Alan Speakman here. It’s no secret that Bruce Gibson and I are strong pro-wind guys. (A quick search on the term “wind” on this blog shows that over 10% of all our posts have discussed the wind issue… Here is just one sample… (Be sure to check out the videos!)) Well, for the moment, the two wind turbines in North Harwich are off the table, but at least we can still help Cape Wind in their efforts to create a wind farm in Nantucket Sound…
Currently, Cape Wind is trying to gain your support in order to secure the National Grid/Cape Wind long-term power purchase contract. We need this. And we need you! To help Cape Wind, please click on the link above, or simply look at the following contents of an email I received from Cape Wind:
Your support for Cape Wind has always been crucial, it helped the project secure its approvals and now I ask for your support once again. To make America’s first offshore wind farm a reality here in Massachusetts, we ask that you also voice your support for Cape Wind’s power purchase contracts that National Grid has filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.
Approval of these contracts is crucial for Cape Wind to secure project finance that will make real all of the important project benefits of new jobs, cleaner air, greater energy independence and establishing Massachusetts as a global clean offshore energy leader.
There are two ways for you to make your voice heard, one is through written comments and the other is by speaking at one of following three public hearings:
Bridgewater, Wednesday, June 16, at 6:00 p.m.
Bridgewater State College, Horace Mann Auditorium, 100 Burrill Avenue
Nantucket, Monday, June 21, at 6:00 p.m.
Nantucket High School, Mary P. Walker Auditorium, 10 Surfside Road
Worcester, Tuesday, June 22, at 6:00 p.m.
Worcester State College, Student Center, Blue Lounge, 486 Chandler Street
Important notes! — The doors to these public hearings will open as much as ONE HOUR prior to the start of the hearing and people will be called in the order they signed up, so it will be an earlier evening for you if you can come early to sign up… I am also aware there are passionate supporters of Cape Wind who avoid public speaking, if you are one of those people I ask that you consider coming early to hold a sign in support of Cape Wind outside of the building, you will see others doing that when you arrive and there will be extra signs.
Facts about the contract:
- National Grid customers will receive a portion of their electricity in the form of a long term (15-year) stable price contract from Cape Wind, which will provide greater price stability from a clean source of electricity.
- There will be no impact on electric bills until 2013, the first year that Cape Wind is expected to be in full service. National Grid has forecast a bill impact of a $1.59 increase per month for a typical residential customer. It is important to consider that this is based on National Grid’s forecast of stable fossil fuel prices – when fossil fuel prices rise again the rate impact will be reduced or even eliminated.
- Included in the contract price of 20.7 cents per kilowatt hour, Cape Wind is providing National Grid with energy, Renewable Energy Credits, and 15-year stable pricing, makes this a good long term value for consumers.
- For this modest bill impact, National Grid customers will make Massachusetts a global leader in offshore renewable energy and enable the benefits of new jobs, cleaner air and greater energy independence that Cape Wind will bring.
- Cape Wind will also place downward pressure on wholesale electric prices in New England, saving electric consumers over $4 Billion dollars over the life of the project according to a study by Charles River Associates.
- When we depend on coal, oil and gas to make electricity we don’t just pay with our electric bill; we pay with polluted air and higher healthcare costs, we pay with an environment degraded by oil spills, we pay with having to defend global energy supply lines, and we pay with a changing climate. Cape Wind opens up and harnesses our abundant offshore wind resource to meet our electricity needs from a clean, stable and inexhaustible source of energy that also provides a safer and more hopeful energy future.
Please bring your passion and support and speak out at one of the three public hearings!
If you have any questions, please send me an email and it would also be great for me to know whether or not you are going to attend.
Information Resources on the Contract
- Cape Wind Fact Sheet on the Contract
- National Grid Press Release on Contract
- Boston Business Journal Editorial
- Boston Globe Editorial
- Support from environmental, labor and business organizations
- Press Coverage of Contract
- Boston Globe articles anticipating Contract
- National Grid and Cape Wind Filings with the DPU
Additional Resource on Cape Wind’s impact on New England energy prices:
- Charles River Associates report finding of over $4 Billion over the life of the project by placing downward pressure on wholesale electric prices.
Submitting Written Comments
The process the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has for submitting written comments is a challenging one. For those who are up to this challenge, we would greatly appreciate you submitting written comments; they need to be received by the DPU by June 22. Here is the DPU’s process for submitting written comments:
Written comments should be addressed to: Mark D. Marini, Secretary, Department of Public Utilities, One South Station, Boston, Massachusetts 02110. Receipt by the Department, not mailing, constitutes filing. In addition to the above filing requirement, ten (10) copies of all materials filed with the Department should be sent to Laura Bickel, Hearing Officer, Department of Public Utilities, One South Station, 2nd Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02110, one (1) copy of these documents should be sent to National Grid’s counsel, Ronald Gerwatowski, Esq., 40 Sylvan Road, Waltham, Massachusetts, 02451 and one (1) copy of these documents should be sent to Jamie Tosches DeMello, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Ratepayer Advocacy, One Ashburton Place, Boston, Massachusetts 02108. All documents should also be submitted to the Department in electronic format using one of the following methods: (1) by e-mail attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org and the Hearing Officer, email@example.com; or (2) on a 3.5″ disk or CD-ROM. The text of the e-mail, disk label, or CD-ROM must specify: (1) the docket number of the proceeding (D.P.U. 10-54); (2) the name of the person or company submitting the filing; and (3) a brief descriptive title of the document. The electronic filing should also include the name, title, and telephone number of a person to contact in the event of questions about the filing.
Mark Rodgers, Communications Director, Cape Wind
Given the unraveling horror in the Gulf as a backdrop, it’s all too clear that we’ve got to find a way to wean ourselves off oil. Granted, it will take decades, but it needs to be done. Cape Wind is a superb local starting point.
(BREAKING: Reuters has just released data from a government report indicating that the oil spill flow rate into the Gulf of Mexico may be twice as high as previously estimated, or 40,000 barrels (1.68 million gallons/6.36 million liters) per day.)
For excruciatingly painfully, obvious reasons, we need to get behind Cape Wind. Please help.
See you by the wine racks and the wind turbines…
Alan, Bruce, and two cats blogging
* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.