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Activists see Cape Wind cost shock; Report projects $10B for ‘green' power system upgrades

Boston Herald|Christine McConville|March 5, 2010
MassachusettsUSATransmission

The region's electrical grid operator has determined that a $10 billion investment in transmission facilities would be needed to move energy from new wind farms to customers across New England. ISO New England's 60-page report - which put the price tag on a scenario for an additional 8,500 megawatts of wind power - is energizing critics of Cape Wind who contend the offshore project will shock ratepayers with skyrocketing bills.


The region's electrical grid operator has determined that a $10 billion investment in transmission facilities would be needed to move energy from new wind farms to customers across New England.

ISO New England's 60-page report - which put the price tag on a scenario for an additional 8,500 megawatts of wind power - is energizing critics of Cape Wind who contend the offshore project will shock ratepayers with skyrocketing bills.

"It's another example of the huge cost of offshore wind," said Audra Parker of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the leading opponent of Cape Wind.

But Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodgers said the report has nothing to do with the 130-turbine project that Cape Wind Associates has spent nine years trying …

... more [truncated due to possible copyright]

The region's electrical grid operator has determined that a $10 billion investment in transmission facilities would be needed to move energy from new wind farms to customers across New England.

ISO New England's 60-page report - which put the price tag on a scenario for an additional 8,500 megawatts of wind power - is energizing critics of Cape Wind who contend the offshore project will shock ratepayers with skyrocketing bills.

"It's another example of the huge cost of offshore wind," said Audra Parker of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the leading opponent of Cape Wind.

But Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodgers said the report has nothing to do with the 130-turbine project that Cape Wind Associates has spent nine years trying to get built.

"It has no relevance for Cape Wind," he said in an e-mailed statement. "Cape Wind will pay for all of the costs related to electric transmission from our facility to the Barnstable substation where we are connecting into the electric grid."

Rodgers won't reveal Cape Wind's costs, but critics have put its price tag at $2.6 billion.

Cape Wind is now in talks with utility National Grid about buying energy from the project. The federal government is close to deciding whether Cape Wind may move forward.

Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles, a wind energy supporter, praised ISO New England's report for providing hard-to-find data.

"Generally speaking, it is an academic exercise to help inform the debate," he said.

The governors from the six New England states hired the grid operator to conduct the power system study as part of a long-running effort to identify new energy sources, and the cost of bringing them on line.


Source:http://bostonherald.com/busin…

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