High Cost Detailed, Offshore Wind Support Fades

Delegate Mark Keam, D-Vienna. He voted against a bill eliminating SCC oversight on an $8 billion wind investment, then abstained to save the bill. Watch it here.

By Steve Haner

Dominion Energy Virginia’s massive $7.8 billion offshore wind project received a tepid 5-4 endorsement late Thursday night in a House subcommittee, after legislators were told it would add $13 per month to typical residential bills starting in 2027. In stark contrast to a similar hearing in the Senate Wednesday, both the State Corporation Commission and Office of the Attorney General staff spoke forcefully.

That 5-4 vote to report the bill came on a second try, as the first roll call was scrambled by legislators changing their votes before the chairman closed the roll. At times on the first roll call the proposal was failing by 6-3 or on a 5-5 tied vote, but that roll call was discarded. The final vote was 5-4, with Delegate Mark Keam, D-Vienna, abstaining. He had voted “nay” before but can be heard on the video tape saying he didn’t want his vote to kill it. 

The basis for his abstention, normally used when a legislator has a conflict of interest, was not stated.

The bill in question is Chesapeake Democrat Del. Cliff Hayes’ House Bill 1664 but pay no attention to the introduced bill.  There was a substitute.  It was a dream bill for Dominion’s plans, once again dictating to the SCC that “all costs” of the project would be “deemed to be reasonably and prudently incurred.” Those are the magic words one opponent labeled “a blank check.”

The substitute went further in seeking creative ways to harvest votes, promising (the first time I’ve seen this) not to charge any of the capital costs of the project to “low income residential customers,” with some vague definition that referenced their dependence on various benefit programs. Dominion lobbyist William Murray told the subcommittee the idea was to find some way to set out those customers without “having to redetermine their eligibility.”

Excluding the hundreds of thousands of such Virginia households from paying for the project, of course, just bumps up that SCC estimate of $13 per month on everybody else. It is the very definition of cost shifting. The new language also forces any large industrial customers who don’t use Dominion to pay a share of these costs over the decades to come. The residential cost is only part of the story and not the only path to picking people’s pockets.

Unlike Wednesday, SCC utility division Director Kimberly Pate did not wait to be asked but went to the committee podium and volunteered to share her residential cost estimate. Her brief handout noted that if the project goes bust, or produces less electricity than promised, the cost to customers remains. Given the variability of wind output, the utility has proposed additional gas peaking plants to maintain reliability, an additional customer cost not in her estimate.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Meade Browder zeroed in on the “deemed to be reasonably and prudently incurred” phrase as removing important oversight authority at the SCC. Given the size and novelty of this proposal, the only utility-owned project in North America, the Attorney General considers that oversight important.

Browder noted that the capital cost of this one project was equal to the entire current capital rate base of the utility’s generation fleet, with a parting shot that offshore wind is two to three times as costly as other non-carbon alternatives, such as solar and onshore wind. He noted that his boss Attorney General Mark Herring does support offshore wind development, but not with this bill as written.

There were several party-line votes during the three-and-half hour energy subcommittee meeting (another post topic, perhaps), but on this one Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Scott County, supported the bill with four Democrats despite the emasculation of the SCC. He has been patron of similar bills in the past, and Dominion’s long-term capital plans also include a pumped storage facility in Southwest Virginia, far from Dominion’s territory but close to his home.

Before Pate dropped her bomb, the substitute bill had been endorsed by Governor Ralph Northam, through Secretary of Natural Resources Matt Stickler and others. A line of environmental activists stood in favor, but in a rare break one environmental group spoke against the bill because of how it guts consumer protections. (This morning we read the glowing economic development projections for the project are now being questioned by prominent Hampton Roads economist James Koch.)

Subcommittee members Keam and Alphonso Lopez, D-Arlington (watch his vote on the tape) challenged Browder and Pate with questions.

Keam wanted to know if the bill, as drafted, only allowed Dominion to develop the project off Virginia Beach or if other companies could also build in the designated area. He never got a clear answer to that, but here it is: Only Dominion gets the favorable treatment at the SCC dictated by this bill, as this is written, and another developer would not. That is the important point.

Lopez went after Pate for using Dominion’s own $7.8 billion capital estimate, 25-year pay back period, and the allowed 10.2% return on equity in her calculations.  Those add $6 billion more to the all in cost.  That was the question at hand: What will it cost customers if Dominion builds this project using the rules outlined in this bill? Without question, if a smaller project is built or the construction bill comes in lower, that lowers the cost to consumers. The construction bill could also be higher.

