Impact on Economy and Massachusetts
Twenty-four-cent wind power would more than double the electric bills of tens of millions of Americans. But Obama and the liberals don't care about what would amount to a gigantic new tax on families who are far from the millionaires the president claims he wants to hurt.
Cape Wind - composed of unnecessary rate hikes, sweetheart deals and hidden costs - has been disguised by a clean, green energy cloak, camouflage enough to fool any environmentally conscious consumer into thinking that if it looks green, it must be good.
Cape Wind is not good for Massachusetts.
DPU concluded hearings Friday on a proposal that would add $1 billion to the electric bills of National Grid customers to pay for Cape Wind, even though the utility could have purchased less expensive renewable power from other suppliers. ...Our cross-examination of senior National Grid executives and other principals in the proposed agreement established several important facts.
When there is no wind no power is produced. When the wind blows at night, battery storage power is as primitive now as it was in 1990, with very little improvement. The Big Breakthrough in proton exchange membranes and fuel cells is still a research hypothesis ...Thus, based on economics the conclusion is that Cape Wind is a No Build project.
Cape Wind blew away National Grid's 1.2 million Massachusetts customers when they learned that their power from Cape Wind will cost at least 25 percent more than National Grid's conventional electricity. Even though the wind power will be just 3.5 percent of the utility's total load and the impact on an average monthly bill will be about $1.24, consumers are justified in asking if the state is right to require utilities to bring on costly renewable power like Cape Wind's.
What fool would undertake a $9.5 mil wind generator project having no previous experience with such things, with unproven and unknown revenue returns, all the while subjecting the town to the very certain liability of $1 mil a year in P&I costs without planning to offset that liability with adequate additional reserves?
The issue is that pursuit of the goal has the potential to convert thousands of acres of the state's land and water into industrial tracts - all for the purpose of generating low quantities of expensive and unreliable electric power. This may be acceptable in the Midwest with its open agricultural spaces, but in Massachusetts will likely mean the destruction of forested lands and scenic vistas.
The fix is in. Our governor has allied himself with the wealthy private developer and the big foreign utility National Grid, which stands to reap hundreds of millions from bloated electricity rates Cape Wind will saddle consumers with. Like the Big Dig, which Massachusetts politicians used like an ATM for decades, Deval Patrick has reaped the rewards with huge campaign contributions.
Participants in the small-vessel commercial fishing business need some scientific basis for a management plan that will keep them in business and keep the species they harvest healthy. Fishermen have often come late to the game, without the data necessary to counter the information that the regulators mistakenly believe tells the entire story.
The highly touted Cape Wind project is already stoking fears of an open-ended ratepayer burden and lack of accountability reminiscent of the state's Big Dig nightmare.
As the Herald reported yesterday, the Cape Wind project, which started out as a $650 million offshore wind farm, has ballooned to more than $2 billion in construction costs and a potential $6 billion hit to ratepayers when debt service, profits, maintenance and other costs are included.
The ferocious opposition from Massachusetts liberals to the Cape Wind project has provided a useful education in green energy politics. And now that the Nantucket Sound wind farm has won federal approval, this decade-long saga may prove edifying in green energy economics too: Namely, the price of electricity from wind is more than twice what consumers now pay.
The nine-year battle over Cape Wind is far from over - hell, it hasn't even gone into extra innings yet. Salazar's anointing of it yesterday isn't going to make it so.
And thank goodness for that.
Slap a "green" label on anything and the Obama and Patrick administrations are all over it. The costs to taxpayers and ratepayers be damned.
I couldn't disagree more strongly with Dennis Duffy (My View, Jan. 21) about my objections to the Cape Wind project. My opposition to the project is not based on any NIMBY concerns, but on the basis of its unjustified burden on the ratepayers of Massachusetts.
This letter was submitted to the Cape Cod Times newspaper in response to the report claiming the Cape Wind project will save $4.6 billion in costs to New England over 25 years of operation.
The news that Cape Wind and National Grid, a regional power distributor, will soon negotiate the cost of power from the proposed 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound sounds like the last act is near.
Perhaps, but it's likely to be a dramatic one. Consider, if you will, the difficulties of calculating the costs of producing power over let's say 20 years if you are unsure of the cost and source of capital, the cost and speed of construction, the unknown difficulties of maintaining offshore power production, the uncertainties of the consumer market.
Over the past year, we have read several op-eds and letters to the editor debating the true cost of Cape Wind. After eight years of controversy, the Cape Wind developer has failed to prove that his costly private venture won't raise our electric bills. The Alliance has asked Gov. Deval Patrick to order an independent cost analysis to get Massachusetts ratepayers some well-deserved answers to the looming Cape Wind cost question.
In the absence of a formal cost analysis, we can look to Europe, California, and perhaps most importantly, Texas, for lessons learned.
Performing a detailed feasibility study and siting analysis of wind turbine placement atop our Berkshire hills is dependent upon corporate proprietary information which could be purposely withheld (in restraint of trade) for fear that competition could gain an unfair advantage if it were divulged. Such a practice stifles competition from firms performing similar services ...but is particularly injurious to the industry which depends the most on the wise use of our land-based natural resources.
The long-awaited Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the Cape Wind application to place 130 wind turbines in the waters of Nantucket Sound is finally out. ...Although the MMS DEIS seems to clear the way for Cape Wind to build its Nantucket Sound wind farm, CapeCodToday.com will be printing remarks made by experts in the wind-energy/finance fields that identify many serious flaws in the DEIS and in the methods and information used to paint a healthy picture of the Cape Wind project. MMS's own peer review raises serious questions about how MMS arrived at the conclusions their report contains.
Regulators recently dealt a serious blow to a proposed offshore wind farm in Delaware, criticizing the plan as too financially risky to consumers. ...what's significant about the news from Delaware is that the Public Service Commission used a team of independent consultants to determine the project's costs and their effect on consumers.
That's not the case with the Cape Wind project. So far, the developer has refused to provide financial data that would help the public consider the definition of economic viability. As a result, how can the public fully consider the project if it does not have the appropriate economic information on which to judge it? The point at which the project becomes economically viable is critical to the public's consideration of the project as this private venture seeks to use public lands. ..."After six years of 'exhaustive' review of Cape Wind, we are still getting stonewalled," said Mark Forest, Delahunt's chief of staff.
The ski industry is the "lifeblood" of northern New England precisely because it draws visitors eager to appreciate the rural splendor - and spend their money. While Cape Wind supporters often make hasty, anecdotal references to wind farm-related tourism in obscure European enclaves, the Cape's fickle, tourist-based economy relies on loyal return visitors - not curious one-timers. Just a small dip in tourist-related spending would result in thousands of lost jobs and millions of lost dollars.