One of the more appalling aspects of the proposed Iberdrola / Meadowsend Timberlands industrial wind project at Stiles Brook Forest: Iberdrola currently has no buyer for the energy they (might) produce, and would likely have to sell it “elsewhere” (read: NY), because Vermont utilities have made clear they are uninterested in buying any more Big Wind.
In a new interview with Vermont Watchdog, Dave Hallquist, CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative, explains why Vermont’s so-called “green” energy agenda (ie, foreign multinationals blowing up VT ridgelines) appears to be dead on arrival.
Vermont Watchdog: Is it possible for Vermont to achieve a goal of being 90 percent renewable by 2050?
Dave Hallquist: It’s a nice goal, but physics of today say you can’t achieve it.
VW: What makes the goal unachievable?
Hallquist: Unless we get cost-effective storage, we can’t meet those goals — it’s a law of physics. The reason is because we’re trying to meet 100 percent of our annual energy needs with these projects that produce only 15 percent of the time. So you end up having to build six times the amount, and you end up having more generation than load, so there’s nothing you can do about it. We can’t meet our goals with the current physics.
VW: The renewable energy build-out appears to have stalled in the northern part of the state — Vermont Electric Coop’s service area. What’s going on up there?
Hallquist: The entire transmission grid in northern Vermont is maxed out now.
VW: What does that mean in layman’s terms?
Hallquist: Think of a transmission line as an extension cord. The whole northern grid is like one big extension cord that you can’t hang anything else off of because it’s basically full. So if you want to turn something on, you gotta turn something off.
VW: Are you saying there’s no room for any more renewable energy projects in northern Vermont?
Hallquist: If it’s a one or two-megawatt project here or there, we could probably absorb it. But if it starts getting over five-megawatts, now we have problems. When you’re full, you’re full. Once you’re full, it doesn’t matter what the project is.