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2013: The Beginning of the End for Cape Wind

To the Friends of Nantucket Sound:

I am writing to answer three questions we have received lately from you, our supporters, regarding recent Cape Wind events.  I also want to assure you that with your continued help, we will defeat this struggling project.  With five federal lawsuits facing Cape Wind, public outrage over its high cost, and financing uncertainty, 2013 looms large as the beginning of the end for Cape Wind.

Q. I read that National Grid recently added a sunset clause to Cape Wind’s contract.  What is the significance of this?

A. This is a positive development for our cause because now Cape Wind’s contracts with both NStar and National Grid have termination clauses.  If Cape Wind does not begin construction by the end of 2015, they will have NO buyers for their expensive electricity.

Q. Is it true that Cape Wind has finally secured financing?

A. No, Cape Wind has not secured financing.  It has, however, announced that it is working with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi to help arrange the debt financing.  Cape Wind also needs equity investors as well as a loan guarantee from the US Department of Energy (DOE).  While Cape Wind clearly has strong political support at state and federal levels, two Congressional subcommittees are investigating DOE’s potential loan guarantee to Cape Wind, given the waste of taxpayer dollars to bankrupt companies like Solyndra.

Q.  What happened to Cape Wind’s commitment to create local jobs with Mass Tank?

 A. Cape Wind turned its back on an agreement to use Mass Tank, a local Massachusetts company, to manufacture the bases of its wind turbines and create local jobs. Instead, Cape Wind now plans to buy its massive foundations from a European firm, abandoning Mass Tank after using the company for political gain. 

From lawsuits and bait-and-switch construction deals, to financial challenges and termination clauses, Cape Wind is watching its prospects growing dimmer by the day.  Our job is to stay strong until we defeat Cape Wind and preserve our beautiful Nantucket Sound for all to enjoy.   

Together, we can make sure 2013 is the beginning of the end for Cape Wind. Please consider making a DONATION today. Thank you! 

Audra Parker
President and CEO

Reminder: Thank you for your comments to the Department of Energy regarding Cape Wind's Loan Request. If you have not already done so, we encourage you to submit your comments to: Cape_Wind@hq.doe.gov.  Please visit our website for talking points and remember to include your name, address, and phone number.

 

 

 Feb 18, 2012

Dear Save Our Sound Supporters,

Despite the Patrick administration’s success in forcing NStar to buy a portion of Cape Wind’s power as a condition of approving its merger with Northeast Utilities, this is not the end of the road!

Today’s Boston Herald (pasted below) reports that NStar ratepayers will see their electricity bills balloon.

With the many significant hurdles ahead, we are confident that this massive, expensive, and ill-sited project will never be built. NStar may have just committed to buying 27.5% of nothing.

·         FAA: The Alliance and Town of Barnstable won our federal case against the FAA, revoking a key permit and blocking Cape Wind from beginning construction.

·         Loan Guarantee: The Department of Energy (DOE) denied Cape Wind’s application for a $2 Billion loan guarantee, greatly increasing the risk to potential investors.

·         Federal Subsidy: Cape Wind missed a key federal subsidy deadline in December 2011, which would have provided them with a grant of $800 Million.

·         Expiration Date: New England ISO, which administers the New England Electrical Grid, recently reported to the Federal Energy Commission that Cape Wind will not be in service before 2016 and that the infrastructure needed to even accept their power is not in place. The NStar agreement to buy power expires on 12/31/15.

·         Federal Suits: We are one for one in federal suits to date, with five federal suits still pending in DC court. These suits challenge the lease issued by the Department of Interior and have been brought by a dozen plaintiffs, including the Alliance. A win in any of these cases would remand Cape Wind for further review, further jeopardizing any chance of financing; or would revoke their lease, leaving Cape Wind with no land rights and no project to build.

·         CT Approval: Neither the state of MA nor the state of Connecticut has approved the NStar and Northeast utilities merger . CT has until April to decide that their ratepayers should be protected from the exorbitant cost of Cape Wind.

·         Buyer: There is no buyer for Cape Wind’s remaining 22.5% of power.

Bottom Line: Each year since 2004, Cape Wind has said that it would be up and running by the end of the year. Eight years later, still nothing. With your continued help, we will ultimately defeat Cape Wind.  Please help us win this fight and consider a generous donation today.

Thank you!

Boston Herald: Cape Wind deal may jolt rates, By Greg Turner
Thursday, February 16, 2012 http://www.bostonherald.com/business/general/view.bg?articleid=1403857&srvc=business&position=recent

NStar ratepayers could see their electricity bills balloon by as much as $382 million over 15 years under a merger deal with the state that forces the utility to buy energy from Cape Wind — a power premium that dwarfs a one-time $21 million customer credit touted yesterday by the Patrick administration.

“The merger has some good things in the early years, but once the Cape Wind contract kicks in, it will erase any savings that ratepayers will have gotten,” said Robert Rio of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a group that represents some 7,000 employers.

Gov. Deval Patrick wrangled a slice of the savings Nstar and Connecticut-based Northeast Utilities expect through their proposed $4.7 billion merger, along with a four-year freeze on electric and gas rates.

“What we have is a landmark agreement for customers. It will protect ratepayers from rate increases now and into the future,” Patrick said.

But under the settlement, Nstar’s contract for 27.5 percent of Cape Wind’s power must be “substantially the same” as the contract of National Grid, which has already lined up to buy 50 percent of Cape Wind’s energy.

An analysis by the state Department of Public Utilities — the regulatory agency that will review Nstar’s new merger deal — found National Grid customers will likely be hit with “above-market costs” of $420 million to $695 million over the 15-year contract.

That means Nstar’s portion of Cape Wind would hike costs for the utility’s 1.6 million customers by $231 million to $382 million.

And factoring in falling energy prices, the availability of federal subsidies and whether the full, 130-turbine project is built, Nstar’s deal with Cape Wind could be even more expensive.

Cape Wind president Jim Gordon said regulators have found the project “provides a unique set of benefits for Massachusetts and is cost-effective and will place downward pressure on wholesale energy prices while avoiding the external costs of burning fossil fuels.”

The Boston developer appears primed to finally secure financing, thanks to pressure from the Patrick administration during the lengthy merger review that focused on rates and benefits to the state’s clean-energy agenda.

Nstar faces an early April deadline to consummate the merger that was announced in October 2010. CEO Tom May said the settlement comes after a year-long effort “to reach agreements that appropriately balance all of the interests affected by the merger.”