But it still is to be kept as an irrelevancy in the NY State electricity supply. There seemingly always has to be a catch….. Anyway, in the very recent past, NYSERDA announced the results of its 9th REC auction in the NY State RPS arrangement. A pair of ~ 78 MW (estimated as around 39 to 44 turbines each) are to be installed - one in Chautauqua and one in Franklin (north of the Adirondacks) counties. And there is a novel and good change in this auction versus the previous 8 - the RPS is now set for a 20 year deal. The award was for $22.96/MW-hr - almost 2.3 c/kw-hr See http://www.windpowerintelligence.com/article/4bQtFljyUj6/2014/11/13/usa_new_york_backs_156mw_in_wind_projects/
So almost 1/3 of the probable cost of electricity production is covered by the RPS award for a 20 year term. Cool. And then there is the two small ones going into central NY (Marsh Hill - 16.2 MW - and Black Oak - 12 MW) - see http://www.invenergyllc.com/ProjectsbyCountry/UnitedStates/MarshHill.aspx and http://www.blackoakwindny.com
The Arkwright Summit wind farm will be installed by EDP Renewables (a division of Portugal’s electricity monopoly - as they bought Horizon Wind) http://www.observertoday.com/page/content.detail/id/605846/Arkwright-wind-farm-proposed-for---.html. The town is located around 7 miles southeast of Dunkirk, on a ridge that should get nicely exposed to the winds coming across Lake Erie.
The Jericho Rise wind farm is also rated for 78 MW and will be located near several others now operating along the Quebec border. This farm also will be owned and installed by EDPR. An old version of the acoustic analysis can be seen here: http://www.edprwindfarms.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Appendix-I.pdf
A nifty map of their locations can be seen here:
News articles about both projects say they are slated for operation in 2017, but given that the Federal tax avoidance subsidies will expire at the end of 2015, odds are the the wind arrays could be installed next year. EDPR has signed some really huge “bulk buy” contracts with a few major wind turbine companies (Vestas, for example) - see here http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-09/vestas-edpr-extend-delivery-period-for-1-500-megawatt-order.html - so this probably satisfies the “5%” rule needed to allow the company to take advantage of the ITC and/or the PTC incentive which should be worth, along with the MACRS, about 2.8 c/kw-hr over a 20 year period. The turbines quoted for them are also “old” (1.5 MW GE ale or Vestas V82 x 1.65 MW) in news articles and the preliminary permits EDPR has submitted for these projects. Given the amazing improvement in performance that comes from “Low Wind Speed Turbines” and how dominant this style of turbine is in the USA nowadays (it has been in Europe for some time) and the fact that NY winds can be decent, but nothing out of the ordinary, it would be surprising if any other option was chosen…
In fact, consider their newest model, the V110 x 2 MW unit that just got ordered for a wind farm in Minnesota (200 MW Odell) and another 200 MW one in Texas (South Plains - http://www.vestas.com/en/media/~/media/07dbc8ea2e9a4907ae68fc6f5a50fdcd.ashx). These would be some of the largest rotor diameter units installed to date in this country (there are a couple of 120 meter ones and several 112 meter x 3 MW units now operating), and they used to be reserved for modest wind locations - which Texas and Minnesota are NOT - those places are fast wind places. Using a unit like the V110 means that they are going for close to 50% net outputs. And that should drive the production cost downwards. Which is a good thing, right?
Maybe, but there is an exception - the low priced electricity will really get the natural gas boys frothing at the mouth. Those dudes need higher prices for their methane nowadays to finally pay down the massive indebtedness caused by the tracking for gas bubble, and having new turbines that are able to be able to economically survive at low electricity prices is NOT what they are looking for. Just how low will the prices go…? And the V110 is to be made in this country, no less (http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23917460/vestas-factories-colorado-build-new-v110-2-0).
If the V110 can get to an installed cost of around $3 million per MW of capacity and have a delivered output of near 50% (requires an average wind speed near 7.5 m/s at 95 meters above the ground), this gives a delivered capital cost near $6 million for around 8800 MW-hr/yr. With a low cost of capital (say 6%/yr for a Fixed Charge Factor) and a O&M cost of around 1 c/kw-hr, the cost of electricity production would hover in the 5 c/kw-hr range. Take out the 2.8 c/kw-hr worth of Federal subsidies, and the turbine could break even at an electricity price near 2.2 c/kw-hr. Of course, the wind farm owners (and anybody else selling electricity in that market) would want a higher average price than that, as they are really in it for the money, and it’s not a charity….. But this is not good news to owners of old nukes, coal burners and especially methane based electricity production units, especially stand alone (no co-gen) ones. For them, it’s pass the bottle of headache pills, or bourbon….
In NY, our winds could definitely support a 40% to 45% net outputs (6.5 to 7 m/s average wind speeds) from LWST such as the V110 or equivalents made by competitors. And these turbines are not going to raise our electricity prices that have been averaging 4 c/kw-hr or less this year. But they will make those lame excuses and bogus claims that we need more methane burning electricity generators appear to be that much more pathetic. Besides, with wind turbines you can actually predict what the cost of generation will be over a 25 year period - something not possible with natural gas. Methane from those ever depleting North American fields seems so much more like an exercise in religion - a faith based decision. After all, what will the production cost from such a unit be in 15 years? There is just no way to tell. And when you take a leap of faith with Other Peoples Money but you tell them that you know it makes sense because it always has made sense and money - for somebody, anyway (well, mostly - there are times in the recent past when that kind of thinking was a lie), there’s a word for that.
Fraud. Or sometimes two words - Control Fraud…..
In order to base future electricity generation (and perhaps as a source of heat) on methane but to tell customers that price WILL (as it not just likely to be, but WILL) be reasonable, affordable and similar to what it is now (hey, and maybe forever more) you have to commit fraud to some degree. Of course, if you read what is said really carefully, claims that methane will make cheap electricity generally and/or probably do have weasel wording and a sufficient amount of equivocation that could make prosecution for fraud unlikely. And besides, our Federal Government generally never prosecutes against corporate fraud, anyway…. prosecuting war collar crime lords for that - it’s just so quaint and yesteryear a concept…….
So the electricity via natural gas based generation business and associated businesses have now sunk to the level of US Investment Bankers, alias Banksters, and adopted their “Rip Their Face Off” business model. Well, isn’t that just precious….
Got any other excuse to ONLY add in 184 MW of wind capacity for the foreseeable future, oh Government of NY State? Don’t ya need to add a few zeros onto the right side of that number, such as 18,400 MW, for starts?
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