03-07-2012 Here’s a update: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/07/wind-power-companies-paid-to-not-produce/?test=latestnews
Ask yourself, where can you get a sweetheart deal like this? Who were the Dumb Asses that put us on the hook to pay for power we don’t use?
The fact is, the average person doesn’t have a clue, and won’t care till it bites him in the Ass.
Talk to your average Greenie, and the electrical grid is all too simple, just poor in electricity over here, and pull it out over there. For those that know better, the wind machines you see scattered across the land scape need at least carry their own weight, and that means other more reliable power producers should NOT have to pay to subsidize windpower operating costs.
Here’s a snippet from an article a few years back, do you have a clue what’s going on today?
Bonneville Power’s role in wind
Actions by the Bonneville Power Authority
(BPA) undoubtedly will be important in determining the nature of “wind farm”
development in the Pacific Northwest in terms of (a) the commitments to purchase
electricity from additional “wind farms,” (b) the impacts of intermittent
electricity from “wind farms” on electric grids, and (c) the true costs of
electricity from wind energy.
1. Potential BPA Purchases from
additional “wind farms.” BPA has been active in promoting wind energy for
several years, including purchases of electricity from “wind farms” in Oregon
and Wyoming. BPA mounted a very aggressive effort in February 2001 to sign up
1,000 MW of new wind power. In March 2001, BPA issued a formal request for
proposals along with draft “Predevelopment” and “Power Purchase” agreements. In
May 2001, BPA announced that it was working with Washington Winds Inc. to
develop a 150 MW “wind farm” in Benton and Yakima Counties.
On June 28, 2001, the Secretary of Energy
announced that BPA has selected seven “wind farm” proposals for negotiation of
“Predevelopment” agreements, including five additional “wind farms” in
Washington and two in Oregon. In December 2001, DOE Secretary Abraham announced
that it would purchase 34% of the output of FPL Energy’s Stateline “wind farm”
located on both sides of the Oregon-Washington border near Walla Walla, an
amount roughly equal to BPA’s earlier purchases from Oregon and Wyoming “wind
BPA’s aggressive actions to signup “wind
farms” appeared to be driven by the 2000-2001 drought conditions in the
northwest (sharply reduced hydropower production), high electricity prices and,
perhaps, pressure from DOE headquarters in Washington to promote wind energy.
As excitement in the wind industry about
potential BPA purchases grew, BPA apparently began to worry about the aggressive
actions of “wind farm” developers. On September 20, 2001, BPA issued a press
release warning that “Throughout eastern Oregon and Washington, wind power
developers, lawyers and speculators are pressing landowners to sign leases for
rights to wind generation. Landowners need to learn quickly how to evaluate and
secure the value of their wind resource.”
Meanwhile, the electricity situation in the
Pacific Northwest changed dramatically as drought conditions lessened,
significant new gas-fired generating capacity was brought on line, and wholesale
electricity prices dropped sharply. A BPA spokesman recently stated that “Wind
power hasn’t been economical for the past six months, since power prices in the
region have fallen after the incredible spikes of 2000-2001.” He also stated
that “Of the wind power that the agency has bought, reliability has been
‘spotty,’ with an availability of wind power in the range of 20-25percent, far
below the 30-35 percent availability the industry has touted. What’s more, wind
farms generally need generating support from other – often fossil – sources, and
are not useful in supplying peaking power.”
Earlier this year, BPA began facing severe
financial problems and seeking a way to reduce costs. On July 2, 2002, the BPA
Administrator announced plans to share information about financial problems and
seek input from citizens and officials throughout the areas BPA
As a part of its campaign, BPA released
information on costs of its “renewables” program for a “Financial Choices
Workshop” planned for September 17, 2002. The document outlines two
alternatives but makes clear that neither alternative would produces enough
revenue to cover the multi-million dollar program BPA renewables program
(including the cost of purchases of electricity from “wind farms”). In fact,
four “wind farms” totaling 430 MW on the BPA “short list” announced by the DOE
Secretary are omitted in both plans. The 150 MW Maiden Wind Project is included
in the “Current Level” alternative but dropped in the “Reduced Level”
Both program alternatives result in
significant losses (expected revenues do not cover costs), but losses are
somewhat less in the “Reduced Level” program.
Recent news stories indicate that some
utilities in the Northwest, as well as BPA itself, are concerned about the high
cost of BPA’s renewables program. Furthermore, as it prepares to develop its
Fifth Power Plan to be published in early 2003, the Northwest Power Planning
Council has identified a number of issues for comment. One issue concerns the
role of BPA in future “resource development” (i.e., procurement of electricity
for BPA’s wholesale customers.
Electricity from Wind Energy in Electric Grid and Associated
Costs. As indicated
earlier, part of the true costs of wind energy are costs (a) associated with
providing backup generation because the electricity output from wind energy and
(b) imposed on transmission systems and grid management – with both types of
costs due to the intermittent and volatile nature of the electrical output from
Until July 2002, BPA has imposed an extra
charge of $100 per MWh (or $0.10 per kWh) on operators of electric generators
–including wind generators– that failed to deliver electricity at the time it
was scheduled. Under strong pressure from the wind industry and DOE, BPA has
eliminated that charge for wind generators. However, wind generators will still
be required to pay the cost of the power provided by BPA to make up the
difference between the schedule and actual generation.
It is important to recognize that none of
the extra costs associated with wind energy, including the cost of backup
generation, transmission and grid management “go away.” Any of those costs not
borne by “wind farm” owners are shifted to electric consumers.
To its credit, BPA is devoting resources to
efforts to address the problems, burdens and costs associated with integrating
volatile and intermittent “wind farm” electricity into the electric grid.
Specifically, BPA is providing a significant share ($227,000) of the funds to
support a Utility Wind Interest Group (UWIG) effort to determine the impacts of
electricity from “wind farms” on electric grids. This study, a related study by
Electrotek for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), and a BPA
funded wind integration study by Eric Hirst should be helpful in both
understanding the impacts and the additional costs due to electricity produced
by wind energy.