Updated March 27 at 1:27pm

Paper: Cape Wind energy prices high, not competitive with other green projects


(Updated, 11:55 a.m.)

BOSTON – Prices for electricity from the Cape Wind energy project, the $2 billion offshore wind farm, may translate into businesses paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars more for energy, the Boston Herald reported Monday, noting that other renewable energy projects have more competitive prices.

National Grid sees its commercial and industrial customers paying 1.9 percent to 2.3 percent more for the Cape Wind energy, said the Boston Herald. Meanwhile, residential customers will pay about $1.25 more a month, according to Mass. Gov. Deval L. Patrick.

National Grid estimated a small grocery store or medium-sized restaurant will see electric bills rise by about $100 per month. A typical supermarket will pay about $500 more while a medium-size suburban hospital would see a $2,500 jump in its bills.

Large industrial businesses would get hit the hardest, the Boston Herald reported, noting that a business like Erving Mill, which uses 3.8 million kilowatts of electricity per month from National Grid, would see a $9,500 month hike.

The proposed Cape Wind rates are currently under review by state regulators but are much more expensive than land-based wind power available in Maine, New York and Canada.

“It is unconscionable for this administration to support Cape Wind, knowing its rate impact on National Grid ratepayers across Massachusetts, especially when equally green projects are available for almost half the price,” said Bob Rio, senior vice president of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, to the Boston Herald.

The newspaper noted TransCanada, which owns 44 wind turbines in Maine, could sell its wind electricity for 41 percent less than Cape Wind’s 18.7 cents per kilowatt hour seen for the project’s first year in 2013.

National Grid has chosen to use Cape Wind’s energy because “it was the fastest and most efficient way to comply with renewable-energy quotas,” the Boston Herald reported. Cape Wind has a maximum of 468 megawatts while TransCanada’s Kibby Wind Farm in Maine can produce 132 megawatts.

The developer, Cape Wind Associates, said it is confident that Cape Wind’s prices will become competitive if fossil-fuel prices increase in coming years as expected and offshore development will ultimately drive down wholesale costs for all customers.

Spokesman Mark Rodgers told Providence Business News that the Herald’s account also compared “apples to oranges” when contrasting the costs of the Cape Wind farm to TransCanada Energy’s Kibby wind farm in Maine.

Rodgers said the infrastructure does not exist to carry electricity from Maine to Massachusetts at peak demand times. Rodgers also said drawing electricity from Maine would not create jobs or economic development locally, whereas the Cape Wind project would.


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One needs to scratch well below the surface on these type of stories to see who is really behind the opinions reported by the Herald / Globe / PJB......since it is increasingly clear that newspaper and television news depts. are very understaffed, fact checking and going the extra mile for detail

is sometimes neglected for the sake of a deadline.......

No matter what the green energy sector comes up with, there is always a countervaling opinion, which in and of itself would be healthy, save for the fact that it is often coming from schill groups for fossil fuel based industries.....these so called associations are typically industry backed trade and lobbying groups that represent no other interest except that of large corporate clients.

A simple fact is clear however and that is the absence or lack of use of fossil fuels..... is long term beneficial for all concerned, economically and environmentally.....and from a national security basis....zero dependence equates to lower risk

Personally, I am ok with the cost of wind being a bit higher than oil / gas generated power.....over time, price will come down as more wind comes on line in and out of the grid.....what I can do without is all the 2nd and 3rd order effects of dependence on oil and gas.......economically, evironmentally and strategically.

Change is never easy, and the legacy power / energy companies have a vested interest in resisting change, and keeping the consumer in a bind, with few to zero choices on where and how they can acquire energy.....

Continued Unlimited investment in old fossil technology is simply not a good solution...like drilling and hydrofracking.......and there are some non-fossil / old technologies like wind / geothermal that would do well to see significant strategic investment.....

the concept here is not simply cheap power alone, but low impact, sustainable power that is low / zero carbon in operation and low / no impact environmentally..and low / no foreign entanglements...........its like this.....there is no perfect solution that fits all bills, but in the case the devil we do know, we know them all too well......Change is needed.

Get on board or stay in the station.

*I own no individual energy stocks and am not a participant, owner, associate in any group or entity involved in lobbying or influence wiith regard to green / wind or fossil fuel energy.

Thursday, October 7, 2010 | Report this


I'm an individual intervener in Nattional Grid Cape Wind D.P.U. contract negotiations. And I think you're a develolper shill. Scratch the surface and you'll find:

Cape Wind develolpers made their millions in fossil fuels their project requires as back-up.

Cape Wind’s deal with National Grid is just too expensive at 2 to 3 times the cost of other green energy, and as $4.5 billion markup over current market price in DIRECT COST only.

National Grid got a $44 million rate hike the day before announcing its deal with

Cape Wind.. That same week, National Grid executives contributed thousands of dollars of cash

donations to Governor Patrick’s re-election campaign at a fundraiser they held for Patrick.

Terms of the NGrid contract call for a starting price to customers of 19.5 cents per kilowatt hour, now 8 cents per kWh, in year one including a 4% Green Community Act add?on tax. – a 243% increase, ASSUMING the project qualifies for an additional $600 million dollar taxpayer subsidy from the Federal Government, guaranteed by you and me. This cost would increase annually for the life of the contract at 3.5%. Indirect costs hit us when businesses in the 168 communities served by N.Grid increase the price of their goods and services because there electric bills are tripled.

Worcester would see impacts in 2013 of $23.6 million. Expect police, firemen and teachers will lose their jobs. Economic analysis by W. Robert Patterson, principal of WRPA Service and WRPA Consulting; energy service and energy economic and energy project development firms

"Myth: Foreign Oil Provides Most of Our Energy"

"According to the U.S. Department of Energy and the Energy Information Administration, oil represents less than 40% of our energy use. A full two-thirds of that oil comes from North America, primarily Canada, not the Middle East..."

"Myth: Renewables Will Replace Conventional Energy Sources"

Less than 1% of our electricity is generated using petroleum, so any renewable generation will have no appreciable effect on petroleum demand..."


Most Respectfully,

Barbara Durkin



Friday, October 15, 2010 | Report this
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