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