Enviros unleash litigation blitz on Cape Cod bird shredders

“Eight months after the Obama administration approved what it hopes will be America’s flagship offshore industrial wind energy factory in the waters of Nantucket Sound … the Cape Wind project is swamped in litigation filed by a rising tide of opposition.  …

On Dec. 13, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, a nonprofit grass-roots organization that has led the opposition to the massive wind turbine proposal, announced that the Alliance, TransCanada [Corporation], and Associated Industries of Massachusetts – the largest business association in Massachusetts – have all filed separate appeals against the DPU’s [Department of Public Utilities] approval of the power purchase agreement. The groups charge that the DPU decision violates several of its own directives including dismissing a competitive bid, failing to determine cost-effectiveness of the power purchase agreement, and discriminating against out-of-state resources.  …

The power purchase agreement approved by the DPU would force Massachusetts ratepayers to pay $2 billion in additional energy costs for Cape Wind’s power. At a rate of 18.7 cents per kilowatt hour, the energy produced by Cape Wind would be double the cost of other renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric energy and various land-based wind projects and over two times the current 9 cents energy price paid by Massachusetts consumers.

On Dec. 1, Californians for Renewable Energy … filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission against Cape Wind. National Grid, and the DPU Wind, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, “for their ongoing conspiracy to violate the Federal Power Act by approving contracts for capacity and energy that exceeds the utilities’ avoided cost cap.” The complaint also charges that the Cape Wind-National Grid agreement “usurps” FERC’s exclusive jurisdiction to determine the wholesale rates for electricity.

The complaint further charges that National Grid and the DPU have “aided and abetted Cape Wind’s fraudulent actions” by claiming both an investment tax credit and a production tax credit – that is, “double-dipping” – under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

Other actions include four lawsuits against the Interior Department by the Alliance, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Cetacean Society International, and Three Bays Preservation for violations of the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and other laws with Wal-Mart filing as an intervener.

The Cape Wind project still needs approvals from various agencies including the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers.”  “Cape Wind bogged down in lawsuits”  H/t Larry Tomasson


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