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Offshore Wind vs Nuclear Energy for Mid -Atlantic

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Posted May 6, 2013


Keywords: Tech, Utilities, Efficiency, Nuclear Power, Wind, Finance,

Electricity Grid, Energy and Economy, energy efficiency and renewable energy, nuclear energy, offshore wind

Meredith Angwin
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Introduction by Meredith Angwin Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) plans to enable the Atlantic Coast to use off-shore wind efficiently. As their website says: The Mid-Atlantic region offers more than 60,000 MW of offshore wind potential in the relatively shallow waters of the outer continental shelf. The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone transmission project is an essential foundation to this new industry. Evaluation by Willem Post

Peter Fraenkel, Siemens, shows how tidal turbines work:

AWC Schematic, from their website

Trans-Elect and Atlantic Grid Development are the Atlantic Wind Connection, AWC, project developers. When completed, the AWC will be able to carry as much as 7,000 MW of offshore wind energy to consumers along the US East Coast. With a project plan that envisages construction extending from 2016 - 2026, the developers intend to build out the offshore transmission backbone in five phases at a total expected cost of $6.311 billion. The capital cost of the IWTs (Industrial Wind Turbines) would be 7,000 MW x $4.2 million/MW = $24.53 Billion, for a total of $35.7 billion Energy production would be 7,000 MW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.40 = 24.53 TWh/yr For comparison: The capital cost of 7,000 MW of nuclear plants (7 standard 1,000 MW plants) would be about $28 billion and the energy production of would be 7,000 MW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.90 = 55.20 TWh/yr; more than twice the production at much less capital cost. They could all be built in about 10 years, thereby reducing CO2 much sooner than the IWTs which would take 20 years. Completing the project would enable transmission of renewable offshore wind power to consumers in NY, Pennsylvania, NJ, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia. According to a project analysis performed by IHS Global Insight, the AWC transmission backbone would be able to deliver: 3,417 MW of electrical power to NJ (44% of AWCs total capacity); 1,015 MW to Delaware (13%); 1,013 MW to Maryland (13%) 2.297 MW to Virginia (30%). Based on the above, it appears the energy cost of the IWTs will be at least 20 c/kWh and of the nuclear plants about 10 c/kWh, per EIA/US-DOE -------About Willem Post Willem Post is one of the most-read bloggers at The Energy Collective. He has a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and also an MBA. He designed systems and evaluated costs for utility

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Thank you for sharing this post. I worry about the same things for Pennsylvania. Our metros already have failing or poor grades for O3 and PM pollution, and the fracking game is afoot. At national and state regulatory, media, and citizen levels, far too few people pay attention to the additional impact of the delivery infrastructure you mention. May 6th, 2013 by ccocca 5/9/2013

Offshore Wind vs Nuclear Energy for Mid-Atlantic | The Energy Collective

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systems and large buildings. He is an internationally recognized expert on the economics of wind power. Post is a founding member of the Coalition for Energy Solutions, and an occasional guest blogger at this blog, for example, his November 2012 guest post: Wind in Vermont is Oversold.

Login or register now to comment! Original article

Roger,Thank you for a timely and eye opening exposition. There is indeed a wide gulf between reality and hope. I have maintained that decarbonization is more dependent on the availability of practical alternatives to carbon, than anything else. If we don't have something that works well and is affordable, with which to replace carbon as a fuel, we will be doomed to continue using carbon till the ... May 6th, 2013 by Paul O

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Meredith Angwin
Former project manager at Electric Power Research Institute. Chemist, writer, grandmother, and proponent of nuclear energy. See complete profile

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History of Street Trees in Paris History of Street Trees in Paris 5 Visions For Nottinghams Forest Recreation Ground 5 Visions For Nottinghams Forest Recreation Ground

May 7, 2013

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Reflections on Downtown Greensboro as Community Looks at Its Future

Willem Post says:

An alternative to the standard 1,000 MW nuclear reactors of this article is

Advisory Panel

small modular units that can be combined to make various size plants. Such smaller units can be base-loaded, and having ramping capability, can also function as intermediate units on grids. Excerpt from: Scott Edward Anderson is a consultant, blogger, and media commentator who blogs at The Green Skeptic. More Christine Hertzog is a consultant, author, and a professional explainer focused on Smart Grid. More Gary Hunt Gary is an Executive-inResidence at Deloitte Investments with extensive experience in the energy & utility industries. More Jesse Jenkins is a graduate student and researcher at MIT with expertise in energy technology, policy, and innovation. More Jim Pierobon is the former Chief Energy & Correspondent at the Houston Chronicle, a consultant and blogs at More Geoffrey Styles is Managing Director of GSW Strategy Group, LLC and an award-winning blogger. More

About the panel

Modular Nuclear Reactor Alternative to Large-Capacity Nuclear Reactors

B&W has about 50 years of experience building small nuclear reactors for the US Navy and big reactors for power companies. Utility nuclear power plants take about 8 years to build; their reactors usually are 1,000 MW, or greater.

