The article forgot to mention that the company has made a $40M investment in hundreds of miles of transmission lines for onshore wind since the power purchase agreement was signed in 2010. Did National Grid cancel its contract with Cape Wind in order to stifle competition to its investment in Midwest wind?
Offshore wind continues to struggle, while Midwest wind is trying to court the U.S. Department of Energy to invoke an as yet untested section of the Energy Policy Act to "participate" in the Clean Line projects in order to usurp state authority to site and permit them, and use federal eminent domain to take land Clean Line was denied by the states. Clean Line's projects have not been reviewed or approved in any regional transmission planning process under FERC's Order No. 1000's competitive transmission scheme. The proposed action of the DOE would not only put the federal government in the business of transmission planning, it would also actively interfere with electric markets, two areas where the DOE does not have jurisdiction or expertise.
Why is Midwest wind a bad idea? Because it's located too far away and building overland transmission simply to ship electricity to the east coast is expensive, time consuming, and unfair to landowners crossed, who will receive none of the benefits, but all of the burden.
Why is offshore wind a good idea?
Responsibly developed offshore wind power offers a golden opportunity to meet our coastal energy needs with a clean, local resource that will spur investments in local economies - creating unparalleled job growth and avoiding the need to export hard-earned energy dollars outside the region.
Or is the Sierra Club just a bunch of hypocrites? I'm leaning toward that hypothesis, since the Sierra Club is all over the map on the issue of eminent domain for energy projects, as pointed out by an Arkansas landowner.
The eminent domain issue has become a key point of contention between Pilgrim and the Sierra Club. An attorney for the Sierra Club has said that Pilgrim has no rights of eminent domain because it is a private company and not formally designated as a utility by the Board of Public Utilities.
On the other side are landowners who see the power lines marching across their land as more big government intrusion into their lifestyles and even interfering with their livelihoods.
Additional arguments against construction of the lines are possible health effects, and the fact that the entities proposing the construction are private companies.
It seems strange an argument against private industry would be made. The United States to a very large degree operates that way. It’s capitalism, right?
Rights of way must be secured for these power line projects private or otherwise, just as any project in the public interest such as a toll road or a railway. Fair market price must be paid for any property taken for rights of way.