Virginia : The Frightful Cost of Offshore Wind

WUWT: On November 6, Virginia’s State Corporation Commission (SCC) regulatory agency approved a project to construct wind turbines near Virginia Beach. The plan calls for construction of turbines 27 miles off the coast, to begin operation by the end of 2020. Virginia electricity rate-payers will pay the exorbitant costs of this project.

The project, named Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW), will be the first offshore wind project in the mid-Atlantic. Dominion Energy and Orsted A/S of Denmark will erect two 6-megawatt wind turbines supplied by Siemens Gamesa of Spain. The estimated project cost is a staggering $300 million, to be paid for in the electricity bills of Virginia businesses and households.

According to the Wind Technologies Market Report, US wind turbine market prices in 2016 were just under $1,000 per kilowatt, or about $6 million for a 6-megawatt turbine. Virginia will pay 25 times the US market price for the CVOW turbines.

The wholesale price for electricity in Virginia is about 3 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This is the price received by coal, natural gas, or nuclear generating facilities. The electricity produced from the two offshore turbines will receive 78 cents per kWh, or a staggering 26 times the wholesale price.

The SCC acknowledged that the project was not the result of competitive bidding, and that the project was not needed to improve power system reliability or capacity reserve margin. They also concluded “…it appears unlikely that the cost of offshore wind facilities will become competitive with solar or onshore wind options in the foreseeable future.” Virginia electricity rate payers will also pay for any project cost overruns.

Why would the State Corporation Commission approve such an expensive project? The SCC pointed out that on six separate occasions, the Virginia General Assembly declared that offshore wind was “in the public interest.” Governor Ralph Northam said the project would harness Virginia’s “offshore wind energy resource and the many important economic benefits that this industry will bring to our Commonwealth.”

What is it about green energy that induces government officials to pay far above market prices? It is doubtful that governor Northam or Virginia Assembly members would pay 25 times the market price for food, clothing, or housing. But they are quick to approve a project that will soak Virginia electricity rate payers.  more here

20 Comments on Virginia : The Frightful Cost of Offshore Wind

  1. Gee, that’s only about $35 for every man, woman, and child in Virginia. I wonder how many don’t know there will be a bump in their monthly bills? Even if it’s spread out over a year it still works out to about $10 a month or more for families.

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  2. They should put some up around D.C. The hot air coming out of that place would keep ’em spinning day and night forever.

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  3. I am a marketing function worker in the wholesale power market. We sell by the megawatt, so moving a decimal point a little shows this power will hit the grid at $760/MW, every hour, every day. Normal market prices range around $40/MW, and that’s being generous. That means that 99.9% of the time, these wind units will operate at a large loss. The only times we see market prices that high are during extreme weather events otr times of heavy grid congestion.

    But hey, with Dominion’s customers picking up the tab, it’s not really a loss. For Dominion and their cronies. Forced public subsidy of an unneeded tiny wind farm.

    Dominion’s VA customers should be out in the streets trying to stop this boondoggle.

    But subsidize existing base load fossil and nuclear units to maintain grid resiliency!??? NO WAY.

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  4. I’d start following the money. I’ll bet a large portion (after being laundered a number of times) ends up in the Governors pocket along with the pockets of non-elected government officials who pushed for this debacle.

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  5. Embedded costs…this attempt to hide real costs is indicative of the disdain that the Left has for Science and how Agenda trumps all…Leftists have no soul, believe in nothing, protest everything and destroy the works of Noble men and women…So, each turbine requires massive amounts of electric wiring that is being mined everywhere on earth to supply the demand , will soon put GE under as the subsidies are reduced and in a field of 100 wind generators , roughly twenty seven do not work, will not work or will burst into flames each year. Same with solar in that it is difficult to Google , because it is not PC knowledge, the rare earth open mining operations which scar the earth more than deforestation and is not being required to repair….so buy that Tesla and Prius and Volt etc and destroy the earth..

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  6. The government relies on the general public being uninformed about the facts when pulling off these scams. They are good at shading the facts especially when their friends in the media are on board. People don’t have a unified voice to fight these things and our representatives begin screwing us soon after being elected. It’s depressing what they get away with.

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  7. Off shore wind turbines have a huge advantage over on land w, t. for the green environmental whackjobs – the water will quickly hide the numbers of birds killed by them, thereby easing any conflict they may have about promoting wind power. Dead birds out of sight is out of mind. Can’t see it = didn’t happen.

    As a bonus people who oppose the silly & expensive projects won’t be able to publish pictures of piles of dead birds below the w. t. Limiting opposition against building the next wind farm by the general public.

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  8. Fun thought experiment: A Tesla uses approximately 400watts/mile. If you drive the average 1,200 miles per month, using $0.78/kw electricity means 400w/mi * 1,200mi * $0.78/1000w = $374.40 per month to fuel your Tesla.

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  9. Hmmm, most alternative energy has some sort of break-even point, where the damn thing’s finally paying for itself-funny there’s no mention of what that might be.
    I have a feeling that ain’t ever going to happen here.

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