May 7, 2011

Rhode Island Rate Payers Subsidizing Green Energy on Lon Gisland???

Monique Chartier

The latest development in the proposed Deepwater Wind farm confirms yet again that wind power is a complete non-starter.

Deepwater Wind has offered to sell power to Long Island from a 200-turbine offshore wind farm proposed in Rhode Island Sound at a price far cheaper than what the company would charge Rhode Islanders for electricity from a smaller project that would be built first.

Last year in Rhode Island, National Grid signed a 20-year agreement to buy power generated by a five- to eight-turbine wind farm Deepwater wants to build about three miles southeast of Block Island. The starting price paid by Rhode Islanders would be up to 24.4 cents per kilowatt hour.

The price Deepwater offered to the Long Island Power Authority for electricity from the larger project, however, would be in the “low teens,” according to Deepwater chief executive William M. Moore.

See, Rhode Island rate payers are picking up Deepwater's start-up costs - for a reason still not fully explained - for the initial, eight turbine phase of this misguided project. ("Initial" applies to Deepwater, not to us; our elected officials have locked us into paying a considerably inflated electric rate for the next twenty years.) Long Island would come in on the second phase for which 200 turbines would be built. So they reap the benefits of economies of scale.

Again, a misleading term: the "economies" are relative. While Lon Gislanders' electric rate would be lower than ours, they would still pay a premium for their Deepwater electricity. And, of course, like us, they pretty much have no choice as to the source of their power. Their elected officials, like ours, have decided that their constituents must pay artificially high rates for electricity.

And this is the rub. In the misguided push to embrace the "green" power of wind, the very high price of electricity generated from this source is inexplicably being disregarded. This cannot be. The economic feasibility of an energy source cannot be set aside because a lofty goal is purportedly involved.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

"Green" as in rookie or incompetent. The "Green" myth (like man-made global warming) is like the Wizard of Oz. Don't look behind the ain't pretty.
The law of unintended consequences is unleashed. Witness corn prices (affecting food) skyrocket due to ethanol and other feel good products. The truth is "Green" means money as in unnecessary cost. In the race to feel good a made up phony catch phrase is introduced and repeated hypnotically by the mainstream media and the Left. Like all liberal agendas it just doesn't make real world sense. But boy does it feel good to say you are "Green". How about "Green" as in nauseous.

Posted by: ANTHONY at May 7, 2011 7:04 PM

The State of Hawaii is the most imported oil dependent state in the nation at 90%. State of Hawaii has created more “Green jobs” than any state in the nation. Every time another “Green” system comes on-line to the grid my electric bill goes lower ($10 lower a month right now). One thing Hawaii did was to chase off-shore wind farms out of the state because their rate was twice the cost of producing electricity with imported oil. As a side note, the remote town of Hana, Maui has been over $6.03 a gallon for regular gasoline for over a week now. Hawaii’s new benchmark is $7 a gallon for regular gasoline and the mainland is closing in on us!!!

In Hawaii we might have high energy costs due to shipping resources and costs into the state but nothing like what RI will start experiencing with the Deep Water Wind project. We feel for you RI! We can send some natural aloe or KY to help lower the self-inflicted pain of trying to be the first in the nation!!!!!!!

Posted by: Ken at May 7, 2011 11:59 PM

How can any thinking person believe that 13th century windmill technology is the future?

The future is oil for another hundred years, solar when the technology improves, nuclear, and sources that haven't been discovered yet.

Posted by: Dan at May 8, 2011 8:09 AM

It's amazing how easily fooled people are. Read this and then let me step you through the math:

So this is a 'success'?

Let's see:

The buses cost $650,000 each. RIPTA's total budget for gas is about $10M. They bought 63 buses, a quarter of the fleet, for about $41M.

The new buses use only 70% of the fuel as the old ones. Considering that it's only 30% savings on a quarter of the fleet, it should lower RIPTA's fuel budget from about $10M to $9.25M.

So you save $750,000 a year by spending $41M? At that rate, those more-efficient buses would have to last more than fifty years to pay themselves off. It would have been cheaper to put the money into savings and use the draw-down to pay for fuel.

Your representative in government: Saving $1 of your money by spending $54 of your money instead, and calling it a wild success.

Not to mention that they're claiming that their investment will 'save 30% on fuel', when they're only saving 30% on the 25% of buses they run, for a total reduction of 7.5%.

Rhode Islanders need to develop some basic math skills if they want to properly evaluate 'green' initiatives, because right now we're just taking every fruitless, expensive path we're offered. I'll bet a little bit of route-optimization by a few grad students with ArcGIS would be able to realize the same gains as the new buses for free, as part of a thesis.

What we're doing is like adding tens of thousands of dollars in solar panels to our homes instead of just turning the lights off before leaving the room.

Posted by: mangeek at May 8, 2011 10:44 AM

mangeek. On the buses, I don't like the sound of it either. But, if buses were in need of replacement, the amount to be questioned would be any "premium" paid for more efficient buses.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at May 8, 2011 12:17 PM

Rhode Island ratepayers are picking up Deepwater Wind's startup costs because without the special legislation pushed through by Carcieri, Deepwater Wind had nothing to take to a bank and would be known as Deadinthewater. Once our good legislators and Carcieri made their deal, what's for a bank not to like about a loan to Deepwater? Carcieri and the GA turned us ratepayers into Deepwater's personal guarantors.

Watch the RI Supremes on this one. If they uphold the "special" special legislation that made the PUC impotent, say goodbye to all of the jobs that will be lost when Toray leaves RI. We should be thanking them for fighting this trashing of Rhode Island's public utility regulation.

Posted by: riborn at May 8, 2011 7:30 PM

"if buses were in need of replacement, the amount to be questioned would be any "premium" paid for more efficient buses."

Agreed, I wonder if they have any hardcore math-heads working down there to do route optimization. They might have been able to get by with 25% fewer buses if they really hit the data hard enough. I take the bus, there are definitely some routes that could be cut, and the system could be greatly optimized if they dropped the 'all roads lead downtown' model for a few runs.

Posted by: mangeek at May 9, 2011 1:28 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.