Library filed under Impact on Economy from Massachusetts
The nine-year battle over Cape Wind is far from over - hell, it hasn't even gone into extra innings yet. Salazar's anointing of it yesterday isn't going to make it so. And thank goodness for that. Slap a "green" label on anything and the Obama and Patrick administrations are all over it. The costs to taxpayers and ratepayers be damned.
Any public subsidies should benefit the public and not become "a windfall for Cape Wind or National Grid," he added. He also said the power produced by Cape Wind should come in at a "substantial discount" compared to a proposed eight turbine Rhode Island project off the coast of Block Island. Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodgers declined to comment on the negotiations with National Grid for a long term power purchasing agreement.
I couldn't disagree more strongly with Dennis Duffy (My View, Jan. 21) about my objections to the Cape Wind project. My opposition to the project is not based on any NIMBY concerns, but on the basis of its unjustified burden on the ratepayers of Massachusetts.
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.
The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound blasted the findings of a recent study which repeats the myth that offshore wind contributes to lower electric rates. "Nothing could be further from the truth," said Audra Parker, president and CEO of Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. "To repeatedly mislead already overburdened electric ratepayers with the myth of cheap offshore wind is worse than disingenuous; it's a deliberate attempt to hide the true cost to consumers of Cape Wind."
National Grid customers will experience sticker shock after the giant utility negotiates a long-term electric contract with Cape Wind developers, energy experts warn. Business groups worry that a National Grid contract with Cape Wind, which needs a long-term deal to secure money to build a wind farm off Cape Cod, could add tens of millions of dollars per year to electric bills.
National Grid customers will experience sticker shock after the giant utility negotiates a long-term electric contract with Cape Wind developers, energy experts warn. Business groups worry that a National Grid contract with Cape Wind, which needs a long-term deal to secure funds to build a giant wind farm off Cape Cod, could add tens of millions of dollars per year to electric bills.
The news that Cape Wind and National Grid, a regional power distributor, will soon negotiate the cost of power from the proposed 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound sounds like the last act is near. Perhaps, but it's likely to be a dramatic one. Consider, if you will, the difficulties of calculating the costs of producing power over let's say 20 years if you are unsure of the cost and source of capital, the cost and speed of construction, the unknown difficulties of maintaining offshore power production, the uncertainties of the consumer market.
In the darkening recession, Gov. Deval Patrick and the Legislature have dialed back funding for education, social services and local aid. But energy efficiency and renewable energy development - promised as a salvation for economic growth - have been spared. ...Wind power is far from becoming an everyday reality, despite the state's tax incentives. It would take 15 years for a small business owner who constructs a wind turbine to realize the $40,000 investment for a 10 kilowatt installation, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
While Massachusetts recipients of federal stimulus money collectively report 12,374 jobs saved or created, a Globe review shows that number is wildly exaggerated. Organizations that received stimulus money miscounted jobs, filed erroneous figures, or claimed jobs for work that has not yet started. The Globe's finding is based on the federal government's just-released accounts of stimulus spending at the end of October. ...But in interviews with recipients, the Globe found that several openly acknowledged creating far fewer jobs than they have been credited for.
To municipal wind power advocates, net metering is the Holy Grail. ...Net metering provisions virtually double what municipalities are currently paid for the power they generate through renewable energy. It also allowed the towns to get credits at the wholesale rate for their power ...But some Cape municipal and county officials are worried that wind turbines that are still in the planning stages will not get the benefits of net metering because of a cap the state Legislature imposed on the total amount of power that could be generated under the program.
Over the past year, we have read several op-eds and letters to the editor debating the true cost of Cape Wind. After eight years of controversy, the Cape Wind developer has failed to prove that his costly private venture won't raise our electric bills. The Alliance has asked Gov. Deval Patrick to order an independent cost analysis to get Massachusetts ratepayers some well-deserved answers to the looming Cape Wind cost question. In the absence of a formal cost analysis, we can look to Europe, California, and perhaps most importantly, Texas, for lessons learned.
Performing a detailed feasibility study and siting analysis of wind turbine placement atop our Berkshire hills is dependent upon corporate proprietary information which could be purposely withheld (in restraint of trade) for fear that competition could gain an unfair advantage if it were divulged. Such a practice stifles competition from firms performing similar services ...but is particularly injurious to the industry which depends the most on the wise use of our land-based natural resources.
By the time federal regulators stopped accepting public comments about the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm on Monday, two of the letters had already raised some eyebrows among the project's critics. That's because the two letters were signed by the same person, state Division of Marine Fisheries director Paul Diodati, but they struck noticeably different tones. ...Diodati's first letter [dated Feb. 20] spells out the loss of access that fishermen could face as well as concerns about rescue crews reaching a troubled boat in the area. But the second letter, dated March 7, tones down the rhetoric considerably, reducing the section that lists the potential impacts to fisheries to just a few sentences. The section also mentions a couple of possible benefits, such as certain species becoming attracted to the newly built tower foundations.
The long-awaited Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the Cape Wind application to place 130 wind turbines in the waters of Nantucket Sound is finally out. ...Although the MMS DEIS seems to clear the way for Cape Wind to build its Nantucket Sound wind farm, CapeCodToday.com will be printing remarks made by experts in the wind-energy/finance fields that identify many serious flaws in the DEIS and in the methods and information used to paint a healthy picture of the Cape Wind project. MMS's own peer review raises serious questions about how MMS arrived at the conclusions their report contains.
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.
The Cape Cod Commission (CCC) has asserted that the Cape Wind energy project qualifies as a Development of Regional Impact (DRI) under Section 12(i) and 13(b) of the Cape Cod Commission Act. The CCC staff report can be accessed from this page.
The ski industry is the "lifeblood" of northern New England precisely because it draws visitors eager to appreciate the rural splendor - and spend their money. While Cape Wind supporters often make hasty, anecdotal references to wind farm-related tourism in obscure European enclaves, the Cape's fickle, tourist-based economy relies on loyal return visitors - not curious one-timers. Just a small dip in tourist-related spending would result in thousands of lost jobs and millions of lost dollars.
Tiny turbines on short towers may make people feel good about generating "green energy," but they make no sense economically. The fact that the real cost may be hidden or spread out over millions of payers does not change the basic economics.
As a tourist who visits the area, I notice what is transparent to most locals, and for me the skyline of Fairhaven is priceless. If the citizens of Fairhaven allow the wind power project to be built at the current proposed location, I believe you will be making a terrible mistake. The town may gain some money in taxes and offset some electrical energy costs, but it will not offset the loss in green space and, more importantly, the beauty of Fairhaven's historic charm.