Its been quite a long and drawn out fight, but Massachusetts has approved a deal between Cape Farm and National Grid to enter into a 15-year contract to purchase the energy provided by the turbines. This is especially interesting for two reasons, one because this battle has been going on for quite some time, with some very influential people attempting to veto the deal. The other, because, as my colleague Lane Jost correctly asserted in last week’s article “Wind Power’s Greatest Enemy — The Changing Winds of Political Economy”, the newfangled political arena will be making such important policy decisions tougher and tougher (Elizabeth Kolbert discusses a similar issue in her article “Uncomfortable Climate” in this week’s New Yorker).
As someone originally from the area who once spent a significant amount of time on Cape Cod, I can barely remember the time before this was a hot button issue. In many ways, it was somewhat of an early move towards the adoption of wind energy, at least on a large/high profile scale and an incredible amount of work has gone into moving the initiative forward. As Tim Hurst at Ecopolitogy reports, there was a major issue as to whether the recently completed 3,000 page report should include in its financial calculations what the costs of global warming compliance would be. Apparently the attorney general’s office considered this forecast speculative. That’s correct, it is speculative and in order to make financial projects and conduct risk analysis, one must speculate. Although I have not read the report, it appears that upfront costs are warranted in the long run.
This positive public/private partnership not only signifies a win for those pushing for a full-fledged move to renewable energy, but also because it may provide a strong employment opportunity (potentially 1,000 jobs across various sectors). The creation of jobs due to renewable energy and development of necessary technology is part of Obama’s stump speech as he knows that if this is truly the case, it should be something that people of any party should be able to rally behind. While that maybe more difficult than it sounds, the fact that the Cape Cod Wind Farm is moving forward is definitely encouraging news.
Image Credit by Beaupre & Co. Public Relations via Flickr under a CC license