Kennedys, Kochs help kill planned wind farm off Cape Cod

FOX: A plan to build scores of offshore, electricity-generating windmills within eyesight of the Kennedy compound and numerous other tony properties in one of America’s wealthiest, and most scenic areas, is officially dead in the water.

 

The Cape Wind project, which envisioned 130 turbines to be built off the Massachusetts coast, would have been the first U.S. offshore wind farm. It would also have spoiled the view from the Kennedy family’s estate and that of the Democratic family’s billionaire neighbor, William Koch, owner of a nearby 26-acre estate.

Besides their opposition, Energy Management Inc., which led the project, had to battle fishermen and tourism-related businesses. But after 16 years of fighting, with the help of environmentalists, for the project – and scoring numerous legal battles along the way – Energy Management threw in the towel late last week, citing the cancellation of several contracts to sell its power to local utilities.

“During Cape Wind’s development period we successfully developed over a billion dollars of renewable solar and biomass energy projects and, although we were unable to bring Cape Wind to fruition, we are proud of the catalyzing and pioneering effort we devoted to bringing offshore wind to the United States,” Cape Wind President James Gordon said in a statement to the Cape Cod Times.

Championed as the future of clean energy by environmental activists, the 478-megawatt offshore farm would have been a power supply for Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

However, the Kennedy family opposed the project for years. Back in 2006, then-Sen. Ted Kennedy called for more federal guidelines first. “Senator Kennedy has real environmental and economic concerns, and the federal government continues to lack a national policy and process to guide offshore alternative energy development,” spokeswoman Melissa Wagoner told The Washington Times. The senator died in 2009.

In addition, attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote in a New York Times op-ed in 2005: “I do believe that some places should be off limits to any sort of industrial development. I wouldn’t build a wind farm in Yosemite National Park. Nor would I build one on Nantucket Sound.”

While the Kennedys and their activities on Cape Cod have been well known for decades, Koch’s ties to the area have been less well publicized. The billionaire fossil fuel industrialist, whose brothers Charles and David are well known for their underwriting of Republican politicians, bought Rachel Mellon’s 26-acre waterfront estate in Oyster Harbors in 2013 for $19.5 million and quickly turned his attention to combating what he called the “visual pollution” from the Cape Wind project.

“I am equally confident that the project’s lack of merit will result in its demise,” Koch wrote in an email to the New York Times back in 2013.

Cape Wind’s demise came despite significant support. The U.S. Energy Department gave Energy Management a conditional $150 million loan guarantee, Siemens AG was mulling a $100 million equity investment and Rabobank, Natixis and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group led a $400 million debt package.

In the end this wasn’t enough and, after the project was hit by numerous lawsuits and Cape Wind missed a number of contractual milestones, energy suppliers National Grid and Northeast Utilities canceled their purchase agreements.

17 Comments on Kennedys, Kochs help kill planned wind farm off Cape Cod

  1. Complete waste of taxpayer’s money. If that’s how the filthy rich liberals of the state want to waste their money, that’s up to them. Nothing wrong with letting fools part with their money. When they’re in a hole, let them keep digging. But not one damn dime of my money.

  2. The wind farm/solar people can never be made to understand that generating power in the way they do it is useless without a way to properly store it. I can put a can with one gallon of gas in storage and can use it a year later to run a generator. There will some evaporation, but if stored properly enough will last.

    Power from wind/solar has to be used immediately or stored in batteries that are expensive to build, expensive to maintain, and are probably toxic.

  3. That the wealthiest people own all of the oceanfront will be a barrier to any of these offshore wind projects from ever happening.

    I also seriously doubt that these would have been visible from the Kennedy compound. It’s the true embodiment of NIMBY ism. Not In My Back Yard.

  4. @Hope, take it from somebody who’s first job in my field was designing batteries, they are indeed toxic, any and all of them are toxic.
    Any loss of windfarms to me is good, except California, put them up on Rodeo Drive for all I care.
    Put one on top of Coit Tower, top the GG Bridge with some.
    Let them drown in their smugness.

  5. Cape Cod, huh. The very assholes who forced this shit on all rest of us, by voting for the likes of every Kennedy, Fauxahontis, Lurch, et al, now don’t want these things spoiling their view. That’s fine, but charge them a 500% surcharge on their power bill for “environmental concerns”.

  6. @Hope

    You don’t need batteries. You can use the power in offpeak ours to pump water to a higher elevation and store it as potential energy. Then run it through a turine powering a genetator when needed. They do this in a few places.

    Of course it costs a ton of cash and probably will never pay out compared to other sources of power.

  7. Wind power is a totally inefficient way to generate power. Looks to me like the Kennedys and Kochs aren’t as stupid as they look, even if they oppose this worthless nonsense for other reasons.

  8. Jimbo,
    I think the Kennedys and the Kochs being against this is an accident of NIMBYism, as PHenry said. I think they ARE as stoopid as they look.

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