February 19, 2010
To the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs:
The Boston Herald [2/18/10] article "Concern over Cape Wind project's rates" as the subject of 'Official to grid: Curb Wind costs' quotes Mass. State Secretary Ian Bowles:
"Let me be clear: Our expectation is that the Cape Wind project must produce electricity at a substantial discount to the Rhode Island offshore wind project,"
Mass General Law requires better than Secretary Bowle's expectation of a "discount" on "more than triple the current rate for traditional electricity", N. Grid's estimate on the cost of Rhode Island's offshore wind project.
Let me be clear, Mr. Secretary. Your Energy Facilities Siting Board is charged with ensuring a reliable energy supply for the Commonwealth, with a minimum impact on the environment at the lowest possible cost under Mass General Law c. 164, Â§69H. And, National Grid customers can ill afford creative interpretation of applicable law when it comes to Cape Wind.
Then there is the added cost of wind required transmission upgrades, of which Secretary Bowles is well aware, of which Mass. electric energy consumers are disturbingly unaware.
Mass. Secretary Bowles' New York Times op-ed states:
"The cost of transmission should be incorporated into the overall cost of bringing clean energy to market. Then let the chips fall â and wind turbines rise â where they may."
Wind required transmission cost is over and above thrice the price of Cape Wind energy. According to the Department of Energy, ISO New England (ISO-NE) Incremental Wind Analyzed 6.8 GW; the Total Transmission cost range $3.90 billion (high) to (low) $0.58 billion
And, your administration remains mum on the vastly expensive Cape Wind operation and maintenance contract required at the public expense.
Cape Wind is eyeing federal stimulus money that is also not reflected in the cost of Cape Wind energy. However; this public funding adds significantly to the cost of Cape Wind's energy. Yet, after nine years under review, Cape Wind is not "shovel ready" as they have no manufacturing source for their wind turbines. Cape Wind's spec'd GE 3.6 MW wind turbines are "discontinued", an irrefutable condemnation of this energy source as "reliable" as required under Mass. General Law.
Cambridge Energy Research Associates CERA states that we need to invest in offshore wind turbine installation vessels, first. How many and much will they cost consumers, each?
It is encouraging that the media is taking the Patrick administration to task as there is abysmal transparency in the Cape Wind related processes. The Patrick administration provides inadequate representation of Mass. residents and consumers who will in time recognize your worst environmental and economic record in the history of the Commonwealth.
Northboro, MA 01532
'Official to grid: Curb Wind cost
Secretary Bowles New York Times op-ed:
DOE Transmission upgrades:
Providence Business Journal
N. Grid rejects Deepwater Wind proposal
"...But in a letter to the PUC, Grid called Deepwater's proposal "not commercially reasonable" and said "in pure financial terms, [it] is uneconomic by a significant margin for Rhode Island customers for the entire term."
"National Grid estimated the cost of electricity generated by Deepwater's wind farms at 30.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, more than triple the current rate for traditional electricity, which in Rhode Island is mostly generated using natural gas. Deepwater put the cost closer to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour."
"Will Cape Wind Save Billions? Challenging a Study by Charles River Associates"
by Glenn Schleede
Overblown: The Real Cost of Wind Power
"A "load factor" of just over 30 percent is recommended for a wind farm to be economically viable. However, many of Britain's onshore farms have been running at around 20 percent, with some in urban areas dropping as low as 9 percent. Oswald believes that overly relying on wind power will result in major power failures across the U.K. and an increase of up to 50 percent in electricity bills. While nothing comes close to the capricious aspect of nature itself, the industry also still suffers from some severe technical difficulties."
September 21, 2008
"Vestas Wind Power is the largest global supplier of wind turbines, with 35,500 installed worldwide and more than 15,000 employees.
"Tell readers a little bit about this vision Vestas has for bringing wind power to the masses."
"We've got more than 100 wind projects in the works currently, many of them only one or two small turbines. The largest is Cape Wind, a 130-turbine offshore project. I think if you look at wind resources on-shore in the US, they are fantastic. And, therefore, I am really wondering why anybody wants to put them up offshore because it's twice the price. So just as an outsider, I am just scratching my head saying, "Why?"
Cambridge Energy Research Associates CERA:
'Offshore Wind Power Capital Costs Will Continue To Rise, Creating New Challenges for European Renewable Energy Targets'
"The rapid push to increase capacity will put the industry's nascent supply chain under pressure and lead to higher capital costs. Offshore wind capital costs will increase not only due to increases in raw materials and engineering costs, as for other energy industries, but also due to specific additional pinch points in the supply chain. One of the major factors in the rise of costs is the lack of a sufficient number of purpose-built installation vessels to install the turbines, resulting in less efficient and more costly options being used.
"With this pinch point companies should consider investment in installation vessels, as this part of the supply chain is where the higher value will be found," Brown said.
Currently only one of the existing purpose-built vessels, a few barges with the necessary modifications and large barges used in the oil and gas industry can install a five megawatt wind turbine. Conversion of existing vessels requires up to twelve months, which could further prolong governments' energy targets and increase the costs of installation."
How much will offshore wind turbine installation vessels cost tax and ratepayers? And when will they become available?
Supplemental Information on GE "discontinued 3.6 MW wind turbine:
"GE Wind Energy Europe Managing Director Rainer Broring states the 3.6 MW GE 3.6l has been shelved for the moment, "GE's initial plan to install a prototype this year will therefore not materialise yet..."
"GE Wind, the subsidiary of the American energy giant General Electric, has left the risky business at sea altogether. Although seven 3.6-MW turbines have operated since 2003 ten kilometres off the Irish port of Arklow, the more secure business is on shore, says a spokesman of the company."
GE 3.6 MW wind turbine is "discontinued": page 4:
GE 3.6 MW wind turbines "discontinued" status page 15 under "Offshore Wind Turbine Suppliers":
GE 3.6 MW offshore wind turbine status:
"General Electric 3.6sl (discontinued). Capacity 3.6 MW, rotor diameter 111 m. Hub height 75 m (from Cape Wind design specs). Seven 3.6s units producing power offshore at Arklow Bank since June 2004. See product brochure for GE 3.6sl. Based on experience at Arklow, GE had a set of engineering modifications to make for serial production of an offshore machine, but the company has to date decided not to compete in this market."