Since 2015, Gov. Cuomo has been hyping his scheme to remake the state’s electrical grid in order that by 2030 half of the state’s electrical energy will come from renewable sources.
However Cuomo’s ambition — to show his renewable-energy bona fides and thus place himself as a viable Democratic candidate for the White Home in two years — is colliding headlong with actuality.
Certainly, two occasions Monday, one in Albany and the opposite within the upstate city of Somerset, confirmed simply how troublesome and costly his plan has grow to be and the way New York ratepayers might be caught with the invoice.
In Albany, the New York State Power Analysis and Growth Authority launched its “offshore-wind grasp plan.” The company stated it was “charting a course to 2,400 megawatts” of offshore capability to be put in by 2030. That a lot capability (roughly twice as a lot as now exists in all of Denmark) would require putting in a whole bunch of platforms over greater than 300 sq. miles of ocean in among the most navigated, and closely fished, waters on the Jap Seaboard.
It’ll even be enormously costly. In keeping with the newest knowledge from the Power Info Administration, by 2022 producing a megawatt hour of electrical energy from offshore wind will price a whopping $145.90.
Offshore wind promoters declare prices are declining. Perhaps so. However in line with the New York Unbiased System Operator, the typical price of wholesale electrical energy within the state final 12 months was $36.56. Thus, Cuomo’s presidential ambitions would require New York customers to pay roughly 4 occasions as a lot for offshore electrical energy as they at the moment pay for juice from standard turbines.
Why is the governor pushing so arduous for offshore wind? The reply’s easy: The agricultural backlash in opposition to Huge Wind is rising day by day.
Just some hours after NYSERDA launched its plan, the Somerset city board unanimously banned industrial wind generators. The city (inhabitants: 2,700) is actively opposing the proposed 200-megawatt Lighthouse Wind undertaking, which, if constructed, could be one of many largest onshore-wind services within the Northeast.
Wednesday, Dan Engert, the supervisor in Somerset, informed me his “residents are overwhelmingly opposed” to having wind tasks constructed close to their properties and that Somerset will shield “the well being, security and rural character of our city.”
Quite a few different small communities are combating the encroachment of Huge Wind. Within the Thousand Islands area, cities like Cape Vincent and Clayton have been heading off wind tasks for years. Final Could, the city of Clayton permitted an modification to its zoning ordinance that bans all business wind tasks.
Final September, the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Group introduced its opposition to eight proposed onshore-wind tasks because of the deleterious impact these tasks may have on radar techniques and army aviation. The transfer by the Watertown-based group, which is devoted to assuring Fort Drum’s future, will doubtless derail greater than 1,000 megawatts of proposed wind-generation capability.
The onshore backlash has left Cuomo with no alternative however to maneuver his renewable-energy obsession offshore. Final 12 months, in his State of the State Deal with, Cuomo touted the truth that the entire proposed wind generators might be thus far offshore that “Not even Superman standing on Montauk Level” will be capable to see them. The Man of Metal might not be capable to see them, however loads of fishermen will, and they’re none too blissful on the prospect of getting a whole bunch of offshore platforms impede their fishing.
To guard their pursuits, fishermen and fishmongers from New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts have filed a federal lawsuit to dam an offshore wind lease gained by Norwegian oil firm Statoil ASA, on the web site of probably the greatest squid and scallop fisheries on the Jap Seaboard. That lawsuit remains to be pending.
In brief, Cuomo’s push for offshore wind reveals how determined he’s to indicate his buddies on the Pure Assets Protection Council and the Sierra Membership how a lot he loves renewable vitality. By no means thoughts that New York’s electrical energy costs are already 40 p.c increased than the US common or that his offshore scheme will ship these charges even increased.
As Dan Engert requested me Wednesday, “Who’s searching for the ratepayers? That’s the query that needs to be put to the governor.”
Robert Bryce is a senior fellow on the Manhattan Institute.