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Wind power is inefficient, relies on building backup gas powdered generators...when.....

Oh, did I mention when the wind doesn't blow, which is frequently, you need to employ newly constructed "backup" natural gas powdered generators? And wind farms wouldn't be built at all without the massive federal subsidies available for the carpetbaggers who promote and built this sheet.


Well, guess what...it just got a lot more expensive to build them. Guess who pays...not Joe...the poor schmucks that are his "subjects."


One last thing, they look great! Really enhances our environment!

Soaring Costs Threaten U.S. Offshore-Wind Buildout

Companies behind big East Coast projects are looking to renegotiate contracts as inflationary pressures upend financial models


By Katherine Blunt, and Jennifer Hiller, WSJ



Jan. 1, 2023 5:30 am ET


Offshore wind developers are facing financial challenges that threaten to derail several East Coast projects critical to reaching the Biden administration’s near-term clean-energy targets.


Supply-chain snarls, rising interest rates and inflationary pressures are making projects far more expensive to build. Now, some developers are looking to renegotiate financing agreements to keep their projects under way.


The Biden administration has set a target for the U.S. to develop 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030—enough to supply electricity to roughly 10 million homes. Analysts say that target will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve if cost and supply issues persist.


“We’re seeing unexpected and unprecedented macroeconomic challenges,” said David Hardy, chief executive of the Americas for Danish power company Ørsted A/S, which is developing about five gigawatts of offshore wind projects off the coast between Rhode Island and Maryland.


Avangrid AGR -1.29%decrease; red down pointing triangle, a subsidiary of Spanish power company Iberdrola SA, IBDRY -0.45%decrease; red down pointing triangle is developing a 1.2-gigawatt project called Commonwealth Wind off the coast of Massachusetts. The company in December asked the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to terminate its review of contracts the company negotiated with utilities serving the state. The company said it now intends to scrap the contracts and rebid the project next year to account for higher costs.


“We think this allows us to find a path to financeability for the project,” said Kimberly Harriman, Avangrid’s senior vice president of state-government affairs and corporate communications.


Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, a joint venture between Shell New Energies US LLC and Ocean Winds, is developing another Massachusetts project. It said in regulatory filings that its contracts have been similarly affected and that it plans to produce third-party analysis showing the challenges of financing the project. Mayflower Wind declined to comment.


Ørsted told analysts in November that its anticipated return on U.S. projects, including Ocean Wind 1 off New Jersey, is “not where we want it to be.” New Jersey utility company Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., which has a 25% interest in Ocean Winds, told analysts in October that it was reviewing its options and project costs before making a final investment decision. The company declined to comment.


The U.S. offshore wind industry has long faced delays related to federal permitting, a process the Biden administration has pushed to accelerate. Vineyard Wind LLC, a joint venture between Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, is now building the nation’s first large-scale project off the coast of Massachusetts and expects it to begin producing power late next year, roughly six years after it started the permitting process.


Global market dynamics have compounded the hurdles. The U.S. is building its first wave of offshore wind farms at the same time European countries try to accelerate their own projects to secure electricity supplies following the invasion of Ukraine. That has strained the supply chain, as well as the availability of specialized installation vessels needed to transport and hoist massive turbines.


“There’s going to be a lot of vessel sharing,” said Samantha Woodworth, senior research analyst at Wood Mackenzie.


Any delay to a single project in the U.S. or Europe could impact other projects, Ms. Woodworth said. WoodMac expects trickle-down delays will cause the U.S. to fall 2 gigawatts short of the 2030 goal set by the Biden administration.


Dominion Energy Inc., a Richmond, Va.-based utility company, is building the only offshore-wind installation vessel under construction in the U.S. The vessel is expected in 2024 to service two projects under development by Ørsted and New England utility company Eversource Energy, and will then move to service a 2.6-gigawatt project Dominion is building off the coast of Virginia.


Josh Bennett, Dominion’s vice president of offshore wind, said the vessel is more than 60% complete. The company’s $9.8 billion offshore wind farm remains on schedule and on budget, he said, largely because the company signed its supply contracts before the constraints emerged.


“There’s so much demand now,” he said. “If you were to attempt to do an offshore wind project starting today, it would take you out into the late ’20s or early ’30s.”


The Inflation Reduction Act passed earlier this year contains tax credits for offshore wind developers and manufacturers, as well as support for transmission planning. Developers say they are studying how the bill’s provisions could be used to help stabilize their projects.


The U.S. is also pushing to begin developing offshore wind along the West Coast, an effort seen as key to achieving the 2030 target and other clean-energy goals. But potential projects there come with regulatory complexities, deep-water technical risks and port space constraints, and developers have been hesitant to bet big on the region as costs soar. The first-ever sale of California offshore wind rights in December fetched $757 million, compared with a $4.37 billion Atlantic coast auction in February.


Wind-turbine manufacturers have also been struggling with supply-chain snarls and rising materials costs. Vestas Wind Systems A/S, one of the world’s largest turbine makers, reported lower revenue in the third quarter as a result of project delays and lower activity in the U.S.


Josh Irwin, Vestas North America’s senior vice president of offshore sales, said the amount of time it takes for developers to complete the necessary permitting steps remains a challenge for planning.


“The longer the interval, the greater the opportunity for supply-chain costs to get out of step with a project’s original expectations for the price of electricity,” he said.


Write to Katherine Blunt at katherine.blunt@wsj.com and Jennifer Hiller at jennifer.hiller@wsj.com



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