A big step closer to reality for Cape Wind?

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By: SGN Staff

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The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) approved a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement between Cape Wind and NSTAR Electric this week giving the offshore wind farm off the Massachusetts coast critical momentum in its quest for project financing.

 

Cape Wind's history over the years reads like a hard luck novel. In the nine years before the Interior Department signed off on the project in October 2010, the company has experienced stalled loan guarantees, lawsuits, years of jumping through regulatory hoops and a constant barrage of very loud and very well-financed opposition from the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, a local group.

 

So this week's agreement had to be more than welcome news for the company. Under the terms of the agreement, NSTAR will buy 27.5% of Cape Wind's generated power, capacity and renewable energy credits, according to a company news release. Other sources say that among agreement conditions are that project construction must start by December 31, 2013 and be ready for commercial operation two years later – although there are specific options for extensions.

 

Late last year the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld the DPU's approval of a similar agreement with National Grid to buy 50% of Cape Wind's power.

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