The Patrick administration still backs Cape Wind – even as troubles mount about what could be the nation’s first offshore wind power plant – but the state’s economic development czar yesterday carefully distanced the government from the embattled private project that Gov. Deval Patrick has championed, saying its success is up to its developers.
“We have done the things we wanted to do, and were able to do, to see if Cape Wind can be successful,” Economic Development and Housing Secretary Gregory Bialecki told the Herald yesterday.
“Cape Wind is a private project,” Bialecki said. “We have done the things in terms of permitting and so forth that help enable it to proceed, but we are not the proponents of the project. The only way it is going to happen is if they put all the pieces together.”
Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodgers said in a brief statement, “We are continuing to move the project forward.”
Cape Wind’s 130 turbines are slated for Nantucket Sound. Proposed in 2001, it received federal approval in 2010, but has faced legal disputes, shrinking federal subsidies and, now, a Republican-led push for a probe into claims a Democratic green agenda trumped safety concerns.
“America needs offshore wind power, and with this project, Massachusetts will lead the nation,” Gov. Deval Patrick said in 2010, at the State House with U.S. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar, who called it part of “a clean energy revolution.”
Yesterday, Bialecki noted the project is tied up in “green” red tape: “There are issues at the federal level, of eligibility for credits, and extension of tax credits in the green area.” But he said the project – which critics say will cost $2.6 billion to build – fits the state’s long-term energy goals. “We are relying on fossil fuel generators. The idea of moving towards a model where we can have a more diversified energy generation sources is going to be the way that Massachusetts gets energy competitive.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding