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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Sep 16, 2013 2:05 AM Flag

    Dominion Virginia Power won’t build offshore wind farm on tract it leased unless cost drops

     

    Dominion Virginia Power won’t build offshore wind farm on tract it leased unless cost drops

    By Robert McCartney, Published: September 14

    Dominion Virginia Power drew a lot of favorable publicity this month by leasing a patch of the Atlantic Ocean off Virginia Beach to construct an offshore wind farm hailed as a clean-energy milestone for the state.

    Too bad there’s good reason to believe Dominion will never build it.

    Even as Dominion executives publicly stressed wind power’s potential, their statements and company documents showed they have no intention of building anything larger than a small, two-turbine offshore test project unless the costs come down.

    “We think it is a large-scale, sustainable resource, but we need to work on the cost,” said Mary Doswell, senior vice president for alternative energy solutions.

    Dominion’s own 15-year projections, in its Integrated Resource Plan filed with the state, show Virginians getting no electric power from offshore wind.

    “Actual construction of such facilities must await technological advances that would reduce costs,” the plan says.

    Instead, the company foresees increasing its reliance on fossil fuels, primarily natural gas. That would miss an excellent opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help slow global warming. It would also pass up an early chance to commit to a promising new industry with potential to create thousands of jobs.

    Here’s the problem with Dominion’s analysis: It looks only at the costs in dollars and cents. By that measure, admittedly, offshore wind is currently about three times as expensive as natural gas.

    But Dominion’s bookkeeping doesn’t take into account the health and environmental costs of continuing to rely on fossil fuel.

    “Asthma for kids, acid raid, smog, sea level rise, shoreline retreat in Hampton Roads, none of that shows on your Dominion Power bill. If it did, we’d be building offshore and onshore wind turbines as fast as we could,” said Mike Tidwell, direc

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    • But Dominion’s bookkeeping doesn’t take into account the health and environmental costs of continuing to rely on fossil fuel.

      “Asthma for kids, acid raid, smog, sea level rise, shoreline retreat in Hampton Roads, none of that shows on your Dominion Power bill. If it did, we’d be building offshore and onshore wind turbines as fast as we could,” said Mike Tidwell, director.

 
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