Classic: Energy company probably won’t be building the Virginia offshore wind-farm tract it leased until wind’s costs go down

posted at 7:31 pm on September 17, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Well, this is rich.

The Obama administration continues to dismiss out-of-hand even the faintest possibility of allowing for more offshore oil-and-gas development in the near future; their minds are intractably made up on that score, let the fact that oil and gas have been just about the only major economic success stories of the Obama presidency be damned. The administration has, however, been pretty darn excited about their plans to instead focus their efforts on leasing federal (i.e., taxpayers’) lands and waters to solar and wind companies to further support their very specific and ideologically-driven dreams of renewable energy development.

Virginia in particular would stand to benefit from increased offshore-drilling permitting, but I suppose the Obama administration felt they were providing plenty of solace by instead leasing over a hundred thousand acres off of the coast of Virginia for offshore wind development. The United States still doesn’t have a completed commercial offshore wind farm, you see, and wouldn’t it just be so exciting to be a major player in pioneering the path toward what the Obama administration has predetermined are the green jobs and energies of the future?

…Evidently not.

Dominion Virginia Power drew a lot of favorable publicity this month by leasing a patch of the Atlantic Ocean off Virginia Beach to construct an offshore wind farm hailed as a clean-energy milestone for the state.

Too bad there’s good reason to believe Dominion will never build it.

Even as Dominion executives publicly stressed wind power’s potential, their statements and company documents showed they have no intention of building anything larger than a small, two-turbine offshore test project unless the costs come down. …

Dominion’s own 15-year projections, in its Integrated Resource Plan filed with the state, show Virginians getting no electric power from offshore wind.

“Actual construction of such facilities must await technological advances that would reduce costs,” the plan says.

Dominion maintains that they will be building more turbines eventually, but they’re banking on long-term research projects and innovations to bring prices significantly down first. The above WaPo columnist Robert McCartney goes on to criticize Dominion’s cost-benefit analysis as lacking long-term vision: “It looks only at the costs in dollars and cents. By that measure, admittedly, offshore wind is currently about three times as expensive as natural gas.” …Uhm, how dare they? What?

Despite two decades’ worth of relentless subsidization and positive PR from the federal government, wind fails time and time again to demonstrate a cost-effective, reliable, or practical electricity substitute. Perhaps, instead of throwing taxpayer money around on more wishful wind subsidies, the Obama administration should stop actively blocking the proven routes to energy and economic prosperity — because a robust economy is the only thing that will ever lead to the increased efficiencies, innovations, and alternative technologies for which the eco-lobby claims it is so desperately pining.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

McCartney cares nothing for the environment, wanting Dominion to build more bird blenders …

BD57 on September 17, 2013 at 7:42 PM

There are a lot of windbags in the Capital. Can we harness that energy somehow?

fogw on September 17, 2013 at 7:43 PM

I often hear that “someday” green energy and wind will be economically viable, so we should subsidize it now. No, when someday comes, then go ahead and produce your windmills. Actually, don’t. It is a hazard to the birds. No joke. It’s killing birds by the thousands, including the bald eagle. Stop it!

Actually, tear the monsters down. Check out this 2 minute video from Fox News, especially at the 1 minute mark where they have a slow motion shot of a large Raptor getting killed by the windmill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEersoJLtRw&BirdKill

anotherJoe on September 17, 2013 at 7:44 PM


Why not build it at Cape Hatteras? It’s not called ‘the graveyard of the Atlantic’ for nothing.

GarandFan on September 17, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Is your last sentence written tongue in cheek? It reads as if you think obama wants to further the interests of the United States.

GaltBlvnAtty on September 17, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Say, if you got that patch of sea plus sea floor and the ban on oil and gas exploration is lifted… do you have oil and gas rights to that patch of ocean floor, too?

How about if you used a wind turbine to power a pump on an oil rig, would that count?

ajacksonian on September 17, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Marine quality materials and construction are cheaper than land based stuff I’ll bet. And the friendly sharks eat all the flying stuff that get partially pureed and deadened. Riding to the new green work in a green certified boat must cut into the coffee money though.

BL@KBIRD on September 17, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Why not build it at Cape Hatteras? It’s not called ‘the graveyard of the Atlantic’ for nothing.

GarandFan on September 17, 2013 at 7:49 PM

…just Light Houses…are just fine…thank you!

KOOLAID2 on September 17, 2013 at 7:59 PM

The above WaPo columnist Robert McCartney goes on to criticize Dominion’s cost-benefit analysis as lacking long-term vision: “It looks only at the costs in dollars and cents. By that measure, admittedly, offshore wind is currently about three times as expensive as natural gas.”

:)

Their cost/benefit analysis only considered economic cost/benefits. They left out . . . they left out . . .

– No, wait, I go this — Just give me a minute.

They left out . . . not the smiles of children, because no such ephemeral joy is generated by giant metal fan blades. Not the health of humanity, because we’ve already established the turbines are a net negative.

I got it. They left out the benefit of moving us closer to the dream progressives dream on principle — and damn any reality that buzzes in the morning and tells witchy-woman to get her ass in the kitchen to make me breakfast.

