but meant as SARC.

Last edited 1 month ago by Drake
Rud Istvan
February 7, 2023 2:21 pm

A strongly supporting data point drawn from old guest post ‘True Cost of Wind’ over at Judith’s. The TX ERCOT grid spent $6.9 billion over 3 years in their ‘CREZ’ upgrade of 3600 miles of transmission line to move growing wind generation from north TX to the main consumption centers of DFW and Houston.That was, just for TX, over 2x what the EIA estimate for transmission upgrade wind cost was nationally!

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 7, 2023 7:48 pm

There is an inherent inefficiency in transmission of random surging variable supply, given that conductors and control gear must be sized to maximum flow, regardless of how often that occurs. It’s a handicap of all VRE, even when considering H2 production capex.

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 7, 2023 11:01 pm

The cost of transmission “upgrades” will be passed directly on to rate-payers, not to the intermittent power producers. Yet another way in which the government seeks to make wind power appear economic.

Kevin Kilty
February 7, 2023 2:39 pm

Monstrous maximum mindless madness.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Kevin Kilty
February 8, 2023 2:48 am

It’s madness, but it’s making a lot of people a lot of money. That’s why it continues.

February 7, 2023 2:46 pm
David Wojick
Reply to  markx
February 8, 2023 1:54 am

Their stated mission: “FERC ensures reliable, safe, secure & economically efficient energy for consumers at a reasonable cost.”.

No place for offshore wind in that sentence.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  David Wojick
February 8, 2023 3:04 am

My electric bill was 25 percent higher last month. Higher than a similar cold spell experienced last year. The highest electric bill I have ever paid.

Where does the blame lie? The increased costs that windmills and solar add to the grid? The increased costs of natural gas?

I think in my case it is the increased cost of natural gas which is used by local powerplants to generate electricity.

Who is responsible for increasing the costs of natural gas?

But, no doubt, the adding of windmills and solar to my grid will increase my costs. We have many examples from around the world that show this plainly. They will also increase the chances of my grid having a blackout.

Our leaders are running just as fast as they can towards the edge of the cliff. An amazing example of groupthink which is based on nothing of substance. Human-caused climate change is definitely a religion. And it pays well if you are in the right group.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 8, 2023 9:02 am

Here in New England the higher cost of electricity can be easily found: cancellation of a new natural gas pipeline between Pennsylvania and New England (Kinder Morgan pipeline) and blocking of not one, but two powerline projects (Northern Pass and CMP) that would have brought abundant, cheap and green hydropower in from Quebec.

That the pipeline was killed meant New England has to import LNG from foreign sources, in this case Trinidad and Tobago. Domestic LNG cannot be transported between US ports by non-US owned, flagged, and crewed ships under the Jones Act.

What’s been worse is that as coal and nuclear plants have been decommissioned in New England they have been replaced with…nothing.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  DCE
February 8, 2023 12:14 pm

We did this a couple of days ago.

So everything landed at the Everett Terminal in Boston is imported. Historically, much of that has been from Trinidad. However, the reality is that there are existing pipelines from Canada and across New York whose capacity has been expanded by adding compressor stations. So although New York refused to grant permission for new lines, in fact supply has been increasing, and imports decreasing. Some recent projects are listed here:


Of course when demand spikes the pipelines are no longer adequate, and Boston must pay full import parity for gas.

Chart of US LNG import, showing how they have dropped away as shale gas has taken over, with even Boston not having to import much these days.

comment image

What also happens is that CCGT generators switch to using distillate fuel in place of gas, allowing gas to go to other consumers. It’s a precarious balance. Of course, New England accounts for the bulk of US consumption of heating oil as well.

Smart Rock
February 7, 2023 2:48 pm

Surely this is mindless madness

We know that, and “they” know that. The difference is that we care.

William Howard
February 7, 2023 2:59 pm

Not to worry – these monsters rarely produce at the posted levels

Reply to  William Howard
February 7, 2023 7:03 pm

Isn’t one too many?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  AndyHce
February 8, 2023 3:07 am

Yes, definitely. One is too many.

Reply to  William Howard
February 7, 2023 10:29 pm

Not to worry – these monsters rarely produce at the posted levels

I think you mean “never”

Jim Gorman
February 7, 2023 3:17 pm

The wind investors can only see the money coming from the government. Everything else is just refusing to allow them the ability to collect this money. Somehow engineering has escaped all these business decisions and the chickens are coming home to roost.