The only other media in the room was Virginia Mercury, and its reporter stayed later than I did, according to Twitter. Her story today ignores this dust-up and instead covers bills dealing with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Her story on Wednesday’s similar Senate subcommittee meeting also ignored the offshore wind bill and focused on a failed bill to expand retail choice. It is all about what you choose to cover.

There are currently no comments highlighted.

38 responses to “High Cost Detailed, Offshore Wind Support Fades

  1. Great blow-by-blow reporting, Steve!

    We’ve known for some time now that offshore wind will cost $7.8 billion (current estimate…. subject to inflation, not including the cost of backup facilities), and only now is the General Assembly confronting the issue of how to pay for it. $13 per month translates into $156 per year per household. Given all the other tax increases and add-ons and surcharges Virginians will be absorbing, that may sound like chump change (except to the poor). This initiative needs to be viewed in a larger context of Democrats-gone-wild in advancing their social-justice and environmental priorities on the backs of middle-class Virginians.

    Here’s the irony: Solar power is economically competitive, at least up to a certain point (about 30% of the electric power supply). If environmentalists and their Democratic Party allies think we need more renewable energy to save the world, why the need to push offshore wind? Why not work harder for more solar?

    • Because they make money as a percentage of their capital cost! The more it costs to build, the more profit they earn. Simple. I’ve asked the SCC for the numbers behind Pate’s estimate. It is like a mortgage. $7.8 billion is the initial cost, but with 25 years of interest and profit this will cost ratepayers far, far more than $8 billion. (Update: The all-in cost over 25 years is about $14 billion. SCC replied.)

      • Plus solar in reality of execution turns out to be very dangerous politically, so politicians are beginning to run from it. All they care about are themselves after all.

  2. I’m suspicious and think this has the same problem that the coal ash cleanup had and that is Dominion’s version of the truth verses getting an independent bid.

    What’s happening is that Dominion is basically trying to turn public sentiment against it by turning it into a profitable boondoggle where they win no matter what and Virginians lose no matter what.

    Wind Power has a given levilized cost that seems to be lower than other sources. This project is apparently not like other projects already in existence upon which the levelized costs are taken from. True?

    I just don’t see sliming this project with ideologic crappola like “social justice” and “cost shifting”, etc.

    “backup”? like we don’t need backup for other sources also?

    Wind and Solar are not “available” 24/7 – that’s certainly true – but when they ARE available – we can offset burning other fuels – that are not only more polluting but more expensive.

    nothing “social justice” about that – just pure economic common sense.

    • When the Democrats are divided on this, some loving it and some opposing it, your confusion shows, Larry. I’m sure the talking points will come soon.

      • no talking points from me but I strongly suspect that some of the Dems are seeing this as a bad project because of the way it is configured not because wind has demonstrated it’s not viable..

        What this proves is that it’s indeed possible to configure projects to be way more expensive than they are in other parts of the world and the question is why.

        This is not the first rodeo. Look back at the coal ash cleanup and the energy conservation program.

        They’re torn because they want the project to go forward but the way it is configured – it’s doomed to fail economically.

        Now if you’re a person who is already opposed to wind/solar – then you really don’t care about the “why”, this just proves your point.

        I’m sure you were around when they took the lead out of gasoline and the naysayers were all over it with “I told you it would not work”…

        same story – same players.

        • Yes, OSW is viable, and elsewhere private investors are building it with steady revenue promised through power purchase agreements. That could be done here, but Dominion would make no profit that way. I also don’t think an investor facing the risk would jump right to 2600 MW.

        • “The more it costs to build, the more profit they earn.” Yep.
          Or as someone else once said, “It’s all about the Benjamins, Baby!”

  3. I probably prefer off-shore to nuclear power. But as I mentioned I feel we need to avoid the temptation to over-react. Procrastination has great benefits letting NY and NJ see if this thing makes sense. I also would not mind if we could somehow get involved building turbines for NY, on their nickel. I feel like if the costs are so high, maybe the Feds need to give offshore wind some special large financial incentives, if this is in the national interest for the East Coast to go full out on offshore wind.

    I am also totally fed up with a lifetime of utilities/elected officials in NJ and Va. hot-dogging on forcing less-than-desirable power plant choices as an attempt to create union jobs and beef up the state economy, with high elec cost as a result. I would be ready to let the Feds take over building the (offshore) wind power and we buy the electrons. DeJa Vu for me except it was humongous nukes and coal plants in my back-yard in South Jersey.

