Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New York State

Wind Powers~ Poor Preformance

The following is from a report prepared by Lisa Linowes Wind Action Org.

By the end of 2010, New York State claimed fifteen wind energy facilities totaling an installed capacity of 1,275 megawatts. The projects are geographically distributed in the northern and western regions of the State but typically away from denser population centers including New York City with the highest demand for electricity.
Twelve of the fifteen projects comprise the bulk of the nameplate capacity (1225 megawatts). These facilities went into service in the years between 2006 and February 2009. Less than 50 megawatts of wind was installed prior to 2006. Since early 2009, wind development in the State has been largely stagnant with only one wind project built in the last two years. Iberdrola's 74 megawatt Hardscrabble project went online in February 2011, so the figures show 10+ months of performance. It will be another year before we can get a good understanding of performance. Link here to Original

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) recently released its 2012 Gold Book revealing that wind did not perform any better than in past years.
The table below shows how little energy is produced by some of the wind projects in New York State.

The following commentary was sent to me by a sharp reader.
A couple of things that jump out at me are
1) at very best no project reached 30%, a figure commonly touted by the industry in its advertising.
2) the consistency of the data. I'm not sure about how they calculated the 23.5% as an overall average (e.g., did they include the 0 and 1.4%), but regardless most CF were at the low end of the 20s.
What I am wondering is what CFs were used in these companies pitch to investors?

I'd assume they tried to sell the project and opted on the positive side. If so, then how do these real world CFs affect the financial projections? Moreover, are these figures being incorporated into new wind project proposals?
If we were investing in some business venture that fell short of promises and only delivered 78% of the promised return, wouldn't that be a big story?

(The promise = 30%, actual 23.5%; 6.5%/30%= 21.7% below promises, or only 78% of the promise). For these big time investors taking even a small hit on their expected profits would send a terrible message, but 22% loss sounds monumental.
I wish I was a CPA who had access to wind financials.


Anonymous said...

One important point - a number of these projects were awarded 1603 grants which were expected to achieve at least 30% capacity factor. No project in NY reached 30% in any year of operation.

Anonymous said...

Iberdrola didn't even want to build that Hardscrabble project. They were effectively forced to by the NY PSC. Iberdrola was sitting on a pile of money they had promised to use to develop renewable projects in the state. But they were dragging their feet because the market fundamentals of wind power were bad and getting worse.

The PSC called them in and told them they had to build something or give back the ratepayer money they were hoarding. So they built the project that was facing the least local opposition - Hardscrabble in Herkimer County.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, halt, stop the presses.

If these multi-million dollar electric generators aren't producing the way they were billed, then how has this affected electric rates? The rates must go up, but by how much? What is their inefficiency really costing rate payers?

If the green weenie lovers have low-balled wind's ability to put out, then what about transmission loss down to the big apple? I've got to believe they've flunked that one too.

Collectively, if capacity factor was a lie and if T'mission loss is bullshit too, then how much real weenie power is available in Bloomberg town?

I'm tired of all these renewable, lovesick pinwheel lovers telling us their sweetheart looks like some gorgeous doll when in reality its a fat ugly pig. This stinks so bad I'm beginning to wonder whether the New York wind lobby's financial adviser is Jeri Ann Mason.