Yesterday we looked at the blame game going on in New York over the recent blackouts. Governor Cuomo is blaming utility giant Con Edison, while the company points out that there isn’t enough energy on the grid. I also examined the question of how the Governor plans on replacing all of the energy generated by the Indian Point nuclear power plant as he moves to shut down their two remaining reactors. Well, it turns out he does have a plan to do that and it involves “going green” with the construction of a massive wind farm off the coast. (NY Post)
Flanked by former veep and climate-crusader Al Gore, Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week signed a wide-ranging “climate-action” bill. He also announced that New Yorkers would subsidize construction of more than 200 wind turbines off New York City and Long Island — one of the biggest efforts of its kind in the United States — all in the name of reducing the state’s carbon emissions to “net zero” in about 30 years.
Amid what he described as the “chaos of political pandering and hyperbole” surrounding the issue of climate change, Cuomo portrayed his plan as grounded in “facts, data and evidence.”
Speaking of pandering and hyperbole: Offshore wind happens to be the single most expensive form of carbon-free electricity generation. And Cuomo has joined the growing ranks of American pols who fetishize it without regard to economic facts, data or evidence. Only, he’s shown great solicitude for labor unions.
As the Post correctly points out, this is nothing more than an example of massively pandering to the green energy lobby and it’s going to cripple the state’s economy along with its energy generation capabilities. To see just how bad it is, we have to dive into the underlying numbers.
First of all, to get this wind farm project off the ground, taxpayers will have to subsidize the work on a massive scale. Assuming this deal shapes up in a fashion similar to the one currently underway in Maryland, the wind farm developers will have to be guaranteed a far higher rate for their energy than is currently being paid. It works out to $131.93 per megawatt-hour, compared to the current average cost of $41.16 in New York City and$45.05 on Long Island. Yes, that’s more than triple the current cost in the Big Apple.
That adds up to more than a half-billion dollars in subsidies annually, all paid for courtesy of the taxpayers. But wait… it gets worse.
The construction costs for the wind farm are absolutely going to skyrocket past the current, optimistic estimates. The reason for that is that Cuomo has already agreed to “a union project labor agreement before they commence.” That means that no contractors will be able to work on the projects unless they bring in only union construction workers, driving up costs significantly.
The cost for all of this will be born by consumers who will see their utility bills going up to cover all of the subsidies. And the Governor has already ordered the utility companies not to itemize these costs on the bills received by ratepayers. Why would he do that unless he knows he will be hiding more bad news from voters?
New York is spiraling toward an energy production black hole created entirely by politicians. The state can’t develop its own vast natural gas resources and is forcing out nuclear power. And when the wind slows and those wind turbines can’t generate enough power to keep the lights on in New York City there’s going to be a revolt. Don’t say you weren’t warned.