Energy

This Offshore Wind Farm Could Cost $25,000 Per Home Powered

New York utility regulators will soon vote on a proposed offshore wind turbine project with a whopping price tag for the electricity it generates: $25,000 per home.

The Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative will cost $1 billion dollar to build and generate roughly 200 megawatts of electricity, enough to provide power to between 40,000 and 64,000 homes — depending on how much the wind blows over the course of the year.

The wind farm’s power could cost anywhere from $25,000 to $15,625 for every home it powers, according to Daily Caller News Foundation calculations.

The assumption Offshore Wind Collaborative could power 40,000 homes assumes a low capacity factor of 31 percent, equal to the operating Frederikshavn offshore wind farm in Denmark. The 64,000 homes power figure is an estimate from the Collaborative that assumes a higher capacity factor of 40 percent applied to the 200 megawatts. The wind turbines will be built by Deepwater Wind.

“We’re developing this first offshore wind project in federal waters, but it’s really a gateway project to other locations around Long Island,” Thomas Falcone, the CEO of Long Island Power Authority, told The New York Times. “We’re now at a point where developers can build projects at prices where utilities are willing buyers, and to me that is a very big deal.”

The Long Island offshore wind farm could actually prove more expensive than the first U.S. offshore wind facility, which  spent a mere $17,600 dollars per home it will power. Three miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, the first American offshore wind farm will allegedly generate enough energy to power 17,000 homes, but will cost $300 million to build five turbines.

The extremely high cost of offshore wind doesn’t worry environmentalists and progressives however, because, as Salon.com says about the project, “it’s the precedent that counts.” Both costs of the Block Island and Long Island wind farms are just to build the turbines, not to operate them.

Despite the extremely high cost, federal officials want to power a whooping 23 million homes with offshore wind by the year 2050. Offshore wind is so pricey that early investors in it, like Germany, plan to stop building new turbines to lower the costs of electricity and prop up its ailing power grid.

Offshore wind power is so expensive because installing and maintaining any kind of infrastructure on the water is extremely difficult. The salt water of the ocean is incredibly corrosive and makes operating such facilities difficult and expensive. Electricity is so comparatively cheap in most parts of the country that offshore wind isn’t generally necessary.

However, proponents of offshore wind note that wind over the ocean is much more reliable than onshore wind

The average American’s electric bill has gone up 10 percent since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, due to regulations imposed by government officials and taxpayer support for green energy.

Most analysts agree rising residential electricity prices are also harmful to American households. Pricey power disproportionately hurts poorer families and other lower-income groups as the poor tend to spend a higher proportion of their incomes on “basic needs” like power, so any increase in prices hits them the hardest.

As essential goods like electricity become more expensive, the cost of producing goods and services that use electricity increases, effectively raising the price of almost everything. The higher prices are ultimately paid for by consumers, not industries.

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