Think about taking all the existing power plants and moving them to points chosen by a monkey throwing darts at a map. Does anyone recognize all those huge towers with very high voltage lines radiating out into the countryside. Those would all need to be moved along with the equipment that boosts the voltage/current and those that cuts it back down to local distribution plant. Hell of a lot of investment to that. The wind investors don’t care, just build all the redundant equipment and duplicate the investment, depreciation, and maintenance and profit.

This is so stupid and will end up costing everyone from the poor to the rich.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 7, 2023 3:36 pm

‘Deregulated’ utilities love building transmission lines, which is why many of them have thrown in with the wind and solar interests on the premise of ‘providing clean energy’, notwithstanding the increases in customer bills and the decrease in system reliability. The only things holding these utilities back are the ISO’s planners, who usually specify which projects they will allow to be built, and NIMBY-ism on the part of homeowners, who don’t want transmission lines near their homes or schools.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 7, 2023 7:53 pm

BUT the poor will really feel it. And the middle class, as lower middle class become poor.

And a couple of the RICH may move down to way upper middle class, but some rich will just get richer harvesting the subsidies.

February 7, 2023 3:17 pm

It’s a scam to create a market for colossal dummy loads for dummy load manufacturers.

Frank from NoVA
February 7, 2023 3:24 pm

I note from their website that one of FERC’s responsibilities is to:

  • Protects the reliability of the high voltage interstate transmission system through mandatory reliability standards

I would think that a (future) responsible administration would want to enhance the reliability of the nation’s power grid by mandating a level playing field for energy dispatch into the grid.

Taking the government’s thumb off the scale in itself would increase grid reliability immensely since intermittent energy would largely disappear if it’s suppliers had to compensate the ISOs for non-performance.

Paul Hurley
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
February 7, 2023 4:07 pm

Perhaps they’ll quietly lower those reliability standards to accommodate the “renewables.”

Reply to  Paul Hurley
February 7, 2023 7:05 pm


CD in Wisconsin
February 7, 2023 4:04 pm

“Now we are talking about building a huge fleet of offshore generators. According to the study there are around 52,000 MW of generating capacity already in the US project “pipeline” with a lot more to come. The common news reference to the Biden goal of 30,000 MW is seriously understated. It is a stampede.”

Why do see quite a few more dead whales washing up on beaches in America’s future?

I’m not allowed to kill or injure a bald eagle (and I wouldn’t want to), but govt supported wind turbine projects can kill eagles, whales and probably whatever additional wildlife it wants.

Something is terribly wrong here.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
February 7, 2023 10:36 pm

Because Greens are “saving the planet”

February 7, 2023 4:07 pm

Look at the map for your Electric Utility District. You will quickly see that it looks like a cluster of Spider Webs. [Not the ones you see in a photo but the ones you see in your garden or under a tree.] The Power plants are in the center and it feeds several substations with the highest power that then further distribute the power to smaller substations. There will be several transmission lines connecting the larger Substations together. However, rarely will you see large power transmission lines going from one end to the other or one side to the other. Both Onshore and Offshore wind turbine sites are turning the existing system upside down and inside out and will cost $TRILLIONS for each ISO and Utility district. This transition will take Decades NOT YEARS.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  usurbrain
February 7, 2023 5:28 pm

“will cost $TRILLIONS for each ISO and Utility district”

Exaggerated. As Rud said, Texas ran over budget spending $6.9 billion o CREZ. That was nearly ten years ago. It is done, and seems to work well.
It carries about 18 GW. For that money, you would be struggling to build FF generating capacity for 2 GW. And then you’d have to pay for fuel.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nick Stokes
Nick Stokes
Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 7, 2023 5:43 pm

For comparison, Vogtle stages 3 and 4 have a combined capacity of about 2.2 GW. They seem to have cost about $28B to construct. Spending $6.9B to convey 18 GW seems cheap in comparison.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 7, 2023 8:08 pm

BUT Vogtle will actually produce dispatchable electricity when it is NEEDED, not just when the wind blows and the sun shines. So the 2.2GW is how many GWH over the next 100 years lifespan compared to the unreliable wind and solar, which, by the way, you compared the TRANSMISSION line cost to the Nuclear generator costs, failing to provide the TOTAL cost of the unreliable generation. Don’t forget to REBUILD the wind and solar 5 to 8 times over the next 100 years and add THAT cost also.

So Nick, how many houses with all the innards would the added $ for the wind and solar build? Screw the poor, they can live 10 to a room so that we can SAVE THE PLANET!! Hooray!!

