Bookmark and Share

Top 10 Myths About Cape Wind

1. Myth: Cape Wind would reduce consumer costs.
    Fact: There is no savings to the ratepayer and, in fact, the power will be far more costly.

National Grid's now canceled contract with Cape Wind called for a starting energy price of 18.7 cents per kilowatt hour, with a 3.5% yearly increase for 15 years. This contract was approximately 230% over the current market price of electricity, which is about 8.1 cents per kilowatt hour.

Cape Wind would result in a high net cost to the public due to duplicative subsidies and tax credits, increased electric costs, and negative impacts to tourism, jobs, and property values. The project would impose billions of dollars in additional electricity costs for businesses, households, and municipalities throughout Massachusetts. Scores of commercial fishermen, who earn the majority of their income in the area of the proposed site, believe this project would displace commercial fishing and permanently threaten their livelihoods. A decline in tourism would lead to the loss of up to 2,500 jobs according to the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University. Property values would also decline by $1.35 billion.

2.  Myth: Cape Wind is an environmentally benign project and would not harm local fisheries.
     Fact: Cape Wind threatens the marine environment and would harm the productive, traditional fisheries of Nantucket Sound.

Cape Wind's proposed site, Horseshoe Shoal, is a traditional and lucrative fishing ground where many local fishermen earn up to 50%-60% of their annual income. Scores of commercial fishermen believe this project would displace commercial fishing and permanently threaten their livelihoods.

Commercial Fishing Groups: Cape Cod Marine Trades Association, Edgartown Charter Fishing Association, Edgartown Shellfish Organization, Massachusetts Marine Trades Association, Massachusetts Fishermen's Partnership, representing: Boston Harbor Lobstermen's Cooperative, Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen's Association, Commercial Anglers Association, General Category Tuna Association, Gloucester Fishermen's Association, Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Association, Marshfield Commercial Fishermen's Association, Massachusetts Commercial Fishermen's Association, Mass Bay Inshore Commercial Fishermen's Association, Massachusetts Lobstermen's Association,  New Bedford Seafood Coalition, New England Fish Exchange, Northeast Seafood Coalition, North Shore Community Tuna Association, Pigeon Cove Fishermen's Co-Operative, Plymouth Lobstermen's Association Provincetown Fishermen's Association, South Shore Lobstermen's Association.

3. Myth: Cape Wind would be virtually invisible on the horizon.
    Fact: Less than five miles offshore at its closest point to land, the 25-square-mile Cape Wind project would be highly visible

The Cape Wind plant would dramatically alter the natural landscape and negatively impact numerous historic landmarks. In fact, from Hyannis, over 40% of the natural horizon would be marred by the presence of turbines.

The project would consist of 130 turbines, each 440' high with an above-water profile taller than the Statue of Liberty (305') and the Cape Cod Canal bridges (275'). Each massive turbine blade will be 182 feet long with a total diameter of 364' (rotating football field). The turbines would be connected to an electrical service platform by more than 66 miles of cable. The electrical service platform, equipped with a helicopter landing pad, would hold 40,000 gallons of transformer oil and 1000 gallons of diesel fuel.

At night the project would look like LaGuardia Airport, complete with flashing red and amber lights and marked with foghorns. Read More

4. Myth: Cape Wind would reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
    Fact: Given that less than 1% of our oil is used to generate electricity, this project would have a negligible impact on reducing oil consumption.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the majority of our oil use is for transportation, not electricity generation. To reduce our dependence on oil, we must focus on the transportation sector with alternative fuels, hybrid cars and mandated miles per gallon targets. However, we must also proceed with renewable sources of energy - where appropriate, responsible, and efficient.

5. Myth: Cape Wind would create local jobs.
    Fact: Cape Wind isn’t going to produce anything like the jobs its supporters promised — AT LEAST NOT INTHE U.S.

Job Creation
Cape Wind has established a disturbing pattern of outsourcing jobs to foreign countries, despite claims to create local jobs. It plans to use Siemens turbines from Germany, is working with the Pension Denmark to obtain financing, and recently reneged on an agreement with a local company, Mass Tank, to manufacture the foundations of its wind turbines – electing instead to go overseas.

