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Aug 7, 2018 4:48 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Massachusetts Wind Electricity Rates Will Be A Fraction Of The South Fork's

Aug 7, 2018 5:09 PM

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts last week inked a contract with offshore wind farm developer Vineyard Wind to purchase the power from approximately 100 turbines the company plans to build in the ocean off Martha’s Vineyard, paying just 6.5 cents per kilowatt.

That price is some 70 percent less than Long Islanders could wind up paying for power from the South Fork Wind Farm under Deepwater Wind’s contract with the Long Island Power Authority.

Massachusetts officials touted the contract with Vineyard Wind as potentially lowering customers’ bills by more than 1 percent, even though the kilowatt cost is about double current rates in the state.

Vineyard Wind plans to build its sprawling wind farm in two phases, and expects them to come online in 2023 and 2024—one year after Deepwater Wind expects the South Fork Wind Farm to start pumping electricity toward the South Fork. Each section of the Massachusetts project will comprise about 50 turbines and produce an estimated 400 megawatts.

The South Fork Wind Farm, as proposed, would be just 15 turbines and produce about 90 megawatts.

The exact cost of the power that will be bought from Deepwater Wind is not perfectly clear, because New York State law allows LIPA to keep its power purchase agreements confidential. But the New York State comptroller has said the cost of the LIPA contract for power from the South Fork Wind Farm will cost ratepayers about $1.624 billion—an average of about 22.5 cents per kilowatt over the 20-year life of the project.

But Deepwater Wind and LIPA representatives say that looking at the power costs of South Fork Wind Farm and Vineyard Wind are unfair comparisons, largely because of economies of scale in construction costs and the nature of demand in New York, where electricity costs are already more than 50 percent higher than the national average.

“The South Fork Wind Farm and Vineyard Wind are simply not comparable,” Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said this week. “Vineyard Wind is nearly 10 times larger than the South Fork Wind Farm. Plus, Vineyard Wind wasn’t required to deliver energy to a specific location. Not all energy markets are the same, and neither are all wind farms.”

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The scale of this ripoff of Long Island ratepayers will make the Shoreham rate surcharges seem puny in comparison. PSEG's published power supply charge for 2018 for generated and purchased power is 9.1294 cents per kWh. Deep water power,will be more than double at 22.5 cents per KWh. Pretty simple friggin math - LI rate payers are getting ripped off, while Massachusetts rate payers made a way better deal at 6.5 cents per kWh, which actually makes sense. This whole lack of transparency stinks ...more
By jperrier (53), Springs on Aug 8, 18 10:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
Build 100 turbines off the South Fork and our rates will be lower too. Economies of scale.
By eagleeye (81), Sag Harbor on Aug 9, 18 2:02 PM
A lot of Wind BS. Why would they need wind farms is Mass. Demand is the same, labor costs are similar in both states.
How can the State not know the KWH rate charge? Wind and Smoke being given to the public...
By knitter (1865), Southampton on Aug 9, 18 4:37 PM
LIPA PSEG Etc on Long Island we keep getting royally reamed by the utilities. Greenport buys cheap hydro electric power but we cant. Its the municipal & union debacle that keeps costs artificially high and why people are leaving, as well as limits our ability to be competitive. Cancel DeepWater hire Vineyard Wind
By North Sea Citizen (563), North Sea on Aug 10, 18 11:53 AM
1 member liked this comment