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Thursday, May 21, 2015
Rusting Windfarm Junk off Waikiki: Europe's Disaster Coming to Hawaiian Waters
By Selected News Articles @ 11:51 PM :: 6910 Views :: Energy, Tax Credits, Tourism

Feds to License Windfarm off Waikiki Beach?

by Henry Curtis, Ililani Media, May 15, 2015 (excerpts)

Ocean-based floating wind-generation facilities have been proposed AW Hawaii Wind LLC.

Each facility would consist of 51 floating eight megawatt (MW) turbines secured in place by anchors.

The Oahu South Project would be located approximately 17 miles south of Diamond Head in water depths of approximately 1,000 – 2300 feet.

The Oahu Northwest Project would be located 12 miles northwest of Ka`ena Point in water depths of approximately 2,300 ‐ 3,300 feet above an ocean floor plateau.

“The Southern area will be visible from Waikiki beach....  The eastern area is equally visible from the southeastern part of Oahu and will be part of the sunrise...."  (Don't worry.  Its OK to gamble the entire tourism industry on this scheme.)

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has scheduled its third BOEM/Hawaii Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force Meeting for Wednesday, June 3, 2015 from 9 am to 2:20 p.m.

The meeting will occur at the Homer A. Maxey International Trade Resource Center located at Pier 2, 521 Ala Moana Boulevard, near the makai end of Punchbowl.

The meeting itself is reserved for government conversations. BOEM and the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) will make presentations. At the end of the meeting the public can make comments....

read ... Crackpot Idea Funded by Your Tax Dollars

  *   *   *   *   *

Hawaii to be Guinea Pig for yet another Hare-brained Corporate Welfare Scheme

by Richard A Kessler, Recharge, March 20, 2015 (excerpts)

Danish developer Alpha Wind Energy (AWE) has submitted lease requests to the US Interior Department (DOI) for two proposed 51-turbine, 408MW floating wind projects in federal waters off Oahu, Hawaii.

The projects would be the first commercial application of floating wind technology in the US and be located in water depths at least five times those for conventional offshore projects under development along the east coast.

They would utilize Principle Power’s WindFloat semi-submersible, a three-legged triangular pontoon structure whose design allows onshore assembly and commissioning before towing to site.

AWE has formed a subsidiary called AW Hawaii Wind, LLC, based in Texas to carry out the projects. Its partners include Portuguese industrial group A. Silva Matos (ASM); wind energy consultant Energy and Environmental Data, and Danish energy management firm NEAS.

ASM has constructed the existing WindFloat, (Note the use of the singular here.  There's only one of these things.) which has been in operation off the coast of Portugal for more than two years.... (Translation: The floats are not a proven technology.)

Recharge reported in January that BOEM expects to complete and release for public comment its draft environmental assessment (EA) for Principle Power’s 30MW WindFloat Pacific pilot project off the coast of Oregon.  (Translation: There are no offshore windfarms anywhere in the USA.  There's a reason for this.  See next article....)

read ... Nobody dumb enough to OK this scheme so they send it to Hawaii

  *   *   *   *   *

Offshore wind farms are no public benefit

by Barbara Durkin, The Hill, December 6, 2014 (excerpts)

...While U.S. energy policy should address the needs of citizens for reliable energy sources that are commercially reasonable and reasonably safe, offshore wind has historically failed to deliver these public benefits to Europeans. 

UK’s offshore wind energy projects' results should serve as the catalyst for termination by the administration of its proposed ocean auction to wind limited liabilities corporations.  U.S. rate and taxpayers are unacceptably exposed by this administration’s blind eye to the UK’s failed offshore wind program.   Neither the ocean area the federal government holds in trust for U.S. citizens, nor U.S. citizens themselves, should be exploited by an industry that historically fails to deliver public benefits.   

Germany’s flagship BARD Offshore I is a 400MW wind project intended to supply the energy needs of 400,000 households.  But Bard Offshore 1 remains out of operation according to industry source Offshore Wind Biz (June 2014) citing: “frequent technical problems with the converter substation,”  “a smoldering fire,” “failure of the system,” “five unplanned outages since the beginning of 2014” and “transmission problems.”

WindPowerOffshore (September 19, 2014) reports the Danish company Vattenfall is going to dismantle the Yttre Stengrund in Swedish waters after only 13 years of operation. “Only one in (5) turbines is currently operational.”

Europe’s offshore wind energy endeavors reveal the challenges of the harsh and corrosive marine environment.  GE deployed the Cape Wind prototype GE 3.6 MW wind turbines at Arklow, the wind farm offshore of Ireland.  GE subsequently “discontinued” the Cape Wind 3.6 MW wind turbine even while Cape Wind, the wind farm planned for offshore Massachusetts, was under permit review by the DOI. That review advanced Cape Wind as a “reliable” energy source.

Cape Wind changed specifications to Siemens 3.6 MW during their power purchase contract negotiations with the national grid.  But Siemens is not boasting offshore wind success, according to the Wall Street Journal [1/08/14]:

“Siemens, the world’s largest manufacturer of offshore wind turbines, and its partners concede they underestimated the challenges behind offshore wind. The financial fallout from these challenges was highlighted on Thursday, when Siemens said it booked €128 million ($171 million) in new charges related to connecting offshore wind farms to the power grid. It blamed unexpectedly high costs for shipping, installing and starting up grid components.”

A Spiegel International article ‘Turbine Trouble: Ill Wind Blows for German Offshore Industry’ says, “Operators of offshore wind farms depend on sufficiently high electricity prices to refinance their investments.”  This runs contrary to public interest. Citizens need commercially reasonable energy sources that are reliable, while offshore wind energy technology is historically not reliable, yet its price is high. 

The stunning and sobering candor of an executive of the “world’s largest” manufacturer of wind turbines, Vestas, would be comical if not for the serious context — billions in public funding along with the sacrifice of  the thousands of ocean acres that DOI intends to grant to wind LLCs.

In 2011, Anders Søe-Jensen, then president of the offshore division at Vestas said, “It’s a bit like buying an old crappy car. It’s starts cheap, but spends most of the time in the workshop costing you a fortune, so you didn’t drive much, and your cost per driven mile is staggeringly high. It’s the same with the cost of energy when you look at capital expense and operating costs with overall production.”

While President Obama’s energy goals should be to deploy energy sources that are commercially reasonable, reliable, and reasonably safe, based on the  best science, offshore wind has miserably failed to deliver public benefits to Europeans....

read ... No Benefit

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