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Turbine teardown hit: Critics blast ‘hidden costs’ of Cape Wind

Cape Wind opponents and proponents within the business community traded rhetorical blows yesterday over the costs of the proposed offshore wind-farm in Nantucket Sound.

The controversial project’s latest flashpoint is the $66 million cost to ratepayers and taxpayers for the eventual dismantling of Cape Wind’s 130 turbines after the wind-farm ceases its planned operations in 25 years, as the Herald first reported yesterday.

“This is insanity, and just another example which shows all the hidden costs of this project,” said Bob Rio, senior vice president of Associated Industries of Massachusetts. “Let’s put a stop to this fiasco and spend ratepayers money on cost-effective renewables, not costly ones.”

But Andrew Tarsy, executive director of the Progressive Business Leaders Network, hit back by saying Cape Wind is a worthy project needed to wean the state away from other forms of expensive power generation.

“Many business leaders support Cape Wind and reject the simple analysis of cost they keep reading because they never measure cost in a vacuum,” said Tarsy. “And they know the cost of doing nothing big on renewable energy is too high and will choke the region’s economy over time.”

Cape Wind Associates, the wind project’s developer, adamantly insisted yesterday that it will be responsible for the “decommissioning” costs of Cape Wind.

But critics say ratepayers and taxpayers, through electric rates and government subsidies, will be the ones ultimately footing the bill for Cape Wind’s dismantling, assuming the Department of Public Utilities approves a $2.7 billion rate deal worked out between Cape Wind Associates and National Grid.