Cape Wind, started in 2001, 468 MW, turnkey capital cost $2.6 billion, $5550/kW, to be located south of Nantucket, highly visible to many multi-millionaires summering on the Island, has finally been cancelled as of 1 December 2017.
The negotiated Cape Wind power purchase agreement called for 18.7 c/kWh the first year, increasing at 3.5% per year for 20 years, to reach 37.2 c/kWh in the 20th year. These are wholesale prices. The utility mandated to buy that expensive electricity, averages that price with the prices at which it buys other, much less expensive electricity, to obtain the average cost of purchased electricity.
New England wholesale prices have averaged about 5 c/kWh for steady, 24/7/365, electricity since about 2009, primarily due to:
1) Natural gas; 50% of NE generation; low-cost (less than 5 c/kWh), low-CO2 emitting, no particulates, domestic fuel
2) Nuclear; 26% of NE generation; low-cost (less than 5 c/kWh), minimal-CO2 emitting, no particulates, domestic fuel
Unwise Decisions in Massachusetts: Massachusetts has a new law mandating utilities to procure electricity generated by 1,600 MW of offshore wind turbines (nameplate capacity), no matter wnat the cost/kWh, by June 30, 2027. The turnkey capital cost of such wind turbine systems, plus wiring to shore, plus onshore grid modifications, would be at least $9 to $10 billion, and the electricity cost would be at least 18 - 20 c/kWh for the first year. In view of the high costs of wind electricity, it would be extremely unwise to proceed along that path. See URLs.
The Reality of Wind Electricity in New England: This article further explains the realities of the environmental destruction and cost of onshore and offshore wind electricity in New England.
Exploiting Fear of Climate Change Benefits Multi-Millionaires: Cape Wind was to be owned by Deepwater Wind LLC, a part of the D. E. Shaw Group, a global investment and technology firm with $38 billion of invested capital, as of July 1, 2016. Multi-millionaires, with lucrative, risk-free, tax shelters, put up the capital and expect high, mostly tax-free returns.
Wall Street financial services firms saw huge opportunities for tax shelter business. Their lobbyists told Congress exactly what laws to pass to make happen wind and solar build-outs, etc.
As is usual practice, the uninformed US public was subjected to a media blitz the world was burning up and coming to an end.
Publications, such as the financial-business-friendly New York Times and Wall Street Journal, published mostly favorable articles about wind and solar. The public was told all was done to save the world.
The US Congress, under pressure of Wall Street, passed subsidy laws and tax-avoidance laws favorable to wind and solar build-outs, etc., and to enable the tax-free returns for multi-millionaire clients of major financial frims.
Various government agencies, EPA, Department of Energy, EIA, et al., performed “studies” with dire climate change predictions, and/or gave grants to “independent” entities to make studies with similar predictions, to convince the public the end of the world would be near, unless….
NOTE: Warren Buffett, considered one of the outstanding investors of all-time, has stated: “On wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit”. Buffett has investments in multiple wind sites, as do many other multi-billion dollar entities. Buffett and his cohorts hire tax accountants/lawyers to refine the subsidy-milking art form, as well as PR pros and RE lobbyists to continually increase the milking, via higher RPS targets and renewed subsidy periods.
Also see these URLs: