The DOE has spent over $300 million for Offshore Wind Turbines. None are in Operation.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has spent $307 million for offshore wind turbines since 2006. After more then seven years, $307 million, and seventy two projects to support offshore wind turbine research, development and demonstrations, taxpayers see no (zero) DOE operational offshore wind turbines.
The DOE has recently awarded $47 million, spread between three electric utility companies, to build and install a total of twelve offshore wind turbines. The three utility companies, selected by the DOE are: Dominion Virginia Power, Principle Power and Fisherman’s Energy. The plan allows Dominion Virginia Power to build and install two 6.MW machines, in the Atlantic ocean, 26 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. Principle Power will place five 6.MW machines, in the Pacific ocean, 18 miles off the coast of Coos Bay, Oregon. Fisherman’s Energy plans to install five 5.MW wind turbines, in the Atlantic, 3 miles off the shore of Atlantic City, NJ. Virginia’s Governor Terry McAuliffe commented about the DOE contract award: “The demonstration project alone will have a positive economic impact of approximately $10 million per year and create up to 100 jobs thru the end of construction.”
It is interesting to estimate the individual salaries of 100 construction workers, with $10 million available. It works out that each of the 100 workers may receive up to a yearly salary of $100,000 per year. This may sound like an exorbitant salary for a construction worker. However the construction and maintenance of wind turbines located in the ocean, up to 26 miles from shore, is positively a hazardous occupation. It is expected that hazardous work, of this sort, will demand significantly more than a minimum wage. For this reason, along with several others, the cost of electric energy produced by offshore wind turbines will always be at least two times more than the electricity produced by land based wind turbines. An economic comparison between onshore and offshore wind turbines supports this conclusion and is presented in my book. The common sense energy plan calls for eliminating all government funding, grants and tax incentives for wind energy. Our tax money, for energy independence, can be better invested in building more natural gas fired electric plants, building new technology nuclear electric and nuclear hydrogen plants. We need our administration to advocate and educate our people on the merits of a clean, economical common sense energy policy. The current administration’s “all of the above energy approach” obviously is not providing economical energy production.