FAQs: Cape Wind and Economics

Question: How would Cape Wind impact electricity prices?

Answer: Cape Wind will have several effects on electricity prices: 1) Cape Wind will reduce the clearing price for electricity in the New England spot market by reducing operations of the regions most expensive power plants, providing more than $7 Billion dollars in savings to the New England wholesale electric market over the 25-year operating life of the project, according to a study by Charles River Associates. 2) Cape Wind will reduce the implementation costs of the Renewable Portfolio Standard to Massachusetts electricity consumers by increasing the supply of renewable energy certificates. 3) Cape Wind is selling its power in Long Term Power Purchase Agreements of 15 years to National Grid and NSTAR, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities concluded the bill increase for customers would be in the 1% to 2% range.

Question: How much fossil fuel burning will Cape Wind reduce?

Answer: Cape Wind will reduce the consumption of a combination of fossil fuels used for electricity generation in New England. While it is not possible to know in advance the exact combination of these fuels that Cape Wind will reduce, Cape Wind will provide a quantity of wind generated electricity annually equivalent to the amount of electricity that would be produced from burning 570,000 tons of coal, or 113 million gallons of oil, or 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Question: How will Cape Wind reduce New England’s dependence on imported energy sources?

Answer: Cape Wind’s supply of wind power will reduce the amount of electricity coming from more expensive fossil fuel power plants in New England. This will reduce the amount of fossil fuels being imported into, and burned, in New England. New England does not produce any of its own coal, oil or natural gas, as these fuels are all imported into New England from other regions of the US, or increasingly, from other countries.

Question: How many jobs will Cape Wind create in the region?


In the assembly, staging and ocean construction stage of the project, Cape Wind will create 600 to 1,000 jobs. Once operating, Cape Wind will create 150 permanent jobs, with at least 50 based on Cape Cod. Cape Wind will also create spinoff jobs on Cape Cod and the region. Hy-Line Cruises will be the official Eco-Tour provider and they will commission a vessel for that purpose. Hy-Line Cruises will also be working with Cape Wind to build a Cape Wind Visitors Center on their property overlooking Hyannis Harbor. Because of Cape Wind an offshore wind power 'cluster' is forming with Siemens Wind Power and E2 Management opening offices in Massachusetts.