I would like to respond to several points made in the letter “Facts About Wind Power Prices, Parts and PILOTS that appeared in the June 21-27 issue of North Country This Week.
With regard to subsidies: I respectfully suggest the writer simply look to Avangrid’s current NY projects for this answer. Besides the Federal Production Tax Credit, those projects are recipients of NYSERDA Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Main Tier contracts (which are funded by your tax dollars and SBC fees added to rate payers electric bills mandated by NY state). RPS contracts are a complex topic and there are a few graphic illustrations of the process at the website nnywind.com that are based on actual explanations (see videos) given by Avangrid representatives at their information open house in March.
As for those billions of private capital investment dollars – those investing in the wind sector are surely enjoying the benefits of the tax equity market and the non-recourse contracts that shield corporate sponsors assets. The wind industry, itself, discusses these topics in their own publications (North American Windpower) and webinar videos (AWS Truepower) easily found with a simple online search.
Let’s talk “green” and those “upgrades” to the grid: Power generation in the Hopkinton/Parishville region is overwhelmingly produced by hydrodams, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA.gov). In fact, the electricity created by the proposed North Ridge Wind Project will be displacing the already “green”, abundant, and reliable hydropower already being generated here.
It is known that accommodation is made to prioritize wind’s use of the same limited capacity transmission lines currently used by hydro (look to the grid operator’s (NYISO) Feasibility Study Report for this project), causing NYISO to request hydro to power up and down to accommodate for, and be displaced by, wind generation.
Wind turbine generated electrons travel no farther than the existing hydro electrons on the same transmission lines, yet mountains of money will be spent to facilitate this green energy swap. NYISO’s preliminary cost estimate of Attachment Facilities and System Upgrade Facilities to accommodate the Project is $7,711,000, plus or minus 40%. The electricity ratepayers will ultimately bare this cost along with the mandated SBC fees we now pay for developers like Avangrid to claim their facility will be a “beneficial” resource in our communities.
On PILOT’s: Remember those hydropower generators mentioned previously. They are fully taxed and employ locals.
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