Governor Patrick's Ship of Fools -91...

Governor Patrick's Ship of Fools -91 Million Dollars

Posted in the Boston Forum

Sally Reynolds

Mattapoisett, MA

#1 Apr 21, 2012
http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/edit...

Patrick’s ship of fools

By Boston Herald Editorial Staff
Friday, October 29, 2010 - Added 1 year ago

It’s a $91 million mystery - a mystery that won’t be solved now until after the election.

Last spring all the skids were greased for a publicly funded $91 million “specialized vessel for installing offshore wind farms,” according to a report filed by Danish ship builder Kurt Thomsen, who also happens to be a consultant to Cape Wind, which plans to build just such a wind farm in Nantucket Sound. His timeline, Thomsen noted would “allow the vessel to be ready for the Cape Wind project.”
Sally Reynolds

Mattapoisett, MA

#2 Apr 21, 2012
http://www.dsboffshore.com/dsb-offshore-vesse... $91%20Million%20Ship%20Not%20M eant%20for%20Offshore%20Wind%2 0(USA)

The Patrick administration started crafting a plan last May to buy a $91 million, publicly funded ship whose main job would be to plant wind turbines in the ocean floor – yet the state’s energy czar has insisted the vessel isn’t intended for the controversial Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound.

“This has nothing to do with Cape Wind,” Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles told the Herald in August, about two weeks before a quasi-state agency he chairs abruptly postponed its ship purchase plans in September.

Robert Keough, Bowles’ spokesman, said the state postponed its plans because the federal Department of Energy is now looking at ways to meet the need for a wind-turbine ship. A recent DOE report says more study is needed.

Keough said the postponement is “absolutely not” related to next week’s hotly contested election. Gov. Deval Patrick is the only one of the state’s four gubernatorial candidates who supports Cape Wind.

The quasi-public, utility ratepayer-funded Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, which Bowles heads, has been exploring the acquisition of a windmill-planting ship as a revenue-generating asset.

“This could pay for itself in a few years,” Bowles said.

There are 41 offshore wind-power projects under review in the United States, but no U.S.-flagged vessel equipped to transport and plant turbines at sea. The ships exist in Europe, but federal law requires U.S.-flagged vessels on federally subsidized projects.

Last spring, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar came to the State House and, standing next to Patrick and Bowles, announced Cape Wind’s approval. The $2 billion project would be the nation’s first offshore wind power project. Critics say it could become one of the nation’s most-heavily subsidized private developments.

Weeks after Salazar’s announcement, Danish ship builder Kurt Thomsen, a Cape Wind consultant, told state officials that it would cost $91 million to “deliver a specialized vessel for installing offshore wind farms.” His brief report included a time-line “to allow the vessel to be ready for the Cape Wind Project.”

Thomsen told the Herald he wrote the proposal after Massachusetts Clean Energy Center director Patrick Cloney called and asked for it.

Cloney’s spokeswoman, Kate Plourd, yesterday acknowledged Cloney had made the request. Cloney’s agency controls the $122 million Renewable Energy Trust, a fund that takes in $20 million each year through a surcharge on people’s electricity bills. Bowles serves as chairman of the center’s board of directors.

On Aug. 6, the Clean Energy Center issued a request for proposals, seeking a consultant to develop a plan to acquire the ship “by leveraging public support to underwrite the design and construction.” Days later, Clarendon Hills Consultants, which submitted the only bid for the project, officially registered with the state.

The Somerville-based Clarendon Hills, which lists Thomsen as a non-paid member of the team, wrote in its application that its “business case will be based on the assumption that the Cape Wind Project would be the first Offshore Wind Farm to be installed in the U.S.”

But both Bowles and Cape Wind Associates spokesman Mark Rodgers say Cape Wind doesn’t need and won’t use the proposed vessel. Rodgers said that, because Cape Wind is slated for Nantucket Sound’s relatively calm and shallow waters, it can use an already existing “jack-up barge” to install its turbines.

Thomsen, who noted that Cape Wind did not ask him to propose the vessel purchase plan, said Cape Wind is only a “possible customer.”

Cape Wind critics can’t understand why any government agency would buy a $91 million vessel for private developers. Said Audra Parker, leader of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound:“Why can’t they buy their own boat?”
Sally Reynolds

Mattapoisett, MA

#3 Apr 21, 2012
http://www.dsboffshore.com/dsb-offshore-vesse... $91%20Million%20Ship%20Not%20M eant%20for%20Offshore%20Wind%2 0(USA)

"$91 Million Ship Not Meant for Offshore Wind" (USA)
"The Patrick administration started crafting a plan last May to buy a $91 million, publicly funded ship whose main job would be to plant wind turbines in the ocean floor – yet the state’s energy czar has insisted the vessel isn’t intended for the controversial Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound.

“This has nothing to do with Cape Wind,” Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles told the Herald in August, about two weeks before a quasi-state agency he chairs abruptly postponed its ship purchase plans in September.

Robert Keough, Bowles’ spokesman, said the state postponed its plans because the federal Department of Energy is now looking at ways to meet the need for a wind-turbine ship. A recent DOE report says more study is needed.

Keough said the postponement is “absolutely not” related to next week’s hotly contested election. Gov. Deval Patrick is the only one of the state’s four gubernatorial candidates who supports Cape Wind.

The quasi-public, utility ratepayer-funded Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, which Bowles heads, has been exploring the acquisition of a windmill-planting ship as a revenue-generating asset.

“This could pay for itself in a few years,” Bowles said."
Jack Kelly

Jamestown, RI

#4 Mar 9, 2013
www.env.state.ma.us/dpu/docs/electric/10-54/1...

http://www.env.state.ma.us/dpu/docs/electric/...

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES
) Petition of Massachusetts Electric ) Company and Nantucket Electric ) Company each d/b/a National Grid ) D.P.U. 10-54 For Approval of Proposed Long-Term ) Contracts for Renewable Energy With ) Cape Wind Associates, LLC ) Pursuant to G.L. c. 169 §83 )_________
SECOND MOTION OF THE ALLIANCE TO PROTECT NANTUCKET SOUND TO REOPEN THE RECORD TO ADMIT ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE
Pursuant to Sections 1.11(7) and 1.11(8) of the Procedural Rules of the Commonwealth of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities ("DPU" or "Department"), 220 C.M.R.§§ 1.11(7) and 1.11(8), the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound (“the Alliance”) hereby respectfully requests that the Department reopen the record in this proceeding to admit into evidence and consider (i) the additional $91 million in costs which, according to press reports of this week, taxpayers/ratepayers would incur in connection with the proposed acquisition of a publicly funded ship to install wind turbines on the ocean floor,1 and (ii) an additional $35 million in costs which, according to recent press reports, would be needed for the State to acquire land and build a staging area for Cape Wind in New Bedford.2 Piled on top of the billions of dollars in
1 See, e.g., http://www.bostonherald.com/business/general/...
2 See, e.g., http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x16650...
Jack Kelly

Jamestown, RI

#6 Mar 9, 2013
New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal another Evergreen Solar

http://www.necn.com/01/13/11/Critics-call-Eve...

(NECN: Peter Howe, Ayer, Mass.) Evergreen Solar's stunning announcement it will close its barely-three-year-old factory at the old Fort Devens and lay off 800 people by March 31 is a business failure some critics of Governor Deval Patrick are calling a major public-policy failure as well.

At Patrick's urging, the state shovelled $58 million into Evergreen's Devens expansion, including about $20 million in cash tied to specific job-creation targets,$13 million in infrastructure improvements, tax breaks, and the multimillion-dollar value of a $1-a-year lease for the land on which the $430 million factory sits.

But in a disclosure many said seemed timed to be obscured in the news by a massive statewide blizzard, Evergreen said it will close the plant by the end of March, blaming low-cost Chinese competition in the solar-panel market. Evergreen, which will keep its Marlborough, Mass., headquarters, already makes panels in China and will shift manufacturing from Devens to China and Midland, Michigan, later this year.

"The reaction is disappointment to see 800 jobs in Massachusetts disappear, but also a sense of frustration,'' said state Representative Bradley Jones, leader of the recently doubled Republican caucus in the state House of Representatives. "It raised the whole question of how we approach picking winners and losers, and whether we as a commonwealth should be doing that.''
Jack Kelly

Jamestown, RI

#7 Mar 9, 2013
Gov Patrick :"If you want to see the future, come to Falmouth,"

http://www.masscec.com/index.cfm/page/Power-c...

The town's wind-energy projects are a sign of things to come, said state Rep. Matthew Patrick, D-Falmouth, a strong proponent of renewable energy and a key player in the passage of the net metering legislation.
"If you want to see the future, come to Falmouth," Patrick said.

http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...

By SEAN TEEHAN
[email protected]
March 07, 2013
Falmouth may have to pay back nearly $5 million in federal stimulus funds it received to construct one of its wind turbines.

The state Department of Environmental Protection released the federal money to the town in 2010 as a loan that would become a grant once the town's second wind turbine project is complete.

Related Stories
Falmouth to vote on wind turbines
Falmouth selectmen support tearing down turbines
Falmouth selectmen listen to turbine foes voice their discontent
WIND POWER DOLLARS
$5 million

to $15 million

Estimate to take two Falmouth turbines down.

$10 million

Approximate combined value of the two turbines, including construction cost.

$4.865 million

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 money received for Wind 2, which the town may have to repay.

$1 million

Estimated prepayment for Renewable Energy Credits from the state.

$975,000

Estimated value of electricity the two turbines are capable of producing per year, according to a Weston & Sampson report.

But with about a month until Falmouth's town meeting is scheduled to vote on whether to remove its two municipal turbines, the town has not filed paperwork with the DEP to certify the second one as a completed project.

The town is possibly facing millions of dollars in costs to remove its two 1.65-megawatt turbines, Wind 1 and Wind 2, from the wastewater treatment plant on Blacksmith Shop Road. The turbines have become a flashpoint because some town residents say they cause health problems.

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