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University of Maine’s Wind Turbine August 1, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "University of Maine’s Wind Turbine August 1, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

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2 University of Maine’s Wind Turbine August 1, 2011

3 Purpose To provide an accurate status report of the University of Maine’s wind turbine experiment in light of the fact that both the university and the Maine press have not done this and doing so is important because: To provide an accurate status report of the University of Maine’s wind turbine experiment in light of the fact that both the university and the Maine press have not done this and doing so is important because: Uses public funds; we have the right to know Uses public funds; we have the right to know Wind industry withholds electricity production data Wind industry withholds electricity production data UMPI is only public wind electricity production data in Maine UMPI is only public wind electricity production data in Maine Wind power law set to transform the state based on false assumptions and promises which UMPI experiment results should call into question Wind power law set to transform the state based on false assumptions and promises which UMPI experiment results should call into question

4 Started Out at $1.5 Million A quick news search reveals the project started out with a $1.5 million cost estimate; the eventual $2 million cost is 1/3 higher A quick news search reveals the project started out with a $1.5 million cost estimate; the eventual $2 million cost is 1/3 higher From the Bangor Daily News – 10/25/07 From the Bangor Daily News – 10/25/07 In May, UMPI became the first campus in the state to announce a plan to complete a $1.5 million wind turbine project in the next 18 months that will create savings of at least $100,000 a year. Officials have said the turbine will help the campus reduce its energy costs while also helping the college meet its commitment to carbon neutrality. In May, UMPI became the first campus in the state to announce a plan to complete a $1.5 million wind turbine project in the next 18 months that will create savings of at least $100,000 a year. Officials have said the turbine will help the campus reduce its energy costs while also helping the college meet its commitment to carbon neutrality. Don Zillman, president of UMPI, attended the ceremony, as did Kurt Adams, chairman of the PUC in Maine. Don Zillman, president of UMPI, attended the ceremony, as did Kurt Adams, chairman of the PUC in Maine.

5 Received $50,000 From PUC Maine Public Utilities Commission Chairman Kurt Adams announced on Oct. 24 that the University will receive a $50,000Voluntary Renewable Resources Fund (VRRF) grant for a wind power project that will save the University more than $100,000 annually in electricity charges. Maine Public Utilities Commission Chairman Kurt Adams announced on Oct. 24 that the University will receive a $50,000Voluntary Renewable Resources Fund (VRRF) grant for a wind power project that will save the University more than $100,000 annually in electricity charges. Source: university-garners-mpuc-renewable-resources-grant Source: university-garners-mpuc-renewable-resources-granthttp://www.umpi.edu/news/archives/580- university-garners-mpuc-renewable-resources-granthttp://www.umpi.edu/news/archives/580- university-garners-mpuc-renewable-resources-grant Can the use of PUC funds help make an argument for transparency and accountability – to the public? Can the use of PUC funds help make an argument for transparency and accountability – to the public?

6 Side note: Kurt Adams of Course Went on to First Wind and UMS System Trustees The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting wrote a several part series on the ethics of Adams taking over $1 million is stock options from First Wind while at the PUC. The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting wrote a several part series on the ethics of Adams taking over $1 million is stock options from First Wind while at the PUC. Ex-PUC head enriched by utility company Group asks AG to probe official of First Wind First Wind fixes filings on its VP First Wind SEC filing change questioned Adams investigation finds no conflict Ex-PUC head enriched by utility company Group asks AG to probe official of First Wind First Wind fixes filings on its VP First Wind SEC filing change questioned Adams investigation finds no conflict Note: In the second listed article, there is reference to Kurt Adams recusing himself from PUC work relating to First Wind on 12/17/07, not all that long after providing the Universityof Maine grant.

7 Side Note: Adams’ Position on UMS Board May be Conflict The University of Maine has rushed into involvement with wind power – not just UMPI, but ocean wind power The University of Maine has rushed into involvement with wind power – not just UMPI, but ocean wind power That Adams works for First Wind was raised as a potential conflict of interest, with respect to Gov. Baldacci’s nomination of him for a seat on the University of Maine System Board of Trustees That Adams works for First Wind was raised as a potential conflict of interest, with respect to Gov. Baldacci’s nomination of him for a seat on the University of Maine System Board of Trustees

