CLF’s letter was a joke; factually incorrect, misleading

Saint Albans Messenger; October 16, 2015

The recent article in the Messenger by Sandra Levin, an associate with Conservation Law Foundation, is a joke and bordering on delusional.

Ms. Levin states: “Key benefit to more renewable energy, like wind and solar, is their low or zero fuel cost.” The true costs come in the price tag of the wind project itself, which isn’t even touched upon in the article.
Let’s just take an average monthly bill of say $100, adjust up or down to meet your particular situation. Then we’ll look at Swanton Wind project of roughly $35,000,000 to set up, with decreasing efficiency every year until approximately 20 years at which time replacement is necessary. This amounts to $1,7450,000 per year just in initial costs. We know most lending institutions charge interest and lots of it, so let’s double that $1,750,000 to make it $3,500,000 with the interest and other miscellaneous expenses. This would be a break-even point, but wait, they have to make a profit on their investment, so let’s add more, a lot more. Isn’t your monthly power bill looking good? If this project ever gets through I believe we’ll all regret what we’ve allowed to happen.

It is reported that consumption of electricity accounts for only five percent of Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore focusing on the generation of electricity is not an effective method for reducing. Let’s look at the 95 percent areas where it’s really going to make a difference. This will not.

We, the people will pay for these wind projects, one way or another. Wind is the most expensive electricity known to mankind, creates eye pollution that can be seen forever, health hazards for some, noise [lots of it], extremely unhealthy for our waters and for our wildlife.

Can we stand together and “just say no?” You bet we can and hope all will join in with us by insisting/demanding local control, as we are more than capable, by contacting the governor’s office 828-3333. A real live person will answer the phone and give information to contact the Public Service Board as well as everyone else who needs to hear from us.

Pat Messier, Swanton

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One Response to CLF’s letter was a joke; factually incorrect, misleading

  1. Shawn says:

    There is a key piece of information missing from this letter: How many kilowatt hours does a $35M ($70M) wind project produce in 20 years? The cost per kilowatt hour will be, with interest and other expenses, $70M divided by the number of kilowatt hours produced within the life of the project.

    A stronger case can be made against the wind project if Pat can show that the cost per kilowatt hour from the wind project is much higher than the cost per kilowatt hour from other sources of electricity, or much higher than the cost per kilowatt hour that the consumer pays for electricity. Then a case could be made that a much more expensive source of electricity such as wind cannot be added to the overall electricity mix without increasing the average cost of electricity, and someone will have to pay for that.

    Pat might estimate the number of kilowatt hours that the project will produce from the total nameplate capacity. Take the total nameplate capacity in kilowatts (1 MW = 1000 kW), multiply that by a realistic capacity factor of 0.08 (8%), multiply that by 8766 hours per year, and then multiply that by 20 years. That will be the total number of kilowatt hours. The cost per kilowatt hour will be $70M divided by the total number of kilowatt hours.

    If the project has a total nameplate capacity of 17.5 MW = 17500 kW for example, then the project will produce 245 million kilowatt hours. The cost per kilowatt hour at the source will be $70M/245Mkwhs = 28.5 cents per kilowatt hour, which is probably about twice the price paid by the end consumer. Someone will have to pay for this expensive electricity.

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