Articles from Massachusetts
Although the move may conflict with Wal-Mart's messaging on clean energy, it fits with the company's parsimonious image, says Joseph Feldman, an analyst at research firm Telsey Advisory Group. Most of the company's green initiatives so far have led to cost savings, Feldman says. "Wal-Mart's proposition to their customers is to help save them money," he says. "Anything that gets in the way is a hindrance to that."
Over the next several months, the DPU must determine if utility National Grid's agreement with developer Cape Wind Associates is consistent with Section 83 of Green Communities Act, which allows companies to procure long-term contracts for renewable energy.
Debate over the nation's first proposed offshore wind farm has raged for nearly a decade, and last night the winds of public opinion whipped back and forth as citizens aired their thoughts on National Grid's contracts to purchase power from Cape Wind Associates.
At The Trinity Collection, high-end watches can fetch up to $8,000. But even the owners of the small Main Street store balk at the price they now pay for electricity, which can reach $800 a month during the summer, and how much more they would pay if the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm is built.
Cape Wind's developer said he is down to a "short list" of companies that could build the controversial wind farm off of Nantucket Sound, but choosing one will take several more months. If the project gets the necessary financing, the nation's first offshore wind farm could be up and running in 2 1/2 years.
There are generally two ways to procure renewable energy. One way is to develop as much as possible as quickly as possible, with little regard to where it's coming from, as long as it's done cheaply. The second approach is more focused on how to maximize the benefits of renewables like job growth and local economic activity. Neither way is necessarily wrong or right.
The town of Barnstable and the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound filed an administrative appeal yesterday requesting that the Federal Aviation Administration reverse its approval of the Cape Wind project.
Wal-Mart, a company that epitomizes the word big, is among the groups questioning the deal between Cape Wind Associates LLC and National Grid. The retailer argues in documents recently submitted to the state Department of Public Utilities that Cape Wind is not cost-effective. ...The company has concerns with how National Grid will pass the additional costs of the power from Cape Wind on to customers, Wertz said.
The town of Barnstable and one of Cape Wind's most vigorous critics are appealing the Federal Aviation Administration's ruling that the offshore energy project's 440-foot turbines would not significantly interfere with Nantucket Sound air traffic.
Mr. Jané said, a commercial wind-energy bylaw passed at town meeting May 3 would kill the project unless the new bylaw is amended by a two-thirds majority vote at the special town meeting Monday. The bylaw contains no especially onerous conditions for the proposed wind farm, but it would require the developer to get a special permit, delaying things and jeopardizing financing.
In filings with the state, Wal-Mart said the high prices set by Cape Wind's first contract to sell electricity will lead to higher costs for the retailer. Wal-Mart already pays more than $2 million a year to power 28 Massachusetts stores served by National Grid, which negotiated the deal with the offshore wind farm.
The town is preparing on several fronts to face the question of whether wind power will come to Ashfield.
In a 39-page filing ahead of last night's public hearing in Bridgewater about the controversial Cape Wind energy contract, the developer asked the DPU to knock the Alliance and AIM down to "limited-participant status." The lawyer added that their interests "may be marginal at best."
Cambridge - The Wind Power Turbine Installation Zoning Amendment enacted by the Cambridge City Council in September 2009 gives wide discretion to the Planning Board to approve wind turbine installation in Cambridge. The amendment states, "Where their (sic) visibility cannot be minimized, the installation should be thoughtfully integrated into the larger urban landscape, with a recognition that a facility has the potential to provide an iconic, positive focal point in the landscape." On April 12, 2010, the Council ordered a feasibility study for "the largest possible turbine for the site and analyze the advantages of Danehy Park..." Before icons appear out their windows, Cambridge citizens might consider the following.
Whatever one believes about the ultimate importance of wind power as an element of this country's energy mix, the fact remains that the men and women who propose these projects are business people, and as such are at base motivated by profit to themselves and their shareholders. They are not working in the public interest.
A spokesman for the controversial Cape Wind project off the coast of Cape Cod says the developers have every intention of seeing the project through to the end if they get final approvals - from constructing the 130-turbine wind farm to operating the facility over 15 years. But experts say it's common practice for energy companies to line up the necessary permits and financing for new power plants and then turn around and sell ready-to-go projects to other investors.
Ethan Zindler, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said First Wind may also have a tough time. "The economic downturn has led to a decline in electricity demand,'' Zindler said, "and that has slackened the demand for new generating capacity, particularly for renewables, which are more expensive on a per-kilowatt-hour basis than fossil fuels.''
Massachusetts has suspended its requirements for utilities to source renewable energy from inside state boundaries. The state's Department of Public Utilities has issued emergency regulations to allow long-term contract proposals for clean energy that is no longer produced within Massachusetts, its waters, or nearby federal waters.
As opponents of a massive wind energy factory in Nantucket Sound watch the impact of energy giant BP's oil blowout on the ocean and delicate ecosystems of the Louisiana coast, they are drawing parallels between the energy projects and warning that another environmental disaster is likely to happen in the waters off Cape Cod.
The Department of Public Utilities has eliminated a controversial "made in Massachusetts" clause that required utilities to sign long-term contracts only with firms that produced renewable energy within the state's borders. The reversal of the state policy is a major victory for TransCanada, an energy giant that has sued the state over the requirement, arguing it violated the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause.