APNS Condemns DPU’s Approval of Cape Wind-Nstar Deal (USA)
The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound (APNS) has condemned a decision by the Department of Public Utilities to approve a contract between Cape Wind and NStar, saying that it would cost ratepayers an additional one billion dollars in added electricity costs for only 27.5 percent of Cape Wind’s overpriced power.
NStar has received approval to purchase Cape Wind’s power at a starting rate of 22 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to today’s market rates of fewer than 7 cents per kilowatt hour – a move that will hurt households, businesses and municipalities in Massachusetts. NStar’s purchase of Cape Wind power was a condition set forth by the Patrick Administration following a series of closed-door meetings between it and the utility – concessions necessary for the approval of the $17.5 billion NSTAR/Northeast Utilities merger, says APNS.
“It’s alarming that the DPU would set this dangerous precedent by rubber-stamping a backroom deal made out of the public eye that would put companies out of business and families out of work,” said Audra Parker, president and CEO of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. “Fortunately, opposition to this expensive and ill-sited project is growing and it now faces five separate lawsuits.”
The contract also guarantees a 3.5 percent increase to the private developer each year, resulting in a 36 cents per kwh in the final year of the contract.
“Massachusetts already has some of the highest electric bills in the nation, and now ratepayers would have to pay even more for a project that makes no sense economically or environmentally,” added Parker. “These types of deals not only damage faith in the process, they close the door on other projects that could truly make the Commonwealth an environmental and energy leader.”
The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound adds that in addition to Cape Wind’s exorbitant financial costs, the project poses significant environmental threats. Cape Wind would span more than 25 miles of Nantucket Sound and each of the 130 wind turbines would stretch 440 feet in the air – higher than the Statue of Liberty and Cape Cod Canal bridges. Developers also want to place the project in the middle of one of the largest migratory bird routes in the world, and an area that is home to the endangered right whale and a variety of other threatened marine species, according to APNS.
“There’s a reason why Cape Wind faces five pending lawsuits and a variety of other financial and environmental hurdles – because the project is ill conceived, expensive and outdated,” said Parker.
Press release, November 28, 2012