USA and Massachusetts
Bowles said he's still leery of any FERC plan, saying it's a "slippery slope" toward a more centralized national electric system that could harm Bay State ratepayers and the state's efforts to promote renewable fuels.
"We're concerned," said Bowles, adding there has "certainly been Soviet-type thinking" surrounding the entire concept.
August 20, 2010
by Eileen McNamara
in Boston Magazine
The disaster in the gulf is nothing if not a reminder of the need for vigilant government oversight when it comes to fragile public resources. Technology has limits. Bold initiatives have consequences. Prevention is wiser and cheaper than remediation. Recent history is replete with the fallout from regulatory failures.
The secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, who is weighing the fate of a controversial wind farm proposed off Cape Cod, said Tuesday that killing the pioneering project wouldn't hurt the country's developing offshore wind industry.
Secretary Ken Salazar toured the Nantucket Sound site of the proposed Cape Wind project, which would be the nation's first offshore wind farm. He's pledged to decide by April.
The project, to be located in Nantucket Sound, still faces hurdles, including legal challenges from opponents who have long battled the project. ...Developers of the 468-megawatt project are still shopping for a buyer for about half the power the turbines are expected to generate.
In a groundbreaking decision that some say will usher in a new era of clean energy, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today he was approving the nation's first offshore wind farm, the controversial Cape Wind project off of Cape Cod.
"This will be the first of many projects up and down the Atlantic coast," Salazar said at a joint State House news conference with Governor Deval Patrick. The decision comes after nine years of battles over the proposal.
Weighing the future of a controversial wind farm project, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar toured Nantucket Sound on a Coast Guard cutter Tuesday, surveying the 24-square-mile area where the proposed project would loom.
Mr. Salazar's visit comes a month after the National Park Service said Nantucket Sound was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ethan Zindler, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said First Wind may also have a tough time.
"The economic downturn has led to a decline in electricity demand,'' Zindler said, "and that has slackened the demand for new generating capacity, particularly for renewables, which are more expensive on a per-kilowatt-hour basis than fossil fuels.''
But there's another issue still in flux. This involves the broader RPS program, which required utilities and energy suppliers to negotiate contracts with in-state projects. TransCanada sued over this as well, again saying that it prevented the company from selling wind electricity from Maine into Massachusetts. ...Renewable energy advocates are surely watching the state, wondering if the outcome will have any broader impact on other markets in the U.S.
After more than eight years of controversy, a final decision on the Cape Wind development planned for Nantucket Sound will be made by the end of April, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar promised this week.
Mr. Salazar made the commitment after an exhaustive round of meetings in Washington on Wednesday involving all the major parties supporting and opposing the development.
The Wampanoag tribe on Martha's Vineyard is preparing a court challenge for what its leaders expect will be an approval by the federal government of the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm.
Representatives of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) said this week that they had requested another meeting with Interior Department officials after the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation recommended that the project be rejected.