Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Massachusetts
The U.S. Energy Department has decided to focus on applications that can be processed by Sept. 30, the expiration of the agency's loan-guarantee program. Experts say Cape Wind, the nation's first offshore wind project, will have a harder time lining up financing without federal backing.
The Devens closing is a major hit to Governor Deval Patrick's efforts to make Massachusetts a hub of the emerging clean-energy industry. The administration persuaded Evergreen to build at Devens with a package of grants, land, loans, and other aid originally valued at $76 million. The company ended up taking about $58 million.
The Board of Assessors is seeking to deny property tax reductions to land owners who have Chapter 61 forestry designations on their property but have also signed leases with First Wind to allow use of their land for a proposed wind farm atop West Mountain.
The developers of the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm said yesterday that they would not meet a deadline to qualify for a 30 percent federal cash grant for the project. However, it is not clear if the cost of Cape Wind's electricity will rise, because the project could receive numerous other federal financial incentives.
If the company fails to win the tax credits, the power purchase agreement allows the company to raise the rate in the first year above the 18.7 cent rate, he said. Depending on what happens, that first year rate could go as high as 21.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. The contract also allows for the cost of the power to rise by 3.5 percent per year.
Now that this vote has passed, Minuteman President Donald S. McCauley said the company hopes to start the final step in the approval process next week by filing paperwork with the Conservation Commission.
And experts say most of those costs will be passed on to the same consumers who, as rate- and taxpayers, will be paying for the cost of planting the turbines off Nantucket Sound - and footing higher energy bills once the project is running. "As they say, there are lies, damned lies and statistics," said energy analyst Robert McCullough. "This is a very expensive project."
National Grid estimated a small grocery store or medium-sized restaurant will see electric bills rise by about $100 per month. A typical supermarket will pay about $500 more while a medium-size suburban hospital would see a $2,500 jump in its bills. Large industrial businesses would get hit the hardest.
Robert Rio, senior vice president at Associated Industries of Massachusetts Inc., said he expects the organization to "add a perspective that is very important to determining the outcome of the proceeding...This is now more transparent, as transparent as it could be." Rio said the group is looking to fully understand the costs of Cape Wind power "and see if this is the best way to use ratepayer money."
National Grid and Cape Wind submitted testimony Friday to the state Department of Public Utilities to support a deal they have cut for half the power generated by the Nantucket Sound wind farm. But at least one vocal opponent of the project is claiming the state agency should restart the clock in its review of the agreement because of an error in the public notice of the case.
Consumers will have to pay at least $1.4 billion above market rates for electricity generated by the controversial Cape Wind project, new projections show. ...Now the estimates are in: $700 million to $1 billion extra, even after calculating in so-called "suppression-price savings" provided by National Grid.
Clean-energy proponents who want to reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels celebrated last month when the federal government approved the nation's first offshore wind farm off Cape Cod, Mass. ..."It's a taxpayer rip-off," the Maryville Republican said. "It creates a puny amount of very expensive electricity. Taxpayers in Tennessee will be paying extra for it because of the taxpayer subsidies. And it will destroy a very beautiful Nantucket Sound."
With last week's announcement of a proposed pact to sell half the power from the 130 turbines Cape Wind plans to build in Nantucket Sound, the developer is poised to pursue loans and investors to pay for the wind farm's estimated multibillion dollar price tag. Under the agreement filed May 10 with the state Department of Public Utilities, Cape Wind will sell 760 million kilowatt-hours a year to National Grid for $157 million in 2013.
After more than five months of negotiations, the state's largest electric utility has agreed to buy half the power generated by what could be the country's first offshore wind farm. Under the deal, National Grid will pay 20.7 cents per kilowatt hour for the power from the 130 turbines that Cape Wind Associates LLC wants to build in Nantucket Sound and for renewable energy credits associated with the project.
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.
We applied a couple of years ago, using a consultant, for a grant to help with the installation of solar panels on one of our buildings. ...After all of this preparation we were notified that the grant would not be given due to lack of funds. However, it was suggested that since there were few requests for wind turbines, we likely would get a grant.
Green energy has been on the subsidy take for years, including in 2005 when Mr. Delahunt was calling for "an Apollo project for alternative energy sources, for hybrid engines, for biodiesel, for wind and solar and everything else." The reality is that all such projects are only commercially viable because of political patronage. Tufts economist Gilbert Metcalf ran the numbers and found that the effective tax rate for wind is minus-163.8%. In other words, every dollar a wind firm spends is subsidized to the tune of 64 cents from the government.
A local company has lost out on part of a $45 million project in the Midwest because federal tax incentives for renewable energy sources - an integral part of the economics of all renewable energy projects - are set to expire on Dec. 31. Roughly $200 million invested in two Pittsfield projects that would produce up to 50 megawatts of energy and 50 million gallons of biodiesel is also likely to be affected. Two wind turbine projects in North County that would collectively produce nearly 38 megawatts of energy could also face significant funding obstacles. ...If the extension fails, Fairbank, of EOS, said, on Jan. 1, "the industry just takes a massive blow because you just can't make the economics of these projects work without incentives."
The town's chances for a rebate from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative for its proposed wind turbine may not be as good as they were last fall. An MTC program director said Tuesday the agency has had "active discussions" regarding its review process of small wind turbines after a consultant found estimates of their energy potential to be too optimistic. ...To be eligible for the rebate, a 10-kilowatt turbine like the one proposed in Westport must be projected to produce 8,760 kilowatt-hours per year of electricity, Christo said. ...A report of 19 MTC-funded small wind turbines by environmental consultant The Cadmus Group said "installers almost universally overestimate annual energy production. Often this overestimation is quite significant." Even a small error in calculating wind speed "can result in a very significant impact on energy production," the report said.
These letters, and a host of others addressing the Cape Wind facility proposed for Nantucket Sound, were published in the Mar 6, 2008 edition of the Cape Cod Times. The Minerals Management Service, a division of the Department of Interior, has released the draft environmental impact statement of the proposed project. Other letters can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.