America’s Offshore Wind Industry Covering Up True Cost of Taxpayer Funded Subsidies

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The rent-seekers that profit from the great wind and solar scam are always begging for more: more subsidies, tougher mandates and even greater renewable energy targets.

Back in 1983, the American Wind Industry Association claimed that solar and wind would be “competitive and self-supporting on a national level by the end of the decade if assisted by tax credits and augmented by federally sponsored R&D”. That was 40 years ago. And there was no lack of assistance in the form of tax credits and federally sponsored R&D, along with a whole bunch of other punitive mandates and targets designed to cripple conventional generators and favour chaotically intermittent wind and solar.

40 years on and nothing has changed. Now, as then, claims from renewable energy rent seekers that wind and solar are truly competitive with nuclear, coal or gas evaporate the instant policymakers start talking about removing subsidies to wind and solar.

The subsidies they begged for in the beginning were meant to help so-called ‘infant’ industries get on their feet. But, even now, the mere mention of reducing subsidies turns them into bawling brats, furious at the prospect of ever having to make an honest dollar.

Now that power prices – which include the hidden and embedded costs of all those subsidies, mandates and renewable energy targets – are rocketing beyond belief, power consumers are eager to uncover the extent of those subsidies, in order the challenge the basis for the wind and solar industries’ incessant demands for ever more subsidies from taxpayers and power consumers.

In New York, the City and a group of big power users have issued proceedings seeking to flush out the truth behind yet another unbridled subsidy grab from offshore wind power outfits, moaning about the increasing costs of operations that threaten their ability to continually line their pockets with other people’s money.

Caroline Spivack has this report on, yet another wind industry game of hide and seek.

City demands financial data as offshore wind developers ask for bigger subsidies
Crain’s New York
Caroline Spivack
2 August 2023

New York City and a consortium of big energy users accused offshore wind developers of “a concerted effort to avoid scrutiny” in their requests for bigger subsidies from ratepayers, filings with the state show.

The challenge is directed at developers behind four offshore wind projects that New York is purportedly relying on to reach its clean energy goals. In June, the developers told state regulators that their projects would be at risk without an inflation adjustment to their contracts.

But such changes stand to increase costs for consumers, and New York City and several large businesses want the developers to provide more information to support their claims.

“The Petitioners seek significant but unspecified increases to the amounts they would be paid by captive utility customers for previously-contracted [offshore wind projects], but a significant portion of the information that purportedly supports the requested relief is redacted and withheld from public review,” states a motion submitted to the state on July 27.

Motions were filed by the city and Multiple Intervenors, a group of 55 large electricity consumers including retailers, manufacturers and institutions throughout New York. Among the association’s varied members are IBM, Wegmans and the State University of New York.

The companies complain that “excessive redactions” in the developers’ filings make it difficult to evaluate the need for more relief.

“Petitioners’ overbroad use of redactions reveals a lack of regard for the right of utility customers to be adequately informed as to the costs they are being asked to bear,” the motion states. “The public interest demands that sufficient information be presented in the Petitions to allow the public to understand, evaluate, and provide meaningful input.”

Norway-based Equinor and British Petroleum are building three of the offshore projects that have petitioned for contract changes: Empire Wind 1 and 2 near the Jersey Shore, and Beacon Wind east of Montauk.

“We are reviewing the motion filed to understand what further information could be provided,” the Equinor representative told Crain’s in an emailed statement. “The petition includes information on requested changes to the agreements necessary for the projects to progress.”

The Sunrise Wind development, a 924-megawatt joint venture by Ørsted and Eversource east of Long Island, has also petitioned state regulators for contract changes. A representative for Ørsted told Crain’s that the company is currently reviewing the motion.

In an unusual move, the Public Service Commission is seeking comment on the developers’ request for more aid—the agency is not required to do so. The comment period officially closes on Aug. 28, but input on the motions will be accepted until the commission reaches a decision, according to the Department of Public Service.
Crain’s New York

Pages of entirely redacted information are seen in the released version of an affidavit from the U.S. Justice Department that was submitted to a federal judge to support the execution of a search warrant by the FBI at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate after the affidavit was released to the public by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida with more than half the information in the document redacted in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. August 26, 2022. REUTERS/Jim Bourg