Axe on September 17, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Master Resource did a detailed piece documenting the extremely high costs of wind power, approaching 39 cents a kilowatt hour, while non-green electrical costs can be as low as 8 cents a kil0watt hour. Insane. And MR’s conclusion: wind plant implementations cannot be sustained because they divert a large portion of national wealth into unproductive debt-laden investments.

Just what we need when we are spending our way to the brink of bankruptcy. Not! This has a bearing on what Europe’s “Climate Commissioner” said yesterday, from wattsupwiththat:

Regardless of whether or not scientists are wrong on global warming, the European Union is pursuing the correct energy policies!

There’s more.

Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said ‘we were wrong, it was not about climate’, would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change?

These are the views of the EU climate commissioner, Connie Hedegaard.

That’s insane, that we should implement these burdensome costly freedom robbing anti-energy policies even if climate change is little more than leftist propaganda. First, the leftists in 2009 in the US tried to hit us with a cap & trade that would have mandated apocalyptic 83% CO2 cuts. No, that wasn’t about “efficiency.” It would have had a truly nightmarish negative impact on civil society.

And a massive part of the puzzling green policy is inordinate lavish spending on heavily subsidized, economically nonsensical wind & solar power. This is not about efficiency. To say that even if climate change is bs that we should pursue these policies is pure lunacy.

anotherJoe on September 17, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Offshore wind-power, because seabirds need killin’ too.

slickwillie2001 on September 17, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Classic: Energy company probably won’t be building the Virginia offshore wind-farm tract it leased until wind’s costs go down

Hahahaa. Free markets are a bitch.

petefrt on September 17, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Marine quality materials and construction are cheaper than land based stuff I’ll bet. And the friendly sharks eat all the flying stuff that get partially pureed and deadened. Riding to the new green work in a green certified boat must cut into the coffee money though.

BL@KBIRD on September 17, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Put enough chum in the water for long enough and we just might have those images of Megalodon… as it rams into the tower taking the turbine down.

Wouldn’t that be fun?

ajacksonian on September 17, 2013 at 9:05 PM

What about Sharknado’s attacking the Turbines??? Huh, What about that????

JimK on September 17, 2013 at 9:10 PM

So how long until the Eagle killers in my neighborhood just stop altogether and start to rust?

Maybe they can be repurposed to something useful to humanity? Maybe Eagle nesting sites. I like Eagles, and the money is already down the drain, some living thing should get some use from them.

petunia on September 17, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Drone plane radioshack type dragging a length of line behind it. I wonder if you could shut one of them down?
How many sortes would it take?
Or maybe a line launcher like they use for tree climbing.

It would be like the Liliputians tying up Gulliver.

papertiger on September 17, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Kites.

papertiger on September 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM

There are a lot of windbags in the Capital. Can we harness that energy somehow?

fogw on September 17, 2013 at 7:43 PM

No. That energy appears to be Dark Energy.

trigon on September 18, 2013 at 12:33 AM

“Classic: Energy company probably won’t be building the Virginia offshore wind-farm tract it leased until wind’s costs go down.”

You need to edit that last part…

“Classic: Energy company probably won’t be building the Virginia offshore wind-farm tract it leased until TAXES GO UP”

shorebird on September 18, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Same thing happened in Texas with T. Boone Pickens. His wind company paid my Mom $30k for a wind turbine pad site and ROW for the power lines and never built the project.

Meremortal on September 18, 2013 at 3:16 AM

Same thing happened in Texas with T. Boone Pickens. His wind company paid my Mom $30k for a wind turbine pad site and ROW for the power lines and never built the project.

Meremortal on September 18, 2013 at 3:16 AM

Isn’t that because T. Boone was trying to fleece the U.S. tax payer out of money in order for him to gobble up all the water rights in Texas?

LoganSix on September 18, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Look up the coast at Delaware to see how this will turn out. Back in 2008, a company Bluewater Wind, obtained a permit to provide windmills off the coast of Rehoboth beach. The governor got the utilities to agree to use their lines to pull in the additional energy. It was slated to begin in 2012.
We are in 2013 and no construction has begun. Bluewater Wind went bankrupt and the law firm, Babcock and Brown, sold off this company to NRG Energy. Their website tells you all you need to know – “acknowledging the monumental challenges in developing a new domestic industry, NRG put active development of its offshore wind projects on hold as of January 2012″.
I guess they’re waiting for Obama to make it rain.

djaymick on September 18, 2013 at 11:52 AM

“Well, my weather balloon got away from me is what happened. It dragging a 300 ft tie down cable, ended up getting tangled in your windmill there.” explains the innocent fisherman to the Coast Guard.

Foul ball. Play on.

papertiger on September 18, 2013 at 1:38 PM

because a robust economy is the only thing that will ever lead to the increased efficiencies, innovations, and alternative technologies

So far the Emperor hasn’t shown interest in doing anything but destroying the economy.

oldleprechaun on September 18, 2013 at 4:13 PM