B&W has developed a 125 MW nuclear power module that will be built in US factories under controlled conditions to reduce costs and ensure quality. Several modules can be combined to create power plants of 1,000 MW, or greater. The plant can be arranged for water or air cooling of the condenser. The modules use standard 5% enriched U-235 uranium and have a 4.5-year operating cycle between refueling. The modules are fully-assembled and rail/barge-transportable to a plant site. 5/9/2013

Offshore Wind vs Nuclear Energy for Mid-Atlantic | The Energy Collective

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B&W, seeing the benefits of modularity, is planning to supplement its nuclear module with a fully-assembled, steam turbine-generator module that is rail/barge-transportable to a plant site. It will likely partner with GE for the T-G module

The Energy Collective Climate C Energy In Energy S

Webinar Replay: Energy Policy in the 113th Congress - A Look Ahead B&W calculates over the 60-yr life of the reactor, each module will avoid about 125 MW x 1,000 kW/MW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.90 x 60 yr x 2.12 lb of CO2/kWh x 1 metric ton/2,200 lb = 57 million metric tons of CO2 that would have been emitted by a coal plant. Webcast Replay: Carbon Capture and the Climate Crisis Energy Risk & the End of Coal? Webcast Replay: Power Outages and Our Vulnerable Grid Webinar Replay: The Department of Defense and Energy Innovation Audio Archive: Avoiding the Clean Tech Crash

B&W and Bechtel have formed a joint venture Generation mPower to build the modular power plants. Such standardized plants will be much quicker to license and build and less costly to own and operate.

in June 2011, B&W announced TVA has signed a letter of intent with Generation mPower to build up to six of B&Ws modular nuclear reactors at TVAs Clinch River power plant site in Tennessee. TVA is seeking approvals from the NRC.

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Going modular is a unique opportunity for the US to be in the front of other nuclear industry powers. The sooner the Clinch River plants gets going, the better.

If Boeing can build about thirty $150 million planes per month, then B&W/GE/Bechtel could build about ten $375 million modules per month.


"Save the PLANET" 4th South-East European Conference & Exhibition on Waste Management, Recycling, and the Environment When: Wed, 2013-05-29 09:52

Production: 126,840 MW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.90 = 1,000 TWh/yr

Capital cost: 126,840 MW x $7,000,000/MW = $0.89 trillion

9th South-East European Congress & Exhibition on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy When: Wed, 2013-05-29 09:56 SEE Solar - South-East European Solar PV & Thermal Exhibition When: Wed, 2013-05-29 10:00

CO2 emissions reduction: 1.036 billion metric tons of CO2/yr, requires a capital cost of $0.89 trillion, or 890/1.036 = $859/(metric ton of CO2/yr).

SMART BUILDINGS South-East Europe When: Wed, 2013-05-29 10:17 Siemens Smart Grid Software Leadership Conference When: Tue, 2013-06-04 08:00 COWEC- Conference of the Wind Engineering Community When: Tue, 2013-06-18 09:00

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May 6, 2013

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Max Kennedy says: 5/9/2013

Offshore Wind vs Nuclear Energy for Mid-Atlantic | The Energy Collective

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You will of course personally guarantee that these plants won't go Fukashima in the event of major storms like Sandy, right. We can put the plants beside your grandchildren so that if anyone gets it they do, right!

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May 6, 2013

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N Nadir says:
No. I will merely point out that 20,000 people died from non-

nuclear technology in the Fukushima earthquake, and that it is purely absurd, therefore, to pretend that nuclear energy is "dangerous" and that living in coastal cities is not. Speaking of coastal cities, nuclear energy has been the world's largest, by far, source of climatre change gas free energy for more than 40 years, and all during that period, according to the World Health Organization, more than 3 million people per year - half under the age of 5 - died from air pollution each year, every year. It would seem that the risk to coastal cities is getting higher, since the rate of increases in carbon dioxide has been setting records since Germany and Japan shut their nuclear capacity. I would assume you consider this a coincidence, but I certainly don't. How come YOU don't "personally guarantee" that the ordinary normal operations of dangerous fossil fuel plants and the ordinary burning of biomass will be as safe as Fukushima's nuclear reactors in a 9.0 earthquake and a 15 meter tsunami? Is it because you don't care who dies from air pollution, or is it because you live in a universe where the fear that one person will die from radiation at Fukushima carries more weight than the 30 million people who died in the last decade from air pollution. I don't "guarantee" that nuclear energy will be perfect. I merely assert that experimentally, humanity has shown over the 50 year history of commercial nuclear power that it is superior to every other technology that has economically produced more than 10 exajoules of energy - nuclear produces about 30 such exajoules each year - in a single year in history. I would hope that this straight forward and honest answer would clarify my position, but I have lived too long to expect a rational response to such an answer. Have a pleasant evening.

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May 6, 2013

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Paul O says: 5/9/2013

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Just say that we did build nuclear plants that are incapable of "going Fukushima", would that satisfy you? Just wondering...

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May 6, 2013

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N Nadir says:
Any comparison between nuclear energy and wind energy is necessarily complicated - as you imply - by the fact that wind energy has a very low capacity factor.

There is also the "hidden" cost - although it should be obvious to anyone who reflects upon it - of an inherent requirement for redundant systems, since the wind industry cannot survive without access to systems suitable for use as spinning reserve basically this means natural gas in the Northeast. Finally, it's something of an open question as to whether the wind industry will be able to scale up as supplies of lanthanides, in particular neodymium become further stressed. The wind industry may have good press, but in any combinatorial optimization scheme, it is extremely weak when compared to nuclear energy.

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