Shell Game: Another Wind Farm Goes Down

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

This past August, as things were beginning to really heat up as far as inflationary and warranty pressures on wind farm developers like Ørsted and turbine manufacturers like Siemens Gamesa, most of the attention was focused on the whale killing sonar surveying off the New Jersey coast.

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Learning about profits disappearing because of extraordinary problems with deliveries, cables, blades – whatever their issues were – or the nitty gritty of duking it out over already signed contractual agreements for rates increases can cause your eyes to glaze over.

But a leviathan washing up on a popular beach…and another and another and yet again, well – that catches greater population’s attention. They know they’ve never seen that before.

Thanks to popular pressure and an industry bleeding tremendous amounts of cash even with enormous government subsidies, the New Jersey projects went bust officially last week.

What I hadn’t seen in any of the reports at the time was that another project we’ve been watching here – Ørsted’s Skipjack 1 off the Maryland coast – was also suspended at the same time.

And in Maryland, the company said it will reconfigure its planned Skipjack wind project, but did not provide any details.

Screencap @FrogNews

And I’ll be danged if I can find out any more than that about it, but it does sound gloomy for the project, to say the least. What I DID find is pretty damn hilarious.

What does a Danish wind CEO do when his Green grifting catches up with him?

BLAME TRUMP

Orsted CEO Nipper rules out reviving Ocean Wind and warns on Skipjack walk-away
Mads Nipper blames permitting delays under Trump coupled with subsequent inflation and supply chain delays for turning projects unviable

Orsted CEO Mads Nipper has ruled out reviving the development of the Ocean Wind plans in the US at a later stage and warned the Danish utility could also “walk away” from the Skipjack offshore wind project.

His comment came as the company had just announced it would cancel its 1.1GW Ocean Wind 1 and 1.15GW Ocean Wind 2 off the US state of New Jersey, which greatly contributed to a DKr28.4bn

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And threatens to take his toys home.

Take ’em, dude. GO. Pathetic.

While all this sturm und drang with Ørsted was happening, another company was rattling the cages off-shore in Massachusetts for a renegotiated rate scale. And when that didn’t seem to be forthcoming, they started trying different keys in locks to see what an exit was going to cost them.

As of August, it was gonna be a chunk o’ change.

While Vineyard Wind’s turbines are rising in the waters off Nantucket, another offshore wind energy developer seeking to build an even larger wind farm south of the island is facing a major setback.

SouthCoast Wind, which hopes to construct 149 offshore wind turbines 20 nautical miles south of Nantucket, is attempting to back out of the power purchase agreements it had signed with three Massachusetts utility companies.

In a petition filed this week with the state Department of Public Utilities, SouthCoast Wind stated it would pay dearly to terminate those agreements. The offshore wind company – which is a joint venture of the petrochemical giant Shell and Ocean Winds North America – agreed to pay $60 million to rip up its deals with Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil.

“Closing these contracts was never the plan but impacts of COVID-related supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine made them unfinanceable,” said Rebecca Ullman, director of external affairs for SouthCoast Wind. “This development enables SouthCoast Wind to move forward and to compete in upcoming solicitations. The project is full steam ahead – we have budgeted $100 million this year alone to advance our project, and our federal, state, and local permitting is progressing.”

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As of this past Thursday, they finally pulled the plug.

Interestingly enough, major ESG investors in companies like Shell were also busy telling climate activists attempting to pressure the corporations through stockholder resolutions to, basically, suck wind.

Big U.S. investors at the top five western oil firms’ shareholder meetings this year rebuffed an activist group’s resolutions to align their emission targets with the Paris climate pact, in contrast to some European peers, voting data showed.

Netherlands-based activist group Follow This was created first to target Shell (SHEL.L) and subsequently expanded to file climate resolutions at other western majors including BP (BP.L), Exxon Mobil (XOM.N), Chevron (CVX.N) and TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA).

According to the data published by it and investors, giant U.S. investors BlackRock (BLK.N), Vanguard, State Street (STT.N) and JPMorgan (JPM.N) all voted against the Follow This resolutions this year.

The resolutions asked the groups to align their 2030 end-use emissions targets with the Paris goal of keeping warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, which scientists say will mean cutting greenhouse gas emissions by around 43% from 2019 levels.

Is the Green gig up? I mean, if you can’t even get the social credit score investment people to vote for your feel good climate extortion, how bad is the real story?

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Or how much money are they making on the fossil fuels?

They’re all hypocrites. Every last one of them.

Even the Biden administration and wind industry aficionados, while still flinging money and cheerleading to the best of their limited ability, are facing the inevitable, and trying to crawl backwards while maintaining a sense of bravado.

…Even if offshore wind did grow quickly, it would still be tiny in terms of overall percentage of the pie. Without additional policy support, it would account for less than 2% of total installed energy capacity in 2030, according to Michelle Solomon, an electricity analyst with Energy Innovation, a non-partisan energy and climate research firm. Some cancellations would be replaceable by other sources, like solar and batteries.

“There are many pathways forward,” she said.

Offshore wind is not that crucial.”

Wait,WHUT?! I thought we were all going to boil without it? So none of the whales, fishes, dolphins or horseshoe crabs HAD to die?

I’m sorry – that’s a keeper quote there, for the next time a Green weenie starts shrieking we have to have it OR ELSE.

…Offshore wind has had a terrible year. Fully a quarter of all US deals have been canceled. Meanwhile, the cost of electricity from subsidized offshore wind is up almost 50% from 2021, according to calculations by BloombergNEF, an energy research firm.

…Energy Innovation’s Solomon also said policymakers are looking to help with permitting reform and other supports that will decrease the time it takes projects to come to fruition. “We are not looking at a total turning away from wind,” she said. “Things are just going to be happening a little slower.”

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They’ll keep throwing money at it. And giving the farm away.

We don’t have to sit still for it, though, and we know that.

This was good news, again. Every victory counts.

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