Cape Wind opponents want state to take another look at rates

Cape Wind opponents want state to take another look at rates

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Cape Wind opponents, citing NSTAR’s contracts with lower cost wind projects, have filed a motion with state regulators requesting that they reopen the agreement between the offshore wind farm and National Grid, the State House News reported.

The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound claims the contract with National Grid will force Massachusetts businesses and customers to pay $1.2 billion in above-market energy costs.

According to the alliance, the NSTAR contracts show that utilities can meet renewable energy requirements at a significantly lower cost than the one associated with the National Grid contract. Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration and National Grid officials have said their power purchase agreement represents a significant advancement for the nation’s first offshore wind power project, which has cleared state and federal permitting hurdles, but still faces strong opposition from groups such as the alliance, who hope to prevent it from ever being built.

Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodger noted the motion arrived as the Sierra Club released a report attributing 4,000 deaths in the Northeast to coal-fired plants and as unrest in the Middle East is “exploding oil prices.” Mr. Rodgers called the alliance a “fossil-fuel-funding opposition group,” adding, “The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities conducted an exhaustive review and found that Cape Wind is cost-effective and necessary to meet the Commonwealth’s requirements, and it will bring hundreds of green jobs to Massachusetts. Nothing in the latest filings changes that. Many clean energy projects, of different types and at different costs and in different locations, will be needed. They will each be evaluated on their own costs and benefits, just as Cape Wind was.”