A Race Best Not Entered
An article about Massachusetts’ race for a wind energy boom conveys the folly of Rhode Island’s own quest:
Massachusetts could soon be home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm — and state officials are hoping to use the Cape Wind project to help fuel a small but burgeoning local wind-power energy boom.
There are already more than a half-dozen companies staking out their claim to the state’s wind energy landscape, from designing better turbine blades to marketing high-tech machines that can measure wind speeds and directions from the ground.
And when the nation’s largest wind blade testing facility opens early next year on Boston’s waterfront, officials are hoping to draw even more business.
One gets the sense that Rhode Island officials believe that being the first state to enter fully into the industry grants rights to house its hub. It’s not going to work like that. There’s no wall at the border that prevents companies serving the Rhode Island wind market from setting up shop in Massachusetts… or vice versa. Indeed, companies will likely wish to serve both from the same location.
The real determining factor is not going to be which state was first in the water with an offshore farm, but which state presents a better environment in which companies can begin operations and thrive. That should be our state’s focus, and it doesn’t require special deals for particular organizations in a narrow industry.