There's big news this week about the future of Cape Wind, the massive off-shore wind farm being planned between Cape Cod and Nantucket. Two power companies, National Grid and Northeast Utilities, have pulled out of their contracts to buy electricity from the project.
They say Cape Wind missed a deadline to finalize funding and to start building the 130 massive turbines on Nantucket sound.
This is a huge setback for Cape Wind, which says the contract cancellations are invalid. And it says it missed the deadline because of "relentless litigation" by opponents, specifically, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.
Indeed the project has been hotly debated since it was proposed more than decade ago, with huge money and lobbying efforts on both sides.
Outgoing Governor Deval Patrick supported Cape Wind. Incoming Governor Charlie Baker at first opposed it, but then called it a done deal. Turns out, that might not be true. And today, the incoming Energy Secretary, Matthew Beaton, said the Baker administration won't get involved in the current impasse.
Ian Bowles, served as Massachusetts' Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs from 2006 until 2011. He's now the managing director of Wind Sail Capital, a Boston-based clean energy investment firm. He tweets @iabowles.
- "Without buyers for its power, Cape Wind’s ability to secure financing needed for the project would become all but impossible."
- "The long-term implications for the often-delayed project remained unclear late Tuesday. Announcement of the soured deal came on the second-to-last full day in office for Governor Deval Patrick, who has championed Cape Wind over fierce political opposition from some in his own party. The governor has often pointed to renewable energy as a vital part of the state’s economic future, and spent significant political capital in backing the proposal."
This segment aired on January 7, 2015.