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Drake
February 7, 2023 10:53 pm

Vogtle will actually produce dispatchable electricity when it is NEEDED”

It also produces it when it is not needed. Demand fluctuates, just like the wind. And something else (mainly gas), also has to adapt to the fluctuations.

It can do this. Variability is a solvable problem. You just don’t seem to have any interest in quantifying. Building a power line to bring wind electricity to where it is needed is still a very good deal.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 8, 2023 7:32 am

If you had attempted to quantify properly you would have recognised the low utilisation factor. You seem to be in a glass house throwing stones.

Bryan A
Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 8, 2023 7:47 am

Up until the Wind refuses to cooperate for several days in a row (sometimes more than a week) under a large Blocking High Pressure Dome in Winter (or Summer). Relying on any generation that is dependent on perfect weather conditions for fuel is just plain fuelish

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Drake
February 8, 2023 3:19 am

“you compared the TRANSMISSION line cost to the Nuclear generator costs, failing to provide the TOTAL cost of the unreliable generation. Don’t forget to REBUILD the wind and solar 5 to 8 times over the next 100 years and add THAT cost also.”

Yeah, he left all that out. Thanks for pointing it out and giving the argument some realistic perspective.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 8, 2023 7:31 am

Irrelevant. The cost overruns at Vogtle are a measure of interference by regulators and politicians. The South Koreans have shown that nuclear can be built for half that cost. Then you have something that generates electricity, rather than just being an added cost. Of course, the 18GW of transmission capacity has a low average utilisation (less than the windfarm average capacity factor because when wind farms produce little their output is consumed locally), whereas the nuclear plant should achieve 90+%.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 9, 2023 3:50 pm

Vogtle is NOT a brand new high voltage transmission line running on virgin property, and hundreds of substations needing COPE that will cost ten to twenty times as much when they finally get to build them built with then high cost of copper.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 7, 2023 8:00 pm

Just when does it carry that 18GW? How about a small fraction on a calm cloudy day or evening and especially night.

How much housing with all the innerds, appliances, furniture, etc., that could actually help PEOPLE could have been built for that money?

God, you hate poor people.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Drake
February 7, 2023 8:06 pm

Wind capacity factor in Texas is about 44%. But max wind exceeds the 18GW, so the utilisation will be higher.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 7, 2023 10:40 pm

And that’s good?

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 8, 2023 7:42 am

Not true. For a start you cherry picked the maximum monthly capacity factor of 2019.


The capacity is built to shift surplus wind to distant consumers. Those surpluses occur much less than 44% of the time. At low output wind generation only replaces local dispatchable generation. Any need to import other dispatchable power from further afield to meet local demand would already have been provided for in the existing grid.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 8, 2023 5:25 am

Texas benefits from wide open spaces and still relatively low levels of wind penetration. Try getting an idea of the transmission requirements of the future from this statement about National Grid’s East Anglia Green project:

With the growth in new energy generation from offshore wind, nuclear power and interconnection with other countries, there will be more electricity connected in East Anglia than the network can currently accommodate. 
comment image
The existing network in East Anglia currently carries around 3,200 megawatts (MW) of electricity generation. Over the next decade we expect more than 15,000 MW of new generation and 4,500 MW of new interconnection to connect in the region.

So they are talking about 6 times as much transmission capacity for their net zero grid aspirations. Of course, some of it will be very costly buried cables in sensitive areas – typically ten times the cost of above ground lines. It seems to cost about £0.5bn/GW to connect offshore windfarms to shore.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  It doesnot add up
February 8, 2023 8:06 am

National Grid are now telling new unreliables that it could take up to 15 years to connect them up to the grid.

February 7, 2023 5:25 pm

Brattle is paid to say whatever the client wants no matter the cost burden to others.

michael hart
Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 9, 2023 6:10 pm

I’ve not heard that word in a long time!

“Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murdering pattle!”

