The Cape Wind project would result in losses in tourism and employment, declines in property values, and losses in fisheries income.
Buried deeply in the federal Minerals Management Service (MMS) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is a whopping admission that Cape Wind's offshore wind plant would produce electricity at two to three times current wholesale prices in the area. Because offshore wind projects are expensive to build, they depend on electricity rates as well as additional sources of revenue including tax credits, renewable energy certificates, and long term purchased power agreements. On top of rates New England residents would pay Cape Wind for their electricity, federal and state taxpayers would be paying in tax credits and subsidies over the life of this project.
THE COST TO MASSACHUSETTS: The Cape Wind project represents a $4 Billion Rate Hike to MA households, businesses, and municipalities.
THE MONTHLY BILL: The cost of Cape Wind electricity for ratepayers starts at a price of 22 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh) - almost 3 times current residential rates of 8 cents per kwh. Each year the price increases 3.5% leading to a final price of over 35 cents per kwh in year 15.
THE COST TO YOUR COMMUNITY: A typical Massachusetts community, including residents, businesses, and municipal operations would pay an extra $28 million for Cape Wind over the life of the 15-year contract. A small community like Natick would pay an extra $14 million for Cape Wind over the life of the 15-year contract. Barnstable would pay $38 million more over the 15 years. The Barnstable school system and municipal buildings alone would face $867K more. A large community like Boston would pay $281 million more.
THE COST TO BUSINESSES: Robert Rio of Associated Industries of MA (AIM) says many businesses that buy electricity in the competitive market will be charged $50,000 to $100,000 a year for power that they never use. This method of spreading out Cape Wind's costs, AIM claims, is the key reason why the contract should be declared illegal.
BUT THE WIND IS FREE: Although wind is a free source of power, turning it into electricity is more expensive than most conventional generation sources because of the high cost of turbines and associated gear. The capital investment required to generate electricity from wind is high and has been increasing rapidly. While Cape Wind initially estimated $700 million to build their project, current estimates are over $1 billion and likely much higher given the escalating costs seen with other offshore projects.
EASY TO BE FIRST: Following the cancellation of a multibillion-dollar project off the coast of Texas, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) terminated a controversial project to install 40 wind turbines off the coast of Jones Beach because a recent report showed the costs of this project to be significantly higher than traditional forms of energy generation.
Expert analysts expect that this contract will cost the state jobs, force cuts in schools and town services, and force an undue burden on already struggling businesses.
The Cape Wind project would result in losses in tourism and employment, declines in property values, and losses in fisheries income. Known for its beaches and natural beauty, Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are one of the top ten tourist destinations in the country. Industrialization of Nantucket Sound by Cape Wind would cause losses in tourism and employment, as well as declines in property values.
In comparison to the number of jobs lost by the construction of Cape Wind, the jobs potentially created by Cape Wind are negligible and will largely go to off-Cape and even out of state workers. While Cape Wind relies on questionable anecdotal evidence of wind farm related tourism in Denmark, a study by the Beacon Hill Institute calculated:
* A reduction in employment of 1173-2533 jobs,
* A reduction in tourist spending of $57 million to $123 million,
* A related drop in output of $94 million to $203 million and a drop in earnings of $28 million to $61 million, and
* A loss in property values of $1.35 billion.
If Cape Wind's 25 square mile grid were constructed, commercial fishermen, who rely on the proposed site for more than half their catch, say they would be restricted in their access to fish fertile waters. The Massachusetts Fishermen's Partnership, which represents 18 commercial fishing organizations, says that navigation of mobile fishing gear between the 130 towers would be hazardous or impossible and, in short, Cape Wind would displace commercial fishing from Nantucket Sound.
The public is not willing to pay a premium for needlessly expensive Cape Wind energy.
While people generally say they would be willing to pay more for clean energy, the reality is different. Nationally, more than 600 utilities and municipal electric departments offer "green power" choices to customers, according to the US Energy Department. But fewer than 1 percent of customers are signing up because the programs almost always require people to pay more than they would for conventional coal, gas, or nuclear generated electricity, according to the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources.http://www.scribd.com/doc/39770630/Poll-Press-Release /content_item/ggfl_alts