The Richie Kessel NYPA Watch, November 12, 2008 – By George J. Marlin
The November 7-12 issue of Long Island Business News (libn.com) contains Richie Kessel’s typically anodyne op-ed piece on wind power (“Blowing Toward Energy Independence”) in which he lets slip that NYPA has been approached by “dozens of [wind farm] developers” to develop projects as large as 500 or more megawatts. Richie says he looks forward to the day when “New York can be the wind capital of the world.” Once again, as is his wont, there is no mention of the billions required to build these projects or the effect on our electric bills.
Following his ill-fated exploration of a 40 turbine wind farm off Jones Beach while he ran LIPA, rational, independent analysis confirmed that these proposed wind farms in the Atlantic off the coast of Long Island would be grossly uneconomic and inflate already onerous LI electric rates. Long Islanders will remember that Kessel’s successor at LIPA, Kevin Law, insisted on releasing publicly the cost estimates and economics of the failed Kessel wind plan which showed that Kessel had hidden the true costs. LIPA’s disclosure in 2007 indicated that the Jones Beach plan would have cost over $800 million or multiples of the low-ball number Kessel had floated for a proposed 140MW wind farm. Simple extrapolation of that cost estimate to a 500 MW wind farm even farther off the coast of Long Island (and therefore disproportionally more expensive) would require investment of over $4 billion and would drive downstate electric rates to the heavens. Enough said for now.