Thursday, May 13, 2010

As Financial Crises Circle the Globe, Massachusetts Starts to Spend Billions for Big Wind

Jay Fitzgerald reports:
The highly touted Cape Wind project is already stoking fears of an open-ended ratepayer burden and lack of accountability reminiscent of the state’s Big Dig nightmare.

As the Herald reported yesterday, the Cape Wind project, which started out as a $650 million offshore wind farm, has ballooned to more than $2 billion in construction costs and a potential $6 billion hit to ratepayers when debt service, profits, maintenance and other costs are included.

“This is reminiscent of how the cost of the Big Dig escalated far beyond what the people of Massachusetts were led to believe,” said U.S. Rep. William Delahunt (D-Quincy), a longtime Cape Wind critic who has estimated the project’s construction price tag at more than $2.5 billion. “As the pieces of information on Cape Wind come out, the costs keep getting more exorbitant.”...

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.
How's Massachusetts doing before the expenses of the Big Wind really kick in?

Without federal help and other new revenue and budget cuts, the state faces a $2.7 billion deficit in the fiscal year starting July 1.

1 comment:

  1. Lets send this project to Ezekiel Emanuel's death panel so he can kill it !
    btw for some unknown reason Gov Patrick is ahead in the polls.
    btw 2: last summer Mass raised the sales tax to 6.25%