February 7, 2023 5:26 pm

Wind and Solar are Molly-Coddled up to Their Armpits
Grossly Excessive Financial Incentives: About 45 to 50% of the “wind, all-in LCOE” (levelized cost of energy) of wind turbine projects consists of various financial in incentives. I have the 20-y spreadsheets.
If no financial incentives were available, Owners would have to sell their electricity at almost 2 times the price, c/kWh, they now receive, which would be very bad PR for wind.
Wind Output is Variable Almost 100% of the Time: I looked at the hour-to-hour wind output in New England (ISO-NE website) for an entire year, 8766 hours. I was bleary eyed.
I found there ALWAYS was some wind output. It was NEVER zero.
Wind output is variable almost 100% of the time 
Counteracting Variable Wind Output: What makes wind a grid disturber, or very expensive, or very uneconomical (take your pick) is the VARIABLE output, because OTHER generators (likely gas-fired power plants) HAVE to counteract the output variations, UP TO NEAR ZERO wind output, 24/7/365, year after year.
By exporting excess electricity, such as to Quebec, via not-yet-existing HV DC lines, NE generators will do less counteracting, but Quebec generators will do more counteracting; there is no free lunch in the real engineering world. 
Cost of Counteracting Variable Wind Output: The counteracting costs imposed on the other generators will be an addition to the “all-in LCOE” of the other generators. 
Depending on grid conditions/topology, that cost addition is:
Less than 5% at up to 5% annual wind penetration,
About 5% at about 10% wind penetration,
About 10% at about 15% wind penetration, etc., as proven in Ireland at 17% wind

That cost addition becomes very large at high levels of wind penetration, because more and more of the other generators will be operating less economically, due to:
1) Ramping up/down, at about 75% of rated output, to counteract, on a minute-by-minute basis, the variable wind outputs; more Btu/kWh, more c/kWh 
2) Being on hot, synchronous standby, and cold standby; more Btu/kWh, more c/kWh 
3) Having much more fuel-guzzling cold start and stops; more Btu/kWh, more c/kWh 
4) Having much more wear and tear, more Btu/kWh, more c/kWh.
5) Producing less, but more expensive electricity, due to inefficiently operating, at a lesser capacity factor, with wind on the grid
NOTE: The more wind and solar on the grid, the larger the electricity quantities that need to be counteracted, and the greater the cost of the counteracting services, as proven in Germany and Ireland.
Ignoring the Money and Environmental Impacts?  
The public not looking at the wind project spreadsheets and not being made aware of wind’s lifetime adverse environmental consequences, is exactly what “rich folks with tax-shelters and their protectors” want.
Over the decades, those folks have set up nationwide PR structures to lie and cheat every-which-way to get their projects approved, built and paid for in Europe and the US.
In that manner, wind is ARTIFICIALLY made to LOOK economically and socially palatable to the kept-ignorant/deluded/brainwashed ratepayers and taxpayers.
The PR ideal is to make “skunk-wind” perceived as a “low-maintenance, perfumed beauty at a garden party”.
To sum up, wind gets:
1) Various federal and state financial incentives,
2) Plus, free electric grid expansion/augmentation,
3) Plus, free backup/standby power plant services
4) Plus, free grid management services
5) Plus, free hazardous waste disposal during project life, and at end of life,
6) Plus, free legalized killing of bats and birds, including bald eagles, and of whales,
7) Plus, free legalized ruining of the fishing industry,
8) Plus, free sickening of people and animals with infrasound, which is felt, but not heard,
9) Plus, free visual blight all over the place
There would be no wind, solar and battery systems without the huge, politics-inspired, financial incentives.
Thank heavens, ISO-NE has, till now, adequate backup/standby plants, plus adequate natural gas and fuel oil storage capacity near power plants, to INSTANTLY COUNTERACT the ups and downs and absences of wind and solar, 24/7/365, year after year. 

Reply to  wilpost
February 7, 2023 7:03 pm

As Warren Buffet (what would he know about financial stuff?) said –

without the subsidies & tax breaks, renewals just don’t make sense.

February 7, 2023 5:34 pm

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.
Offshore Electricity 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 grid 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.


Nick Stokes
Reply to  wilpost
February 7, 2023 6:48 pm


Why? The US currently has 136,000 MW of wind, mostly onshore.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 8, 2023 2:20 pm

Lets see: About seven years to plan, finance, perform multiple and overlapping environmental reviews by incompetent government bureaucrats that cover vast ocean areas and the large land requirements for integrating transmission, fight NIMBY and NGO lawsuits, procure base material (steel, concrete, copper, rare earths & etc.), complete component manufacturing and transportation onsite, facility construction and integration testing. Do you even know the size and number of wind turbine installations to get to 30 GW or the miles of under sea and land-based integrating transmission required?

Do you have any idea of the number of governmental entities of all sizes that are going to jump on these cash cow projects? The NGOs? The social justice and race hustling organizations?

Even if the facilities could be eventually constructed, how many multiple-times will the final costs be of initial estimates? Additionally, with a lifespan of less than 20 years will the turbines earn enough to pay off their initial investment plus outrageous O&M costs in an inhospitable environment? And I count subsidies in total investment costs.

