Library filed under Offshore Wind from Massachusetts
Few share Gordon’s optimism, although no one is willing to say so on the record. His critics say Cape Wind is out of date and out of sync with the times, and faces an uphill battle in the courts and on Beacon Hill. William Koch, the billionaire Osterville homeowner who has funded countless court challenges to the project over the years, is not going away. And Gordon’s patron saint, Deval Patrick, is gone from the governor’s office, replaced by Charlie Baker, who has never been a fan of Cape Wind.
Six months ago, few New Englanders had heard of DONG Energy. But that is likely to change soon as the Danish company with a quirky acronym for a name pursues its plans to build a massive offshore wind farm south of Martha’s Vineyard.
Offshore wind industry leaders, environmental advocates and several state legislators gathered Thursday in a Statehouse hearing room to make their case for the inclusion of offshore wind in state energy legislation.
A major European energy company is proposing what could be North America’s largest offshore wind farm 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, outlining its plans less than a year after the proposed Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound suffered a stunning financial setback.
The president of Cape Wind developer Energy Management Inc. has not given up on the controversial wind farm project in Nantucket Sound. Cape Wind suffered what many saw as a death blow in January when Gordon and his team missed a crucial financing deadline and lost major contracts from utilities Eversource Energy and National Grid as a result, making it nearly impossible to attract the investment needed to start construction
FRAMINGHAM – While prospects are growing dim for the Cape Wind project to take shape in Nantucket Sound, advocates for offshore wind say the technology still has untold potential to create new jobs and satisfy the region’s energy needs.
The Baker administration inherited the project from Patrick, who prioritized it as a way to create clean energy jobs while providing a boost to a city in need of some economic help. “It was a very big gamble,” said Beaton, whose role in the administration requires him to serve as chairman of the clean energy center’s board. “Unfortunately, the dice didn’t roll our way on this one.”
Clouds have gathered and a little of that pre-storm feeling of electricity is in the air, but whether the offshore wind industry in Massachusetts will grow into a hurricane of turbine-spinning development or simply blow over, with barely a breeze, remained uncertain at a Wednesday meeting of wind power players in Falmouth.
Dong Energy, however, is willing to test the U.S. waters for now and is encouraged by a piece of legislation currently in the Massachusetts state legislature that supports conditions for future offshore wind projects. Leupold also likes the east coast environmental conditions because he says they are similar to some of their ongoing projects in northwestern Europe.
Matthew Beaton, the new state energy secretary, ...says he wouldn’t make that investment today. “I don’t know if, given the uncertainty of Cape Wind at that time, and the overall question marks of offshore wind development, is a $100-plus million investment the appropriate use of those funds? Could we have used those monies in a more well-suited manner?”
The saga of Cape Wind has gone from simply wrong-headed — not to mention expensive beyond belief — to downright pathetic. ...So now Gordon is once again putting his hopes in the public sector, in particular a bill filed by Rep. Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset) that would require utilities to purchase stated amounts of offshore wind power and hydropower.
The quasi-public Massachusetts Clean Energy Center said Monday that the agency and Cape Wind “mutually agreed” to end Cape Wind’s lease of 28 acres of heavy-duty waterfront industrial space in New Bedford. The $4.5 million lease was supposed to run through the end of 2016.
The wide-sweeping bill meant to revamp state energy policy includes a provision that would require utilities to solicit competitive bids on long-term power contracts with offshore wind farms. The contracts would eventually have to amount to 8.5 million megawatts of power and last at least 15 years.
Demonizing his critics worked for Gordon for more than a decade, but in the end the NIMBY charge lost its sting when the public recognized Cape Wind as a classic bait and switch. Developers promised cheap, clean energy, and then planned to sell 77.5 percent of the power they were going to produce to NStar and National Grid for some two times the average cost of power generated by US suppliers.
Only two of four wind energy lease areas in federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard received bids in an auction today and the sale prices were millions of dollars lower than previous auctions for leases of smaller sizes off other coastal states, according to statements by federal energy officials.
Cape Wind has been suspended from New England's wholesale electricity market and has pulled out of a lease for land that had been earmarked for staging the 468MW project. "In general, suspensions are a result of a participant not maintaining a minimum amount of collateral and/or not complying with other financial assurance or billing requirements."
The typical price of a tax equity investment for an on-shore project that carries no debt is between 7.5 and 8.5 percent. By adding debt to the project, the range increases to the mid teens. ...“Admittedly it is being built by Siemens but there are also a lot of local contractors. ...It’s complex, so that would make any first time investor in the offshore industry nervous. So that puts your price of tax equity north of the mid teens, which makes it incredibly expensive."
Cape Wind was the wrong project, at the wrong time, and the wrong place. It was too big and costly. Its impacts were poorly mitigated and its benefits highly questionable. In the end, it was the regulatory arrogance of the Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and the Obama Administrations that did the most harm. A lot of people were offended and willing to stand up to the abuses. Remember, it was Massachusetts’ spirit that triggered the Revolutionary War.
Cape and Islands legislators from both parties were hardly heartbroken last week seeing National Grid and Northeast Utilities deal a potentially fatal blow to Cape Wind.
Following the announcement Tuesday by two electric utilities that contracts to buy power from the wind farm planned for Nantucket Sound had been terminated, opponents were declaring Cape Wind finally defunct, after 13 years of contentious public debate, permitting and court battles. But not everyone agrees.