Cape Wind Opponents Compare It To Boston's "Big Dig" - Claiming Power Twice As Expensive As Planned


Boston's "Big Dig" project, before and after. Image credit:UA, Tufts University.

So far the claim that Cape Wind will produce electricity at uncompetitive rates is pure speculation, as the final construction bid estimates are not yet in. But that never stops a fossil fuel lover from making ridiculous claims (that CCS can be cost-effective, for example).

Opponents are also comparing projected future wind power rates with today's fossil power rates. Fossil power rates do not yet reflect the costs of necessary, added air pollution controls, of the health care cost burden caused by coal, of carbon capture and storage, of safe fly ash management and so on. But they soon will! Having outlined my objections to the objections, here's the money quote from Boston Herald's Billions for Big Wind Cape plan feeds fear of costly boondoggle.

The $6 billion cost to electricity customers doesn't include an estimated $600 million in taxpayer subsidies that Cape Wind developers could reap from federal tax credits to cover a portion of the final construction price.

The staggering figures, calculated by the Herald and confirmed by numerous industry sources, are sparking concerns that Cape Wind is already mirroring the Big Dig tunnel project that started out costing $2.8 billion and ended up decades later at more than $20 billion.

And like the Big Dig, there appears to be no direct line of accountability for the project's expenses. It remains unclear which government agency will specifically monitor the wind farm project's construction for cost controls and contractor performance in view of the public subsidies it will receive.

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Tags: Boston | Massachusetts

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