After a career in electric generation, transmission and utility distribution including as engineer and manager of planning, engineering, construction and operations and maintenance and an electric utility CEO/GM I tell you Brandon’s grand offshore schemes will not fly as envisioned. Wanna bet?

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 8, 2023 6:29 pm

Lets see: About seven years to plan…”

Sounds like they have been doing a lot of that already. But if it is so hard, how come there are 136 GW running already. And why should another 30 be impossible?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 9, 2023 1:29 am

Over decades, all across the country (especially in Texas and and other windy plains states) the 136 GW of wind came mostly before people started realizing the negative environmental impacts of industrial wind installations. The existing wind installations have utilized (cannibalized) the existing systems such that additional unreliables won’t have the built-in, unpaid system support. And I assume much of the installed wind capacity is unusable due to aging and maintenance issues.

Additionally, people are beginning to understand the absolute economic disaster of wind generation that subsidies can no longer hide. Backup FF generation is already under attack by the various governmental entities and it cannot be assumed as being available when and where needed to back up new wind installations.

The Northeast power grids’ generation resources are already deficient in capacity margins and the transmission systems can barely handle Canadian hydro imports. I am aware of no practical studies of how the electrical systems can be upgraded to handle massive new intermittent generation resources and the doubling of electric loads under Nut Zero.

Maybe with your education and vast electric system expertise you can point me to quantified studies of how all of these wonderful new wind projects and Nut Zero will be accomplished, Mr. Mosher. To date its all been armwaving by people who have no clue as to what is involved. Since I do know what is involved, I offer again to bet you that the 30GW of wind within 7 years will not be accomplished as envisioned by Brandon.

February 7, 2023 7:02 pm

Isn’t this a larger version of a fairly long standing transmission problem between Scotland and England?

It doesnot add up
Reply to  AndyHce
February 8, 2023 7:53 am

Not only there. There’s the same phenomenon in Sweden and in Germany for instance.

This dissection of the Swedish situation is highly relevant:


February 7, 2023 7:15 pm

What is amusing is that FERC has a rule making ongoing on constraining renewables, because they screw up the grid

I would guess this is just a puppet show for the peanut gallery, rather like republicans considering rejecting one of the democrats huge socialization programs.

Phillip Bratby
February 7, 2023 10:49 pm

The evidence from Scotland is that the grid cannot handle all the wind power. Consumers end up paying the wind farms to turn them off when it is windy.

February 8, 2023 6:54 am

FERC – Fickle Electricity Ripoff’s Consumers

February 8, 2023 11:09 am

only at WUWT can you find arguments that you cant build enough renewables because of a pollack limit and another arguing they are building too much

coal is dead: no future
oil will die: thanks putin

smart money is green

Dave Fair
Reply to  Steven Mosher
February 8, 2023 2:30 pm

Mr. Mosher, you seem to think that feckless Western governments call the tune when it comes to coal and oil. Wake me up when world FF consumption falls below 70-80%. Blast me from my grave when China, India and the rest of the developing world give up coal.

Smart money is green only with huge subsidies.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave Fair
February 9, 2023 5:48 am

To put 52 GW of new offshore wind in perspective: Texas had the highest amount of wind installed in any state in the US, and the highest percentage of wind+solar generation as a percentage of overall electricity generated of any state (I am fairly sure) – around 25%. This came from roughly 35 GW installed in the last 20 years or so – the vast majority in the last 10.
I would point out, however, that the capacity factor of 52 GW of new offshore wind is actually equivalent to 26GW or less of fossil fuel generation capacity.and that overall US electricity generation capacity is 1,200 GW of mostly fossil fuel or nuclear.
Lastly, it should be noted that the referenced projects are certainly not under construction but are proposed. Proposed new facilities are always much higher than what is actually built.
So the amount is significant in the sense that a lot of capital is being proposed to be committed to these projects and there could be local/state level imbalances arising – but the actual impact overall is probably not that big.
Again, perspective: Texas has about 140 GW of capacity of which around 35 are wind and solar. The number certainly includes peaker plants to offset wind/solar shortfall periods.
To replicate the relative performance of wind+solar in the overall US to be comparable to Texas, it would mean having 300 GW of wind+solar in the overall US grid; we have 161 right now.
So the offshore isn’t going to “close the gap” to bring the overall grid to Texas proportions much less getting anywhere remotely close to Net Zero.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights