Utility company Dominion recently reported a $2 billion increase on the price of their offshore wind project. The price increase was largely blamed on “commodity pressures” (inflation, i.e.: Shipping has more than doubled. Steel more than tripled.). Dominion also admitted initial cost estimates were based on incomplete design documents. This sounds alarmingly similar to the explanation Kosta Diamantis and the CT Port Authority gave in attempting to explain how costs to remake the State Pier in New London jumped from $93 million to $157 million to $235 million.
Has anyone started thinking about what’s likely to happen when the the trillion dollar infrastructure deal starts rolling out? Demand for steel will likely increase if we start replacing bridges nationwide, likely leading to increased price. Further demand for shipping all materials needed to fulfill nationwide infrastructure upgrades will likely drive costs shipping costs higher. It seems logical that further increases in the cost of steel and shipping will cause further increases in the cost of offshore wind projects in VA, NJ, and CT alike; their wind port redevelopments too. As it is the taxpayer and ratepayer that will bear the burden of these cost increases; I hope that people are paying attention.
Southeastern Connecticut needs a functional, honest, multi-modal deep water port to efficiently bring all the rebar, bridge beams, cement, and lumber that it will take to carry out a generational investment in our transportation system. We need a form of clean energy that is economically competitive.
We can’t allow our leaders to sacrifice common sense and fiscal prudence in their pursuit of renewable energy.