8 Side note: Adams saw no conflict in his UMS Board Seat Hearing before the Education Committee Adams also was questioned about any potential conflict that might happen if he is confirmed to the board of trustees while continuing as an executive of First Wind. The University of Maine is involved in building a pilot wind power project off the Maine coast. Adams also was questioned about any potential conflict that might happen if he is confirmed to the board of trustees while continuing as an executive of First Wind. The University of Maine is involved in building a pilot wind power project off the Maine coast. Adams said he does not see a conflict because First Wind is “a terrestrial wind power company” and the university proposal is a pilot project to develop and test new equipment and technologies, not generate power in competition with First Wind or any other power company. Adams said he does not see a conflict because First Wind is “a terrestrial wind power company” and the university proposal is a pilot project to develop and test new equipment and technologies, not generate power in competition with First Wind or any other power company. Source for the above: clears-hurdle-to-joining-umaine-system-board/ Source for the above: clears-hurdle-to-joining-umaine-system-board/http://bangordailynews.com/2010/08/11/news/expuc-chief- clears-hurdle-to-joining-umaine-system-board/http://bangordailynews.com/2010/08/11/news/expuc-chief- clears-hurdle-to-joining-umaine-system-board/ BUT: Adams conveniently chose to not tell them about First Wind's ownership of Deepwater Wind whose own website proclaims Deepwater as "the U.S. leader in offshore wind power development". BUT: Adams conveniently chose to not tell them about First Wind's ownership of Deepwater Wind whose own website proclaims Deepwater as "the U.S. leader in offshore wind power development".

9 Side note: Deepwater and First Wind See: See: Deepwater Wind is an offshore wind development company formed by Newton-based First Wind Holdings Inc. and other investors. Deepwater Wind is an offshore wind development company formed by Newton-based First Wind Holdings Inc. and other investors. First Wind Holdings Inc.First Wind Holdings Inc. offshore-wind-project.html offshore-wind-project.html offshore-wind-project.html offshore-wind-project.html A member of First Wind has a majority investment in Deepwater. A member of First Wind has a majority investment in Deepwater. Did Kurt Adams thus mislead the Education Committee at his hearing saying his company was terrestrial only? Was he under oath?

10 Originally Stated Goal: 1 Million KWH a Year UMPI President Don Zillman said the $2 million turbine project will help fight climate change while reducing the college’s nearly $370,000 annual electric bill. UMPI President Don Zillman said the $2 million turbine project will help fight climate change while reducing the college’s nearly $370,000 annual electric bill. University officials anticipate the turbine will produce about 1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year and save the institution more than $100,000 annually in electricity charges. Once fully operational, the windmill is expected to save an estimated 572 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year. University officials anticipate the turbine will produce about 1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year and save the institution more than $100,000 annually in electricity charges. Once fully operational, the windmill is expected to save an estimated 572 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year. presque-isle/

11 Another Goal: To Share Information Officials have promised to make the wind turbine project very public and show all sides of completing an alternative energy project, both the value and cost- effectiveness of harnessing natural resources for clean electricity as well as any problems encountered along the way. Officials have promised to make the wind turbine project very public and show all sides of completing an alternative energy project, both the value and cost- effectiveness of harnessing natural resources for clean electricity as well as any problems encountered along the way. Officials are committed to sharing all aspects of the campus's experience with students, the campus, and the community, as well as people in Maine and beyond interested in exploring wind power options of their own. Officials are committed to sharing all aspects of the campus's experience with students, the campus, and the community, as well as people in Maine and beyond interested in exploring wind power options of their own. Part of the University's reason for serving a leadership role in this realm is to fill the classic public university role of being the bold experimenter for projects that can help its community benefit from new knowledge. For this project, that includes providing information about everything from conducting initial wind measurement surveys and feasibility studies to completing contract negotiations and permitting processes to overseeing turbine installation and actual energy generation. Part of the University's reason for serving a leadership role in this realm is to fill the classic public university role of being the bold experimenter for projects that can help its community benefit from new knowledge. For this project, that includes providing information about everything from conducting initial wind measurement surveys and feasibility studies to completing contract negotiations and permitting processes to overseeing turbine installation and actual energy generation. Source: Source:

12 Electricity Production At the one year anniversary of the turbine, only 609,251 KWH had been produced according to UMPI’s website At the one year anniversary of the turbine, only 609,251 KWH had been produced according to UMPI’s website 31% below the 1,000,000 KWH annual goal 31% below the 1,000,000 KWH annual goal

13 Electricity Production (cont’d) Source of screen grab is UMPI website

14 Annual Goal Mysteriously Changed from 1,000,000 to 700,000 KWH in July 2010

15 Goal Remains at 700,000 in August 2011; No Reference to Why Original Goal Was Wiped Clean Why is there no reference to the long stated 1,000,000 goal that was widely missed? (8/1/11)

16 Inconsistent Math The original annual goals were 1,000,000 KWH, $100,000 in cost savings and 572 tons of carbon avoided The original annual goals were 1,000,000 KWH, $100,000 in cost savings and 572 tons of carbon avoided The 1,000,000 KWH were widely missed, yet the other two goals remain intact. How can that be given the three figures should be directly related? The 1,000,000 KWH were widely missed, yet the other two goals remain intact. How can that be given the three figures should be directly related? Show us your math UMPI. Show us exactly how you realized your $100,000 savings goal due to WIND and not the lowering of natural gas prices plaese. Show us your math UMPI. Show us exactly how you realized your $100,000 savings goal due to WIND and not the lowering of natural gas prices plaese.

17 Inconsistent Math (cont’d) Why do savings and CO2 per KWH increase by 43%?

18 The Last KWH Data Reported – 1,079,435 KWH on 2/12/11 (from UMPI website)

19 Last Posted KWH: 33% Below Goal

20 Since February 12, 2011 Since the last data were posted on 2/12/11, data reporting has been poor Since the last data were posted on 2/12/11, data reporting has been poor However, we can cobble together a project to date KWH production estimate through the end of March 2011 However, we can cobble together a project to date KWH production estimate through the end of March 2011 This uses the previously shown data reporting, but dated 2/1/11 and a bar graph UMPI has posted for Feb and Mar production This uses the previously shown data reporting, but dated 2/1/11 and a bar graph UMPI has posted for Feb and Mar production These are shown on the following two slides These are shown on the following two slides

21 UMPI Website Screen Grab as of 2/1/11 Project to date production as of 2/1/11: 1,057,220 KWH

22 UMPI Website Screen Grab Showing Feb and Mar 2011 KWH Feb = 68,068 KWH and Mar = 17,564 KWH

23 Analysis Through March 31, 2011 Adding up the three data points yields the following estimate of project to date KWH produced between 7/1/09 data recording and 3/31/11, the time of the last available data reporting: 1,142,852 KWH

24 35% Below Goal

25 Since March 2011 Between 3/16/11 and 5/7/11, the UMPI site reported consistently that the wind turbine was down for repairs See: maine-wind-turbi and click on the pdf filehttp://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/university-of- maine-wind-turbi Time stamped screen grabs of these advisories by UMPI can be found on the Citizens Task Force on Wind Power website After 5/7/11, the site posted advisories that the data reporting was not active due to repairs, perhaps implying that the turbine was working, but there was simply no data reported on the site

26 Assume 3/16/11 – 5/7/11 Had No KWH Production This would seem a conservative assumption as during this entire period, UMPI reported the turbine itself was broken This means that this 52 day long period of inactivity can be added to our previously shown capacity factor calculations

27 38% Below Goal How the turbine has been doing during the traditionally low wind period since 5/7/11 is impossible to tell from UMPI’s posted data.

28 What if we started calculations based on the 5/14/09 turbine start? If a student at UMPI achieved only a 58 grade, it would be a failure!

29 How UMPI In Fact Grades the Turbine On MPBN Maine Watch's "Wind's of Change" special, Part 2, with Jennifer Rooks, UMPI president Donald Zillman, the driving force behind this $2 million expenditure of public funds, was asked to provide his level of satisfaction with the turbine. He stated that "On a 1 to 10 scale, I give this project an 11". See the video at:

30 Is the turbine project being candy coated? A public university’s job is to provide an education, not to push a particular pet cause “Spin” can be left to the wind industry, but from a university we should hopefully encounter clinical neutrality

31 Wind 101 Movie A film about the UMPI wind turbine Premiered in November 2009 to much fanfare: lm-on-umpi-windmill-to-premiere-thursday/ lm-on-umpi-windmill-to-premiere-thursday/ But by that point in time, it must have been clear that the turbine was grossly underperforming Why no mention of that? Who paid for this film?

32 “We are delighted with the performance of our turbine at six months” In this announcement, Zillman somehow forgets that perhaps the most widely stated goal was 1,000,000 KWH a year “We have had no noise complaints” (anecdotal reports contradict this claim) At six months, they had to have become very aware of the huge underperformance. See: months-of-turbine-data.pdfhttp://www.umpi.edu/files/wind/what-we-know-after-six- months-of-turbine-data.pdf

33 May 2010 Woodward & Curran Article Spins More Than the Turbine “New Power Source Blows Away the Status Quo” - this puff piece article claims savings are right on target, yet at this one year point, they had to know something was seriously wrong with their going in electricity production goals Note that Woodward & Curran did the original turbine study for UMPI See:

34 County college leaders to talk at wind summit – April 2010 Don Zillman, president of the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and Tim Crowley, president of Northern Maine Community College, were invited to speak at the New England Higher Education Sustainability Summit 2010: A Climate Change on Campus Both speakers will discuss the pioneering work of NMCC, with its wind power technology program, and UMPI, with its windmill, in the area of wind power. “I believe that our invitation to participate as panelists speaks volumes about the leading roles that our respective campuses have assumed in the areas of wind power curriculum development and the harnessing of wind to generate power. See: at-wind-summit/http://bangordailynews.com/2010/04/12/news/county-college-leaders-to-talk- at-wind-summit/ This was almost one year into the UMPI turbine production – they had to know it was failing dramatically when they went on this speaking engagement – the question is whether Donald Zillman expressed concerns or simply candy coated things, perhaps misleading others in his role as an educator.

35 “ I believe we made a great decision.” – May 2010 Again, the oft stated goal of 1,000,000 KWH annually is now no longer included in “the four goals” “This really has been a wonderful machine”. “No birds or other flying creatures have been injured or killed.” (that would be very unusual) “Zillman said the combination of the windmill and the solar panels on campus “will allow us to see a fantastic combination of energy efficiency and energy savings.” (How about they PROVE IT?) See: windmill-lsquoa-great-decisionrsquo/http://bangordailynews.com/2010/05/18/news/umpi- windmill-lsquoa-great-decisionrsquo/

36 Zillman Blames a Poor Winter for Wind – May 2010 On a most rare occasion, a TV news reporter confronts Zillman on poor production Zillman talks about a poor winter for wind, blaming the weather rather than his machine without offering any proof Zillman also talks about savings, claiming (without any backup) that this was “the big goal”, as opposed to electricity production (ignoring the fact that they should be directly related to each other!) See:

37 UMPI receives Climate Leadership Award for its turbine – October 2010 Second Nature Leadership Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership. In recognizing UMPI, the organization highlighted the university’s installation of its midsize wind turbine. Don Zillman, president of UMPI, said on Tuesday that campus officials are “so happy” about having received the award. “I commend the University of Maine Presque Isle for the steps they have taken to address climate change, and congratulate them on receiving recognition outside of the state for their pursuit of renewable, sustainable energy,” said Baldacci. “We are proud of UMPI’s commitment to sustainability and the education of students and the community about it,” said Pattenaude. “In addition, this project helps the environment, provides a meaningful reduction in the campus’ annual electric expense, and collaborates with Northern Maine Community College. What more can you ask for in one project?” climate-leadership-excellence/ climate-leadership-excellence/

38 July 19, 2011 – More Excuses In this article, after noting the turbine has been down for at least 70 days this year, Zillman notes this was a good wind year – coulda, shoulda, huh? “Still crunching the numbers for the last year” k/umpi-windmill-running-after- %E2%80%98frustrating%E2%80%99-few-months/ k/umpi-windmill-running-after- %E2%80%98frustrating%E2%80%99-few-months/

39 Zillman on getting away from carbon December 2009 – Zillman blogs about carbon in “Countdown to Copenhagen” Makes very clear his energy politics, decidely anti-fossil fuel Even suggests fossil fuels are creating failed terrorist havens Perhaps these personal energy politics are shading decision making and evaluation of the UMPI wind turbine? presidentrsquos-collection-part-of-climate-discussion / presidentrsquos-collection-part-of-climate-discussion /

40 The UMPI Wind Turbine Educational Message UMPI states that one reason for the turbine is education – it appears they are teaching the lesson of "Buying a Pig in a Poke" for $2.0 million. UMPI wanted the turbine to teach its students about wind power. But they failed to teach the whole lesson: What about the lessons of doing all your homework first; where were the engineering studies; where were the economic and financial studies; where were the studies of looking at the experience of others who have been trying wind power for years. This is a lesson on how to not waste resources based upon ideology rather than empirical data.

41 Time to use the UMPI learning The UMPI wind turbine is the state’s only empirical study of wind power production Industry production data are tightly held and hidden from the public depsite their right to see it as taxpayers and ratepayers One of the problems with Gov. Baldacci’s expedited wind law is nothing was challenged and all of Wind’s benefits as promised by the wind industry simply assumed In view of the gross failure that is UMPI, the university should be obligated to publicize its learning and advise the state it is time to apply the brakes The stakes are simply too big


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