"We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms.
That’s the only reason to build them.
They don't make sense without the tax credit."
An electric "grid" is a network of synchronized power providers and consumers that are connected by transmission and distribution lines and operated by one or more control centers. When people talk about the power grid, they're referring to the transmission system for electricity. The U.S. does not have a national grid--the continental U.S. is divided into three main power grids: the Eastern Interconnect, the Western Interconnect, and Texas Interconnect. Within each interconnection, there are wholesale and retail electricity markets, and New York State's market is NYISO .
According to NYS ISO Annual Grid & Markets Report Power Trends 2019, Nearly 90% of the energy produced upstate NY already is derived from carbon-free resources (thanks to Niagara Falls and St. Lawrence hydropower, four nuclear reactors, and other solar and wind facilities) while the downstate grid is only 28% carbon emission free . The NYS electric grid is outdated, built on an antiquated tangle of operations, and full of bottlenecks that will limit the flow of electricity from upstate to downstate. The grid blacks out when the supply of power varies too much--eventually, too much wind energy in upstate will crash the grid . It would be appropriate for downstate to be the focus of Governor Cuomo's green energy expansion.
According to ISO's report, "Because load in the upstate region is not projected to grow, the addition of new renewable resources increasingly displaces other sources of clean generation instead of allowing more renewable resources to reach customers."
Adding more renewable energy to the update grid system without the ability to effectively move the energy downstate will result in higher energy prices for consumers .
“Can America’s power grid accommodate a more dominant role for renewables in the energy mix? As the grid stands today, the answer is no. Our society is putting increasing demands on electric infrastructure that wasn’t designed for today needs — much less what we’re asking of it to support a cleaner energy future. Modern, robust and flexible infrastructure for delivering electricity generation over long distances is essential to the nation’s successful transition to a larger share of renewable energy .”
The irony of wind energy generation systems, as the American Wind Energy Organization notes, “…is that because an increase in wind power capacity is seen on the grid as an increase in demand fluctuation, it requires dedication of other grid capacity to cover it. Rather than reducing other sources, wind power requires building more conventional capacity, particularly natural gas-fired plants, which it then forces to operate less efficiently ."
This series of graphics by NNYWind.com is an attempt to break down one Industrial Wind topic at a time. They are, in no way, a complete unraveling of the very complex topic and we encourage you to further research each to better educate yourself, your friends and family. Visit NNYWind.com to download and share these graphics. Use the source links to view videos, read documents and explore websites for more information.
Johnathan Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, December 4, 2017
A complex system of federal and state tax credits has played a key role in the development of wind farms across the United States, with billions of dollars of support going to foreign and U.S. energy companies.
In fact, wind energy companies are the largest recipient of federal energy subsidies, making up 37 percent of subsidies in 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
From 2016 to 2020, the federal government is projected to lose $23.7 billion in tax revenue through the wind production tax credit, according to a 2017 report by the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. Continued...
Credit: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch (Subsidies powering the wind industry)
Ken Girardin/NY Torch, August 24, 2016
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new Clean Energy Standard is shaping up to be one of the largest tax hikes in state history.
Beginning in January, the standard will force electricity ratepayers to subsidize costly windmills and solar panel farms, along with money-losing upstate nuclear plants, by requiring utilities and other electricity customers to purchase “renewable energy credits” (RECs) and “zero-emissions credits” (ZECs) from the state.
The standard is part of the governor’s goal of having the state get 50 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030—up from 23 percent as of 2015. Paradoxically, the PSC assumes that this policy can drive down prices even while mandating higher demand for renewables. Continued...
Ken Girardin, March 3, 2017
State regulators last week shot down efforts by utilities to show ratepayers the amount by which their electric bills are being driven up by New York’s new Clean Energy Standard.
Under the standard, adopted in August by the state Public Service Commission (PSC) at the urging of Governor Cuomo, utilities and anyone else buying power from the state’s electrical grid must help subsidize three money-losing nuclear power plants and new solar panels and wind turbines. The standard also absorbed the state’s existing renewable energy subsidy program...
Translation: don’t try to show this to customers as a separate line on their bill, or else we won’t okay your rate plans. Continued...
State regulator won't let utility companies show NYers how much "clean energy" mandate adds to bills
Robert Bryce, June 6, 2016
It takes enormous amounts of taxpayer cash to make wind energy seem affordable.
Last month, during its annual conference, the American Wind Energy Association issued a press release trumpeting the growth of wind-energy capacity. It quoted the association’s CEO, Tom Kiernan, who declared that the wind business is “an American success story.”
There’s no doubt that wind-energy capacity has grown substantially in recent years. But that growth has been fueled not by consumer demand, but by billions of dollars’ worth of taxpayer money. According to data from Subsidy Tracker — a database maintained by Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.–based organization that promotes “corporate and government accountability in economic development and smart growth for working families” — the total value of the subsidies given to the biggest players in the U.S. wind industry is now $176 billion. Continued...
Following a directive from Governor Andrew Cuomo, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) has adopted a “Clean Energy Standard” that sets an ambitious goal for increased reliance on This is a content preview space you can use to get your audience interested in what you have to say so they can’t wait to learn and read more. Pull out the most interesting detail that appears on the page and write it here.wind- and solar-generated electricity in New York while mandating large subsidies to money-losing upstate nuclear power plants. The governor wants to make New York a “national leader” by having renewables provide 50 percent of the state’s electricity by 2030—a goal also known as “50 by 30”— while keeping unprofitable nuclear plants running. But as detailed in this report, the Clean Energy Standard has three major shortcomings:
1. High Cost—While the governor and the PSC have portrayed the financial impact on ratepayers as minimal, the Clean Energy Standard is likely to add nearly $3.4 billion to New York utility bills in just the next five years.
2. Questionable Feasibility—The 50 by 30 mandate will require the expansion of solar- and wind-generated power production on a massive and unprecedented scale—without providing needed improvements to an already strained electric transmission system. The PSC also failed to consider the added conventional generating capacity needed to back up renewables when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.
3. Low Impact—The overarching goal of the Clean Energy Standard is to fight projected global warming, but the standard will have a barely discernible impact on global greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), reductions in carbon emissions from New York power generators could be offset by an increase in emissions in eight other RGGI states.
Green Overload: New York State's Ratepayer-Zapping Renewable Energy Mandate
Nancy Pfotenhauer, May 12, 2014
Despite being famous for touting the idea that the rich don't pay their fair share of taxes, investor Warren Buffet seems to be perfectly fine with receiving tax breaks for making investments in Big Wind. "I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire's tax rate," Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. "For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit."
But while the wind production tax credit may be great for Buffet's bottom line, it's harmful for American taxpayers and energy consumers. Continued...
Credit: Nate Beeler, The Colombus Dispatch
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