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bubalusarnee t1_j1qtayv wrote

Looks to me like the utilities are slow rolling them. The wind folks can't answer certain questions because the utilities aren't engaging with them on all the fronts.

The existing utilities who stand to lose money if wind succeeds, are somehow ABLE to put out a stumbling block?

That's Massachusetts Politics RIGHT THERE. Someone intended that.


Ilikereddit15 t1_j1r64ga wrote

How are they losing money? They earn it on the transmission still was my understanding


NativeMasshole t1_j1r8zq2 wrote

Seems more likely that they don't want to have to pay for any of the infrastructure to support transmission. We really should be investing heavily in the next generation power grid to support all the renewables, but that's kind of tough when they're all owned by some of the most hated private interests in the country. They don't want to invest on their own, we can't make them, and nobody trusts them with subsidies.


OneRingOfBenzene t1_j1rpiau wrote

Widely speaking, the utilities don't have to pay for the transmission infrastructure, at least not the transmission infrastructure that is required to support these wind projects. That infrastructure would also be paid for by the wind project.

New England utilities are not allowed to own generation, which means that they're also not competing with the wind project for revenue.

In my opinion- at the end of the day, the reason these larger projects are moving slowly is simple: They're hard, and they're expensive. And land rights- particularly in New England- make the required transmission infrastructure to support the generation doubly hard and doubly expensive.


Cobrawine66 t1_j1rq2qu wrote

Most if not all of the wind cocompanies are foreign companies that sometimes pair up with American companies for optics.


Ilikereddit15 t1_j1rcr72 wrote

Yeah it’s pretty funny when their websites espouse their goals of moving to renewables then this happens…we’ll see what comes of it in April


Cobrawine66 t1_j1rq74i wrote

It's all about the $$$ for them. Not about the environment.


femtoinfluencer t1_j1uz53z wrote

> Seems more likely that they don't want to have to pay for any of the infrastructure to support transmission.

This is an anecdote, but I've never lived anywhere in the USA with electric distribution infrastructure as seemingly shitty as Masschusetts. As soon as the weather gets even a touch spicy, it's a question whether the power will go out, and at least in my experience it's been that way since the 1990s (which was the first of several times I've lived in state or split my time between MA and somewhere else).

Like look. I know it's still within spec for a "developed country" - we don't have rolling blackouts, the power is on 99.9% of the time. But that being said I've never lived anywhere else where most of the houses in well-to-do neighborhoods have a generator on a concrete pad outside. I was staying with friends who are fairly well off and was walking around that neighborhood last year when the power went out and it was quite an experience suddenly hearing like 50 generators autostart, took me half a minute to figure out what the hell was happening. That level of not being able to trust the power company isn't typical for the entire USA, and that includes other places which get cold af in the winter.


buried_lede t1_j1rpi5z wrote

I don’t think so. Avangrid just doesn’t want to honor their contract. They want a redo. It’s referred to as a long time power purchase agreement but in none of the articles I’ve read does it specify the length of the contract. I guess it’s on file if anyone wants to dig it up. I think Avangrid should just eat it and apparently, so does everyone else. As part of Iberdrola, it’s a huge international company and can absorb the temporary impact of a calculation it regrets making.

The utilities make gobs of money on transmission and distribution improvements and extensions. FERC sets generous payment for transmission, and in distribution, the cost of capital improvements, such as more or improved distribution infrastructure, can be passed onto customers. They are always thrilled to do either so I don’t see any reason the utilities would want to stop the wind projects from coming online


Cobrawine66 t1_j1rpvip wrote

It's not the utilities, it's the wind companies wanting to make bank. They already have a ton of tax credits.


LaurenDreamsInColor t1_j1ru4yw wrote

The same reason there's a limit on how many kilowatts of solar you can put on your house and when you can install battery backup.