The proposed wind turbine deal is hideously bad for residents and business owners of Ipswich. But a few, to use the accepted social lexicon, “radical extremist” green ideologues seem determined to press ahead.
Put aside the manifold issues attendant to wind power including health impacts on those living nearby, issues with birds and wildlife, total net carbon impact of manufacturing, transportation and disposal, etc.
There are at least 6,241,502 other reasons why it’s undesirable.
1 – We’re in the current predicament with the defunct turbine because of a prior rush to implement a poorly conceived and poorly contracted plan.
2 – The manufacturer of the proposed windmill is Chinese-owned.
Relying on their product would expose us to an intensifying geostrategic conflict. In 1999 the Chinese PLA explicated a “total warfare” approach including tactics of controlling financial and utility infrastructure.
The Chinese have flooded America with fentanyl which has resulted in 4,585 deaths in Massachusetts alone from 2016 to 2019.
In September 2020 the Chinese debated restrictions on exports of critical APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients) on which our pharmaceutical industry relies.
And, of course, even after China locked down domestic travel in Jan 2020 they continued international travel, knowingly spreading the virus globally and killing millions including 2,438 in Essex County.
It would be grossly negligent to invest in critical infrastructure to at least return profits to China, and realistically hand them control of our power source.
3 – 6,241,502 – Our average wholesale cost is $.043/kWh. The proposed deal will have us paying almost three times that, or $.1185/kWh.
Most turbine utilization estimates assume 25-35% utilization. So a 1.5MW turbine will produce between 3,285,000 and 4,599,000 kwh/yr respectively.
Numbers I’ve confirmed with Jon Blair, and that assume the more conservative 25%, show that we’ll be paying an extra $.076 for each of the 3,285,000kWhs/year.
Over 25 years that means an EXCESS of $6,241,500 for wholesale electricity over and above what we’d pay to buy it at the average of our other sources which already include other renewables like environmentally friendly hydro.
This will impact every utility customer directly through the rates, and then many again when taxes are raised to pay the town’s higher operating costs for electricity.
Perhaps that’s why much of the negotiation has been conducted in closed executive session according to Phil Goguen.
If the goal is the overdue removal of the carcass of the last poorly conceived deal, let’s start with full transparency including obtaining formal proposals for removing our last mistake.
Why would we rely on a casual estimate from the company using that as the lever to sign us to a new, outrageously expensive contract?
Even if the estimate of $800K that Green Development has used in some other towns is accurate, we’d still save $5,441,500.
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