  4. “Given the variability of wind output, the utility has proposed additional gas peaking plants to maintain reliability, an additional customer cost not in her estimate.”

    They should pay close attention to HB 77 (Rasoul) as it wends it’s way through the labyrinth that is our General Assembly. HB77 reads in part: ” § 45.1-403. Moratorium on new major fossil fuel projects. Beginning on January 1, 2021, unless preempted by applicable federal law, there shall be a moratorium on approval by any permitting agency of any permit, certificate, or other approval required for: 1. Any new electric generating facility that generates fossil fuel energy through the combustion of any fossil fuel resource…” – and it goes on from there to ban various other fossil fuel-related activities.

    I suppose Dominion could always ask for a waiver…

    • How does this play into power from PJM verses Dominion buildling peaker plants?

      My understanding is that power from PJM will likely be less expensive and less profitable for Dominion.

      Look at the current grid and ask where the power is coming from right now. If we build additional sources like wind – all that would do is supplant some already-existing sources that are already there.

      We’re NOT adding more capacity to serve additional demand to the existing grid. We’re building a new source of energy to serve existing grid demand. The wind will actually supplant already existing sources that are already there serving existing demand.

      And chances are as more solar and wind is built – more and more existing gas plants will be reducing their existing output.

      Dominion is counting on people not understanding.

      They’re promoting a less than honest scenario.

      • “My understanding is that power from PJM will likely be less expensive and less profitable for Dominion.” Larry, you have to look at the cost to build (investment) separate from the cost to operate (variable O&M); these are recovered by Dominion very differently:

        Re: PJM less expensive: ALL the electric energy delivered to Dominion customers from the grid comes from units dispatched by PJM, as PJM is the system operator; so Dominion’s units will simply not be dispatched by PJM if they are too expensive to operate; so the result of building these wind units will not be more or “less expensive” operating cost for Dominion’s Virginia retail customers — they buy their energy from the Grid, not directly from the new unit, so they are not directly affected by whether it runs or not.

        Re: PJM less profitable: Since the carrying cost of all that construction investment will be borne in Virginia by ratepayers, it will be profitable for Dominion no matter whether the units ever run at all. If Dominion had to bear that carrying cost itself, making its profit in the competitive wholesale market with no ratepayer-guarantee, you can bet the units would never be built.

  5. This ‘gone wild Democrat’ stands with Mark Herring on this … support offshore wind development … just not with this bill. Again, let me ask … what is this part-time legislature doing mucking around in the specifics of generation builds along with designating the life of school buses?

    Steve is totally right … the project is not in the best interests of the consumers because Dominion makes “ money as a percentage of their capital cost! The more it costs to build, the more profit they earn.” So, let me ask another question … will this be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and forces the GA to deal with Virginia’s old-time, out of date, regulations?

    Dominion has owned the leased area since 2013 and has spent million to hold onto the leases without building. I can’t see them walking out of that but they could come up with a different structure for the wind farm … IF the rules were changed.

    Finally, the pumped storage out in Tazewell is another bad deal for the state. Dominion claims its primary purpose is to meet peak demand … that is a crock as there are lots of other ways to meet peak demand … and not with those gas peaking units that are also proposed. The primary supporter for the offshore bill is the delegate from Tazewell, who evidently thinks the jobs to build the facility and I guess the taxes Dominion will pay to Tazewell, is worth more than solar on the mountaintop, no water depletion or mountain scarfing.

    • I think pump-storage is a crock myself because of the amount of land required including the taking of it from current property owners.

      But the idea of pump storage has dramatically changed from it’s original.
      Originally , the idea was that at night when demand was lowest, that the power plants than could not ramp down – and had to still generated could use that excess power to fill up the reservoirs.

      During the day, those reservoirs would generate power at peak demand periods instead of bringing peaker plants online.

      NOW – all of that has changed with solar. The idea is to use solar to pump up the reservoirs during the day – so that the reservoirs can generate power at night when solar is not producing.

      It’s a 180 degree change in methodology.

      but if you’re going to do that- you need to add the land acquisition to the cost of the project. So NOW, you’re INCLUDING the non-availability cost of solar in the price – not that different than Dominion saying that the cost of the offshore has to include peaker plants to run when offshore is not.

      But remember – we’re talking about offshore supplanting existing power already in place – not new sources.

      So what offshore really does is allow less burning of other fuel when wind is available.

