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June 06. 2013 9:31PM

Ratepayers association opposes Cape Wind project

A New Hampshire-based group calling itself the New England Ratepayers Association has contacted the United States Department of Energy, stating its opposition to the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts.

The group also plans to fight any wind energy projects in New Hampshire, said Marc Brown, president of the group, who works from his home in Kingston.

"The Cape Wind project should be halted right now," Brown said. "This project will cost the ratepayers of Massachusetts nearly $2 billion over the term of its power purchase agreements with National Grid and NSTAR, who purchased power at two to five times the average wholesale power rate."

Brown has declined to reveal the funding sources for the organization, which also opposes the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. He criticized a recent vote by the state Legislature requiring New Hampshire to meet RGGI carbon emission limits on power plants.

"It's bad for ratepayers; it's going to raise the cost to clients; and it creates an artificial market," he said. "The only reason they reduced the cap is to increase the cost of the allowances (paid by utilities). There really is no other justification for it. The market has reduced carbon on its own. There really is no need for government intervention."

Brown said his group opposes measures to subsidize the development of renewable energy sources by forcing utilities into high-priced contracts that result in higher rates to consumers, and cited a recent survey sponsored by the New England Ratepayers Association and conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

"When given the choice, 59 percent of the respondents want to get their electricity from less expensive alternatives like natural gas and hydro, while only 25 percent want to get their power from more expensive sources like solar power and wind," he said.



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