Staggering Cost: Offshore Wind Power 25 Times More Expensive Than Coal, Gas & Nuclear

Wind power is utterly pointless on every level, having been abandoned centuries ago for pretty obvious reasons, starting with the weather.

The oft heard retort from those fighting the prospect of wind turbines being speared into their backyards, is “why don’t they put them offshore?” These are the characters who are simply too gutless to openly criticise renewables, lest they be attacked as “tin-foil hat wearing climate deniers”, “flat-earthers” and NIMBYS.

The last of those charges is well-deserved. The rest, though, is just the kind of mean-spirited denigration we’ve come to expect from members of the wind cult. There is no real logical argument to support wind power, so they’re reduced to ad hominem attacks on those who stand as obstacles to our purportedly ‘inevitable transition’ to an all wind and sun powered future. [Note to Ed: why don’t they simply ask them how that’s panned out in South Australia?]

Once locals pronounce that they’re all in favour of renewables and concede that there’s a place for wind turbines (obviously, some other place), then that community is a prime target for big wind. Everybody claims that their patch of paradise is special, so, as far as wind power outfits are concerned, yours is just as good as the next sucker’s.

If you’re going head-to-head with a wind power outfit – primed and ready to destroy your piece of heaven on earth – start at the beginning.

Wind power is a pointless nonsense. 100% of its capacity must be backed up 100% of the time with a meaningful, conventional generation source: coal, gas, hydro or nuclear. That grouping never needs ‘backup’, ‘firming’ and such like; they just work, whatever the weather, 24 x 365. Whereas, wind power….

The other reason that wind power makes no sense, is that its ultimate cost is utterly staggering.

Without massive and endless subsidies, there would not be a wind turbine operating anywhere on Earth, full stop.

And, as Steve Goreham points out, the cost of the electricity generated by offshore wind turbines is out of this world.

The Frightful Cost of Virginia Offshore Wind
Watts Up With That?
Steve Goreham
19 November 2018

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.

Beyond the project cost, Virginians should be concerned that these wind turbines will likely not survive to the end of their projected 25-year life. The CVOW project is the southernmost proposed wind project along the Atlantic Coast and the site of periodic hurricane activity.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 34 hurricanes have been recorded within 100 miles of the project site within the last 150 years. Five of these storms were Category 3 hurricanes, including Hurricane Bob in 1991 and Hurricane Emily in 1993. A hurricane passes through the area about every five years.

Project specifications call for the CVOW wind turbines to survive sustained winds of 112 miles per hour (50 meters per second). The turbines are also designed to survive waves of 51 feet (15.6 meters) in height.

But it’s doubtful that these turbines will survive either the wind or waves of a major storm. According to the National Hurricane Center, Category 3 hurricanes exhibit sustained winds of 111 to 129 mph, stronger than the design limits. Category 1 hurricanes typically drive waves much higher than 50 feet. Hurricane Florence measured Category 1 wind speeds when it crossed the coast at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on September 14. But just two days before, wave heights of 83 feet were recorded on the northeast side of Florence.

Who speaks for the electricity rate payers of Virginia? It’s certainly not Governor Northam, the General Assembly, or Dominion Energy. Long after government officials leave office, Virginia citizens will be on the hook for an expensive offshore wind system that is unlikely to survive the turbulent weather of the Atlantic Ocean.
Watts Up With That?

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Great write-up

  2. James Grant Matkin says:

    Excellent article that exposes the dark side of the climate hysteria. Follow the money and surely subsidy support for large companies and governments was the honey that drove these bears to invest and lobby hapless leaders like Barack Obama. Also follow the role of China in advancing sales of wind technology. The evidence is China workers benefited far more than any other work force. Is this why China fully supported the Paris Accord while continuing to build coal power at a break neck speed? Did they have an alternative agenda?

  3. It would be the height of irony if the wind from a hurricane destroyed the planned off-shore wind turbines after they are built.

  4. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak and commented:
    Wind power is utterly pointless on every level, having been abandoned centuries ago for pretty obvious reasons, starting with the weather.

    The oft heard retort from those fighting the prospect of wind turbines being speared into their backyards, is “why don’t they put them offshore?” These are the characters who are simply too gutless to openly criticise renewables, lest they be attacked as “tin-foil hat wearing climate deniers”, “flat-earthers” and NIMBYS.

  5. drgenenelson says:

    While the above economic analysis highlights the exorbitant cost of this unnecessary boondoggle, it fails to capture the human toll….. The fatalities and injuries that will doubtless occur to the workers who build and maintain this boondoggle. I believe these projects only survive via corrupt political processes where difficult-to-discover “kickbacks” from project advocates to decision makers yield influence The developer’s goal is to get paid to install the boondoggle. They are indifferent to its short operational lifetime or the myriad problems these boondoggles cause..

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