Cape Wind will only create 50 permanent jobs and at an outrageous $4.3 billion package of federal and state incentives. Cape Wind’s permanent 50 year round jobs would come at a taxpayer cost of $86 million per job!

Job Losses
The expected decline in tourism – the economic engine of the Cape and Islands - would have a terrible impact on the many tourist related jobs. Furthermore, the livelihoods of commercial fishermen would be in serious jeopardy.

The decline in tourism would lead to the loss of up to 2,500 jobs, a reduction in tourist spending of $57 - $123 million, a related drop in output of $94 - $203 million, a drop in earnings of $28 - $61 million, & a $1.35 billion decline in property values.
(Statistics provided by Beacon Hill Institute of Suffolk University)

Scores of commercial fishermen, who earn the majority of their income in the area of the proposed site, believe this project would displace commercial fishing and permanently threaten their livelihoods.

6. Myth: Cape Wind is not a threat to air and sea navigation.
    Fact: Cape Wind would create significant navigational hazards to marine & aviation safety
Read More

It would cause both marine and aviation radar interference and be dangerously close to shipping lanes and Air Traffic Control operations. It would be located between the three navigation channels and shipping lanes connecting the Cape and Islands and in the center of three of Massachusetts’ busiest airports, threatening over 400,000 flights per year. The project would crowd main navigation channels for ferries, cargo ships, and fishing boats, posing a serious risk of collision. The local ferry lines, which transport more than three million passengers every year, have called the project "an accident waiting to happen."
All three local airports strongly oppose the project and have expressed safety concerns for the millions of passengers flying over the Sound each year.

7. Myth: Cape Wind would markedly reduce local air pollution and presents a solution to global warming.
    Fact: Cape wind is not the answer to global warming.

Climate change is of significant interest to those of us who love Nantucket Sound - and we are equally concerned about the future of our fragile planet. Cape Wind, with its limited scope, however, is unlikely to close a single power plant.  Furthermore, the intermittent nature of wind power requires “back up” sources of energy.

8. Myth: Residents support Cape Wind.
    Fact: Opposition to Cape Wind continues to grow.

  • Cape Cod Times Poll: Cape Cod Times: Two to one are happy Cape Wind seems doomed
  • UNH Survey: Support for Cape Wind is collapsing in MA, according to a survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. See Our Press Release
  • Alliance reports strong fundraising as Cape Wind opposition continues to grow as deadlines loom: Press Release
  • View ads in major newspapers sponsored by MACP (MA Competitive Partnership) & AIM (Associated Industries of MA)
    June 13th in DC papers: Politico, The Hill, Roll Call. "Some Facts About The Cape Wind Project You May Not Know"
    May 22nd: Cape Cod Times, Globe, Herald.
  • New England Ratepayers Association mailed this informational postcard to 30,000 homes in MA: "Don't let middle class taxpayers foot the bill for a risky, expensive, and unnecessary project." 

9. Myth: The U.S. offshore wind industry needs Cape Wind in order to succeed.
       Fact: The offshore wind industry has learned from Cape Wind's mistakes.

According to  the director of BOEM, "A key lesson to be drawn from Cape Wind's troubles is the importance of careful project siting." She continues to affirm that Cape Wind's demise would not be a setback to the industry, which is much more resilient than a single project. 

10. Myth: The latest myth is that Cape Wind is "dead in the water" because their power contract were terminated.
      Fact: Cape Wind’s leaders continue to claim their recently terminated power contracts remain valid, and the project will move forward.

April 2015, Cape Wind filed for a two-year extension of an expiring state permit, which would allow them to build electrical transmission lines through Nantucket Sound for the purpose of connecting the wind turbines to land. This is a move that would likely have been abandoned if the project were truly dead in the water.

More importantly, Cape Wind continues to hold a valuable lease to 46 square miles of Nantucket Sound. The development rights to that seabed were issued to Cape Wind in 2010 by the federal government and last for 28 years. As long as the company holds that valuable lease, the prospects of construction -- either by Cape Wind or a better-funded company that could buy the lease -- remain alive. In other words: This fight continues.