Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Massachusetts
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.
For the past four years, the town was the vanguard project in the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative's campaign to bring wind power to the commonwealth's municipalities. The collaborative paid $5.3 million to buy two turbines for the town and reserved $3.72 million this year to stabilize the project's finances. But after four years of work, and more than $800,000 invested by the collaborative in studies, technical work, legal fees and other development steps, the Orleans wind turbine project imploded last month. ..."I don't think MTC was steering us in the wrong direction, they were just unsure exactly how to do it," McKusick said. ...Brewster Assistant Town Administrator Jillian Douglass said MTC and its consultants have a bias toward building large turbines to maximize revenues. That has helped stoke public resistance to 400-foot-tall structures. "Folks in New England do not think of wind on that scale," she said. "We value town character, and most would prefer it not to be above the treeline. ... If you could go smaller, and be economically feasible, you'd see a lot more people doing it."
Plymouth has been awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative for Wind Turbine Project Feasibility Studies at a number of sites in town. The feasibility study will provide crucial information that will help Plymouth determine the most appropriate ways to pursue potential wind projects at up to three sites, including the wastewater treatment plant, Plymouth South High School and the Indian Brook Elementary School.
Boston utility NStar's plan to let customers buy wind-generated electricity is running into a gale of opposition from a rival "green power" provider, who said yesterday NStar's program would violate state law. Although Attorney General Martha Coakley and the Conservation Law Foundation, a Boston legal-environmental group, are backing the NStar plan, Larry Chretien, executive director of the Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance, said it violates the 1997 state utility restructuring law. That law, Chretien said, limits utilities to being "distribution companies" that deliver power that customers buy through the utility from independent third-party energy producers and means NStar can't legally become the supplier of power through contracts with wind farms in upstate New York and Maine. NStar plans to begin offering wind power by Jan. 1, pending state approval.
SCITUATE - The town has received a $65,000 grant to study whether wind energy can power its wastewater treatment plant. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative grant comes after more good news for wind-power advocates: 12 months worth of anemometer readings at the plant show that there is enough wind to make it a suitable site for a turbine. Selectman Paul Reidy estimated that the town could save thousands of dollars by using wind power. The treatment plant used $146,000 worth of electricity last year. A draft of the feasibility study is expected to be ready by September. Officials are considering a public meeting at that point to discuss the town's options.
The Boston utility NStar plans to allow its residential and small business customers to buy their electricity from environmentally friendly wind farms - for a price. In a first of its kind for Massachusetts utilities, NStar is proposing to let its 1.1 million electric customers in Boston and 80 eastern Massachusetts cities and towns buy their power directly from a wind farm in upstate New York and a second under development in Maine. Because the wind farms are more expensive than conventional sources like coal and nuclear power, a typical homeowner would pay a premium of about $7.50 to $15 monthly. The program, being announced today, will need approval from state utility regulators before it is launched, which could be as soon as Jan. 1.
Salem wants to help lead the way when it comes to tapping the power of the wind. The city is working with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, a quasi-public agency that invests in renewable energy projects and companies across the state, to pursue the goal of locating one or more electricity-generating wind turbines on municipal sites in Salem. As a first step, the collaborative recently agreed to provide Salem with a preliminary analysis of eight potential sites for wind turbines identified by the city's Renewable Energy Task Force.
FAIRHAVEN - The town might not get the two wind turbines available through a state agency, and developer CCI Energy might be forced to pay an additional premium for two other units. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is giving preference to the town of Orleans for the turbines it holds in storage. That town is pursuing its own wind project through a private developer.
FAIRHAVEN - While an agreement for the construction of two wind turbines in town is yet to be finalized, the state is paying for one more study required by the project. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is providing $114,000 for an electrical interconnection study of the Fairhaven project, said Sen. Mark C.W. Montigny, D-New Bedford, on Tuesday. The study will determine how to connect the two 1.65-megawatt turbines to the waste-water treatment plant off Arsene Street, Town Secretary Jeffrey W. Osuch said. The MTC will hire a consultant to conduct the study, provide technical support contracting and construction oversight.
Consumers are paying some of the highest electricity rates in the nation, which severely limits the ability to attract and retain good jobs. Yet we add further costs to every electric consumer's bill to fund programs that, though intended to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewables, lack proportion, rationality, accountability, and oversight. It's time to stop piling on these added charges to our electric bills and start examining and coordinating the myriad programs we have.........Consumers also pay about $25 million annually into a fund disbursed by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to site and encourage projects using renewable power. Renewable power is a good thing, when it is economically viable, but for now electricity from sources such as wind and solar power is much more expensive than existing sources. We should not levy new taxes to fund more expensive power.