      It’s totally true that if more and more wind is built into the future to serve increased demand (if demand actually does increase) , that more offsetting power would have to be available. But does it have to be Dominoin-built or can it come from PJM existing plants that would be retired if not that need?

    • You’ve got it right, Jane; OSW makes sense for a properly-financed, well designed, independent power generation project, and would be competitive in today’s PJM wholesale energy market. But this bloated, perverse, ratepayer-money-extraction project that Dominion has cooked up here, and dared to put before the GA assuming they are too dumb to see through it, will prove to be an embarrassment to those that authorize it — if they do. If built, this project will only give proper wind power generation an undeservedly bad name.

  6. It would seem that the SCC and the Office of the Attorney General are paying attention to Steve’s criticism of their tepid performance or nonperformance before the Senate! I hope some members or their staff are also paying attention to what some of the well-informed folks on this blog are pointing out.

  7. Larry, I have been saving this for you … 90% sounds good to me!
    Mr Seguin explained that the purpose of the system is to displace around 90-percent of the diesel fuel that is used for power generation on Ragged Island.
    #He added that when completed, the system will mostly be supplied by renewable energy.
    #“When there are cloudy days of course the diesel generator will have to be there as a backup, but in normal operation, it will be fully supplied by the solar system and the other battery system.”

    • Jane. THANK YOU! This is exactly how it should play out. We’re not going to replace all of the fossil fuels right now but if we can displace them at 90% – that’s awesome.

      Ragged Island is a small place, population 72.

      I’d like to see this idea spread to the greater Bahamas – 350,000 population.

      Also – this is solar not offshore wind.. why not?

  8. I am re-posting this from the previous article on the offshore wind projects:

    The power purchase agreements for offshore wind projects on the east coast available at the same time as Dominion’s projected offshore wind project are in the $50-$60 /MWh range, from what I can tell. This is cheaper than the typical range of $60-$80 /MWh levelized cost of energy from gas-fired combined cycle units, which are exposed to higher future fuel costs.

    Utility scale solar is priced about $50 /MWh in Virginia I think, but it is hard to find published information about the exact price from these facilities. Both wind and solar projects would have fixed prices for their lifetime since they are almost entirely comprised of upfront capital costs. Conventional units such as gas, coal, or nuclear units have considerable ongoing maintenance and fuel expenses.

    Some new utility-scale solar in California is currently being bid below $30 /MWh, including battery storage.

    Let’s say we allowed an independent developer to build the offshore wind in Virginia. Assume that it offers its electricity at $50 /MWh for the 30+ year life of the facility. Dominion would buy that electricity and resell it to its customers at retail rates. This would keep rates stable or help reduce them a bit. But the utility would not have the profit opportunity from putting a multi-billion dollar asset in the ratebase.

    Dominion would much rather own the offshore wind project itself. It would be allowed to recover the cost of the project, the cost of debt financing, and a considerable profit over the 30+ life of the asset. Returns on other types of new generation have been in the 9-10% range, depending on the RAC.

    Ratepayers would have to pay for any cost overruns, storm damage, unexpected maintenance expenses, etc.

    Dominion would then sell the generation at market prices and make an additional profit.

    If we ever get back to regulatory oversight, the total revenues and expenses would be trued up at each review (now every 3 years supposedly), to see if the base rate profitability is not more than .7% above the authorized rate of return (about 9.5 -10% I think). The RACs continue earning their rates of return and are not part of this review).

    I am not an expert on rate-making and it seems to be particularly obscure in Virginia. But a few points seem clear.

    1. If an independent developer builds the wind project, they would likely sell electricity from it at a fixed price over the life of the project.

    2. If Dominion builds it, they get all of their costs covered, with no cap, and a hefty guaranteed profit regardless of the output of the facility.

    3. Dominion also gets to profit from the sale of its wind generation.

    It seems pretty clear why having Dominion build the project would be more expensive for Virginians, and why Dominion so desperately wants a bill that allows them to do it this way, without SCC review.

    If someone knows more about this and can tell me where I might have gone wrong in this analysis, please let me know.

  9. ” If Dominion builds it and is allowed to put the cost in its retail rate base, they get all of their costs covered, with no cap, and a hefty guaranteed profit regardless of the output of the facility.” My addition to TomH’s comment in italics. This is not the way any utility should be allowed (or would be, anywhere north of Virginia) to recover the cost of new generation in today’s competitive wholesale energy market.

