Chatham's Jay Cashman wants to build the Cape Wind project
His great grandfather built the Provincetown Monument
By Walter Brooks
In two front page stories, one in today's Cape Cod Times and another last month in the Patriot Ledger, one of the country's preeminent builders is said to be vying to build the 130 turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound.
According to the story, the owner of the company, Jay Cashman, has already given Cape Wind Associates estimates for the ambitious offshore project whose total cost may exceed a billion dollars when completed.
Cape Wind recently engaged Lehman Brothers Inc. to finance the project and has an agreement with General Electric to provide the 130 turbines.
The Lehman financing is being managed by Theodore Roosevelt IV, grandson of the 26th President of the United States, who has a home on the Vineyard. It must be serendipity that President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone for Provincetown's Pilgrim Monument which Jay Cashman's great-grandfather's company built nearly a hundred years ago.
General Electric is another major player in the project and will hire hundreds to build the turbines in either Quincy, MA or Quanset, RI. Jack Welch, he company's C.E.O. for 40 years, is quoted this week in The Times of London as saying, "The rising price of oil is another topic that Welch expects to have to address. Some Europeans might be surprised by his take on the energy problem. He begins by talking about wind power and the increasingly vocal anti-wind farm environmentalists in the US. â??Americans complain that the environment is a cost.
"Off the coast of Massachusetts, Senator (Edward) Kennedy, the great Liberal of America and conservationist, is fighting against the wind farm because it ruins his view when heâ??s sailing. Yet they still keep driving their SUVs. Now you canâ??t have that and not want to drill in Alaska. Until the lines (for petrol) get long and the politicians are dealt with in an aggressive action, you wonâ??t get a reaction.â? He says that GEâ??s decision to invest huge sums in wind farms is one of the best bets the company has made since he left.
This marks another significant step forward
When major players like Jay Cashman and Lehman Brothers get involved in something, it usually indicates that the die is cast. Nothing new or significant happens in America until and unless the big money gets a piece of it.
Lehman, General Electric and Cashman are all "big money" players.
According to the Cashman web site, his construction company is well equipped to handle an innovation like America's first offshore wind farm. Mr. Cashman has homes in Falmouth and Chatham.
While no one has built an offshore wind farm on this side of the Atlantic yet, Cashman's recent work seems to make his company a good choice for Cape Wind Associates.
According to a story in last month's Patriot Ledger Mr. Cashman is a strong advocate of both the project and renewable energy.
In the story Mr. Cashman is quoted as saying, â??â??Personally, I believe that America needs to have a renewable strategy, because obviously most of the oil in the world is in places where it's politically turbulent, and quite frankly, I don't think the folks over there like us too much.''
Referring to the Middle East he added, â??â??I find it troubling that we continue to send them wheelbarrows full of money and they send us bombs.''
Cashman has already been selected to build a single wind turbine at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne. That turbine will be built next spring and will be the company's first wind project - the first of many, Cashman hopes.
The Ledger reported that Cashman has little patience with the projects' critics, which include Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, and he disagrees with predictions that Cape Wind will ruin views and threaten marine life.
â??â??How can somebody be against not polluting the environment? '' he said. â??â??It's ridiculous that some of the richest people in the country are more concerned about their views than they are fighting our foes economically.''
A large local reputation, projects presently total over a $1 billion
Jay Cashman, Inc. is one of the largest and most respected contracting firms in the Northeast U.S. It has built a reputation for high level technical capabilities, expert project management, and consistent performance. His teams routinely work in demanding environments which entail completing complex and technically challenging work.
According to industry sources their success lies in Cashman's ability to master highly complicated logistics with systematic precision. The company currently has more than 25 sole and joint venture construction projects underway with a total value in excess of $1 billion. Among these are some of the largest and most complex construction projects ever undertaken in the United States. Cashman teams are today working on multi-phase projects that involve state-of-the-art technology and unprecedented engineering challenges of which the Cape Wind Farm project will simply be another chapter.
Building the Pilgrim Monument was a lot harder for his grandfather.