New York’s Wind Power Plans Make Zero Sense


offshore wind rig

I haven’t lived in New York City since I graduated … High School in 1992, but with my parents and many of my family still there, I will always be a New Yorker in my heart.

So, it’s with this bloodline dating back pre-Civil War that I’m watching the Mayoral race with great interest.

In two terms, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NY) has plunged New York City back into crime and decay. The year 2020 saw double the shootings of 2019.

Murder was up 40%. Car thefts up 67%. Burglaries up 42%. Transit crimes have doubled, and for young people born and raised in the city, like a then 17-year-old me in 1992 deciding on a college, it’s that statistic which ultimately drives you away.

With this misery index looming over the election, I do not begrudge any candidate from any party proposing big ideas.

New York needs big ideas if it’s to overcome its current state of decline, for, in addition to the crime, the COVID lockdowns have wiped out one-third of its businesses and disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) tax plan will impose an additional $4 billion in new taxes.

Someone, please, for the love of God, try to make New York City great again.

But Democrat candidate Eric Adams’ wind power proposal is not that plan, and it’s with great respect and an open invite to sit down with the candidate, and any candidate of any party, to explain why.

Mr. Adams noted Rhode Island’s wind farm as an example of a state committed to the technology. In the last few years, it added Block Island Wind Farm to its electricity production. How has it been thus far? Let’s explore.

The promises were great. The wind farm promised to cut electricity rates on Block Island by 40%. Rates have gone up, from 47 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2011 to 54 cents per kWh in 2020 (as a comparison, the national average in 2020 was 13.19 cents per kWh).

It promised to create “800 new jobs”. It actually created just 300. And all of the costs, like the mislaid cable and the turbine damaged from a forgotten drill bit, are being passed onto the ratepayers.

What’s the incentive to build things properly when the costly errors are paid by someone else?

Then there was the promise of future savings. In order to pay for the $300 million project, the construction company received an electricity purchase pricing from the national grid of 24.4 cents per kWh with an automatic annual increase of 3.5%, a price so outlandishly high it required a special law from Rhode Island’s legislature.

The environmentalists were giddy with this plan. Inside Climate News, the “Pulitzer Prize-winning non-partisan” green blog penned a 2017 article breathlessly praising republican “converts” and proclaiming the end of fossil fuel economics.

All this for a wind farm that generates 300 megawatts of power. That’s enough to “power 17,000 homes”, scream all the enthusiasts; it never says at what cost, financial cost, for the people of Rhode Island.

Is New York City going to do this throughout its entire coast? For 300 megawatts? When the city, at its peak, requires over 12,000 megawatts of power?

How much of New York harbor, Coney Island, and the Rockaway coastline need to be inundated with wind turbines to even make a dent into the city’s energy needs? And at what cost?

Someone benefitted from Block Island Wind Farm, just not the people. Deepwater Wind, the construction company which has now sold the wind farm to Danish Orsted for $510 million, benefitted quite a bit.

Finally, Mr. Adams hopes that New York City can be a manufacturer of wind turbines thus creating jobs for the city.

As my organization has pointed out in past studies, China dominates the green manufacturing sector making upwards of 70% of all renewable energy technology and controlling 95% of the rare earth elements necessary for their functioning.

Any effort to change that requires some serious federal strong-arming of the Chinese. Based on how the Biden Administration’s first sit down with China went in Alaska last month, tougher actions are unlikely.

Big ideas are good, and New York City needs something to keep it from sinking further into economic and cultural decay, but wind isn’t the answer as Block Island Wind Farm shows.

Wind is never cost-effective and never the job producer advocates claim. It’s a pet project of the well-connected where the taxpayers foot the construction bill and the ratepayers are on the hook in perpetuity.

Such fraud on any other business would lead to criminal inquiries, but do it in the name of climate change, and there are no consequences.

Read more at RealClearEnergy

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