    • I’m dismayed that neither Northam nor the Dems are going to stop this scam and/or insist on an approach that starts to integrate wind/solar at cost-effective costs.

      Someone – the GA or Northam or the public at large are clueless about the egregious nature of this project.

      It was bad enough that Dominion got to keep the excess profits, as well as the tax rebate from the Feds, or given full profit for the coal ash cleanrup but now this.

      Dominion is laughing all the way to the bank and the rest of us are indeed RUBES!

  10. “the utility has proposed additional gas peaking plants to maintain reliability, an additional customer cost not in her estimate.”

    … a fake issue … an excuse for ACP gas necessity?

    Again with actual ‘good for the customers’ solutions not on the table. Alternatives …
    • Reducing demand with efficient buildings
    • Incentivize customers to shifting time of peak demand with ‘demand response’,
    • Demand Flexibility … install “new generation of communication and control technologies that could “save annual generation costs of $1.9 billion” when compared with new gas-fired generation used to balance renewables
    • Storage … will beat gas ‘peakers’ on price by the time these peakers are built
    • The synergy of offshore wind and solar. Offshore wind is very productive when electric demand in the region is at its highest.

    “Solar reaches its peak around midday when the sun is high in the sky, peak demand usually occurs later in the afternoon and early evening as temperatures peak and families return home. To adjust this misalignment, demand flexibility technologies can shift electricity consumption from times of high load to hours with high renewable availability.”

    “For years utilities have used demand response to send signals to consumers to reduce consumption at times of high stress on the grid. Now, a new generation of communication and control technologies can enable “demand flexibility”, allowing major loads to continuously respond to changing renewable supply levels and other market signals.”

    “Over 600 utilities have already deployed rate structures that reflect a more granular value of consumption, allowing customers that adopt flexibility technologies … smart thermostats are one … to realize bill saving as well as cost benefits at the system level.” For this to happen, to expand the role of demand flexibility, new regulatory tools are needed to address utility and customer incentives. (RMI-Insight Brief)

  11. One of the basic problems with the grid is that the Nukes have to run 24/7 and they cannot ramp up and down in concert with varying demand.

    That means something has to run when peak demand exceeds the Nukes.

    At night, the nukes probably can meet total demand – so no problem with solar not available.

    but during the day – if demand exceeds the Nukes and the sun (wind) is not available – something has to fill the gap.

    That’s where the gas plants have to be available or PJM …

    But Dominion already has gas plants galore.. they shouldn’t need more especially if PJM is available.

    They’re just trying to make the most profit they can out of any/all of this. Can’t blame them but I cannot believe that the SCC and GA and Gov don’t see this and stand up for the public interest.

  12. Gov Hogan in Maryland is trying to propose rational energy policy for Maryland that to some extent encourages in-state power gen (whereas I think Maryland is currently sitting back and importing everything due to aversion to nat gas, nukes etc). It’ll be interesting to see how Hogan does with that proposal, but he is reflecting concern that RGGI goals ties the hands of the state etc.

  13. Maryland/Hogan has also agreed to go forward with tolling..with a private sector company with some of the profits going to non-solo-vehicle transportation.

    If this goes through, it could have just as big effect on emissions as higher taxes on fuel.

    Can RGGI goals be achieved through tolls as well as gas taxes?

  14. https://www.zerohedge.com/energy/germanys-overdose-renewable-energy
    Read this article about Germany’s 17% utilization rate, the costs of pumped storage, the costs of backup hydrocarbon plants and then tell me about the brilliance of wind and ,solar,,
    There’s even a movie,,, Dumb and Dumber…

    • Skeptic! Denier! Tool of Fossil Fuel! (Thought I’d say it before Larry, Peter G. and Jane do….) Soon the AI bots will block such links to inconvenient truth.

      • Actually, I’ve made the same point many times here -many times (as Jane or Tom), that wind and solar by themselves are not viable right now without a backup source but that’s a far cry from the all or nothing “fail” picture painted by the critics like ZeroHedge.

        You use wind/solar, when available to offset the need to burn fossil fuels 100% of the time. It can be purely an economic argument – like on one of the worlds 10,000 island where diesel fuel is burned 24/7 to generate electricity that can cost 2-3-4 times as much as we pay. Imagine an electric bill of $500 or $800 per month!

        If you used wind/solar when available, you could cut those bills in half or better! Most folks and especially the wind/solar critics never think about this. As yourself how places like Hawaii or Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands get their power from.