BOSTON - Massachusetts will be one of two states building a state-of-the-art facility to test turbines used in wind power. The facility will place the state at the forefront of wind power and alternative energy, said U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, who outlined the facility with Gov. Deval L. Patrick at a press conference yesterday. "This will make Massachusetts a global center for clean energy technology," Patrick said. "This is a big step for us."
The Energy Department announced Monday it will provide $4 million to two projects in Texas and Massachusetts for research into designing and building the next generation of large wind turbine blades.
In the Williams/Whitcomb world of tabloid journalism, there is no room for thoughtful discussion, for weighing costs against benefits, for understanding that self-interest is at work on both sides of the issue or for any kind of honest discussion. Such thoughts would get in the way of the facile thinking and cynical blather that fills their book and that is now commonplace on TV, radio and the Internet. Do you find yourself bored now that Don Imus and Rosie O'Donnell are off the air? Does the Internet no longer meet your need for trash talk? Then read this book. You won't learn anything substantive from it, but it'll be great entertainment.
Sorry, Ms. Williams, but you have no right to classify us all as ‘narcissists'; we hold our anti-wind positions for a wide variety of reasons. Mainly, though, those who oppose wind do so because we've taken the trouble to learn the technical details, and we realize that wind power is in fact an expensive scam, driven solely by developers eager to cash in on the concerns over climate change. Were subsidy money and incentives to be removed, these folk would decamp overnight.
With Edgartown in the lead, the Vineyard is poised to join with Nantucket and Cong. William Delahunt in pushing for the establishment of an offshore energy zone to harness wind, wave and possibly tidal energy from waters between the two Islands. The move is a first step toward the goal of making the Islands energy independent.
A massive bill by the House speaker to promote conservation and renewable energy is stirring up a whirlwind of opposition among consumer groups, environmentalists and utilities. While some critics say the 360-page proposal does not go far enough in creating incentives, others say it would undermine conservation and clean energy efforts already under way in Massachusetts. David Guarino, a spokesman for Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, D-Boston, said yesterday that Mr. DiMasi expects "robust debate" over the legislation, and it remains his top priority.
Massachusetts House leaders today are to unveil plans for steering the state away from reliance on fossil fuels and toward embracing renewable energy and alternative fuels. House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi will file legislation offering financial incentives to cities and towns to rapidly approve permits for the building of so-called "clean" energy generation facilities. It also establishes various programs to make it financially palatable for homeowners to invest in expensive energy efficient products. Haverhill Democrat Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, the chairman of the House Telecommunications and Energy Committee, helped draft the sweeping proposal, called "The Green Communities Act of 2007." He said it represents a dramatic change in the state's energy policy.
That chilly arctic wind that has people cringing and shivering this week could be warming homes and delivering hot water in Western Massachusetts in future years, with the help of Gov. Deval L. Patrick, who approved local tax breaks for what would be the state’s largest wind project. The legislation will allow the small towns of Florida and Monroe to exempt the project developer, PPM Energy, from local property taxes on the 1,500 acres that will be used for 20 large wind turbines planned along the ridge lines of Bakke Mountain and Crum Hill near the Vermont border. The bill will allow the towns to negotiate payments in lieu of taxes with the developer.
Massachusetts power plant owners will have to pay a penalty for every pound of emissions that contribute to global warming under an agreement signed by Governor Deval Patrick yesterday that is expected to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for an ambitious energy conservation and renewable energy program. Patrick agreed to rejoin the seven-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which aims to gradually reduce the production of greenhouse gases in the Northeast. Reversing his predecessor Mitt Romney, who pulled out of the pact over concerns that the emissions fee would drive up the already-high price of electricity, Patrick predicted that electricity costs would ultimately drop because the penalties would generate up to $125 million a year to spend on conservation.
The proposed $3.8 million wind turbine project to be erected on Town Farm Road has temporarily run out of air. The project hit a funding snag when word came that the turbine was not selected under the Federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds program. The bond is the product of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, signed by President George W. Bush in August, allocating $800 million to clean energy projects for municipalities countrywide. The bond, a 20-year zero interest federal loan, would have covered the entire cost of the turbine, which would provide an estimated 3 percent of the town’s energy or enough electricity to support 400 households.