Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Massachusetts
It took an energy insider this past week to expose the dirty little truth about the future of wind energy - it's too costly, too unreliable and only getting more so because of government subsidies. Take that, you green zealots.
Barton said that in order for Cape Wind to be eligible for the federal tax credit, it must "commence construction" before the end of the year, but the federal government has not yet clarified what exactly commencing construction means. ...Cape Wind may have to place the monopilings, or foundations, of at least some of the project's 130-turbines before the Jan. 1 deadline.
Cape Wind is expected to use the investment tax credit, which gives developers the option of recovering 30 percent of the cost of new equipment for a project with the exception of transmission infrastructure.
We cannot evaluate the efficacy of federal spending programs by asking the recipients of federal largesse whether they are happy with the money. Of course they are happy! The real issue is whether American taxpayers and electricity ratepayers should be happy.
Facing delisting from the Nasdaq for its rock-bottom stock price, the Tyngsboro, Mass. maker of smart grid technology has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, following California-based Solyndra as another U.S. government-backed alternative energy company now seeking protection from creditors.
The Economic Assistance Coordinating Council, which oversees tax breaks in Massachusetts, voted to end Evergreen's 20-year property tax break, and voided another $7.5 million in state tax credits after the company eliminated the jobs it had promised to create
"The incentive program is a two-way agreement,'' said Greg Bialecki, secretary of housing and economic development. "If a company does not meet its commitments, then there are consequences.'' In exchange for the property tax break and tax credits, Evergreen had promised to retain 310 existing jobs and add 350 new ones.
The department said that with the multibillion dollar loan program's September expiration date approaching, remaining funds would be used on projects whose applications were further along. "This is not a statement about the quality of your project, but simply about its readiness to proceed at this time."
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."