        The same applies here. WHEN you can burn wind/solar – you offset the need to burn more expensive fossil fuels. It not about having the fossil fuel plants – it’s about how much fuel they burn.

        The problem Germany has is because they have to import gas from other countries like Russia or burn coal. The US has huge geography in comparison, and we just pipe natural gas to where ever it is needed.

        All of this will change overnight if /when a storage technology breakthrough occurs.

        Naysayers have always been with us –

        The question is why do some folks take an optimistic view to making progress on this and others are naysayers come hell or high water?

        What’s that about?

        We’ve had these folks around forever it seems. They were opposed to taking lead out of gasoline or mileage standards for cars or cap & trade to get rid of acid rain, or changes to deal with CFCs/Ozone hole.

        same folks opposed LEDs .. and ranted on and on about the govt banning incandescent lights…

        Wind/Solar are not going away. We have to get the rest of the package together and optimized – but this is no different than the technology advances we have seen over the years that come online despite the naysayers.

        Houses, right now today, have gas-powered backup generators, been around for decades. Most big box stores, hospitals, public safety, sewage systems, etc have them.

        We have one. The company that builds these backup generators is now selling a power storage unit.

        This is going to happen regardless of the naysayers and assorted doom and gloomer types.

  15. Offshore wind like solar really is a provable loser. This is what Germany and now some in California have found out as land or ocean gets degraded
    and the “bang for the buck” just isn’t there. Germany which has gone heavily into both has seen soaring prices from these unreliable sources. France on the other hand went heavily into clean energy nuclear and has prices far below from a reliable source.

    • France’s aging nuclear will come down, and Germany’s soaring prices are 50% taxes supporting the transition build.

      Here is where France is today …
      In 2000, nuclear power was used as the primary energy source with “54% in the power mix, followed by the thermal and hydro.” In 2018 renewables represented 19.9% of the power mix, and thermal and hydro power had come down to 13.9% and 19.06% respectively.

      France is pioneering floating offshore wind turbines. Their energy plan includes phasing out of coal by 2022, decommissioning nuclear reactors, and boosting renewable energy development, which is largely supported by public mechanisms, and because “production costs are expected to fall further … the development of solar and wind generation will facilitate energy generation at a lower cost. “
      “By 2030 installed non-hydro renewable capacity in France is expected to reach 25.3 GW.”

      Germany … In 2019, Germany got 40% of its energy from renewable energy, 12.4% from nuclear, 28.2% from coal and 15.1% from natural gas. “The government has supported this transition and will now spend $55 billion more to close all coal plants by 2038. … The money will go to structural aid for four coal regions, labor-market programs and funds to the utilities themselves as well as help for energy intensive companies that compete internationally.“

      It is true that Denmark and Germany have high utility prices, but it is also true that more than 50% of that price is taxes that have been used to support the transition. Germany did start their transition early … 2010 and because the fears created by nearby Chernobyl remained, in 2011 Fukushima led Germany to plan to close their 17 nuclear plants first. That meant relying more on coal for a time and the rush to close the nuclear plants created policy confusion.

    • Both Germany and California have similar issues and that is what fuel can they use when wind/solar are not available?

      Don’t say nukes because Nukes cannot vary their output. They run at the same output 24/7 – it’s inherent in their design.

      And so the choices for Nukes is enough to power everything 24/7 and idle the turbines at lower demand periods or use the Nukes to power the baseload demand and use other fuels to meet the peaks.

      Nukes are also basically incompatible with wind/solar because they cannot vary output in response to variations in wind/solar. You can’t bring wind/solar online and cut back on Nukes output for savings.

      But if Nukes are so good – how come almost none of the worlds inhabited islands have them and instead burn diesel fuel at 2-4 times the cost of mainland power?

      What’s the best energy source for the 10,000+ inhabited islands in the world? Right now, it’s diesel and electricity is so expensive that most cannot power their homes 24/7 with it.

      On offshore wind. it does not look like it’s a loser:

  16. Maybe the German’s don’t have the imagination of the Scots who are planning to be 100% renewable by the time they host the 2020 Climate Summit.


  17. re: ” … PJM is the system operator; so Dominion’s units will simply not be dispatched by PJM if they are too expensive to operate”

    if this is true, then what does Dominion gain by building more peaker plants to “backup” offshore wind?

  18. Pingback: Bill Changing Rate Rules on Dominion Advances | Bacon's Rebellion

  19. Pingback: Energy Omnibus III: Race, Poverty and Justice | Bacon's Rebellion

Leave a Reply