The saga of Cape Wind has gone from simply wrong-headed – not to mention expensive beyond belief – to downright pathetic.
Rallies won’t save it – and neither will any legislative efforts to breathe life into this justifiably moribund project.
This week it was revealed that Cape Wind’s developers have backed our of a planned lease of a marine staging area in New Bedford. The project was supposed to pay the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center $4.5 million to rent the 28-acre facility to assemble the giant turbines that were going to blight Nantucket Sound.
The letter canceling the lease was actually sent Feb. 12, but that didn’t stop Cape Wind President Jim Gordon from presiding over a rally on Boston Common Feb. 28 at which he insisted, “We are not giving up. We have just begun to fight.”
Of course, the year began with Northeast Utilities (now Eversource) and National Grid terminating their agreements to buy the overpriced power that might one day be offered by Cape Wind. With Deval Patrick no longer in a position to hold a political gun to their heads and with Cape Wind unable to obtain financing, the utilities decided to put the interests of their consumers first.
So now Gordon is once again putting his hopes in the public sector, in particular a bill filed by Rep. Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset) that would require utilities to purchase stated amounts of offshore wind power and hydropower.
Gordon told State House News Service that it would take such a “revenue stream” to get the wind industry off the ground.
Political leaders “see the first price of offshore wind, and the first projects are going to be the most expensive,” he said. “Just like the solar projects were, but we have to educate policymakers into saying that look, once we get economies of scale going, once we start building a lot of these, the prices will come down …”
Yep, that’s what we were afraid of. One Solyndra scandal is enough – and hardly a role model for clean energy development.
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