The last regulatory hurdle for the start of construction of the first U.S. offshore wind project was overcome today with the approval by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) of the 15-year Power Purchase Agreement with National Grid to buy half of Cape Wind's energy, capacity and renewable energy credits.
However, the DPU did not approve a second agreement for the other 50 percent of the project's power. That agreement would have allowed National Grid to assign the remaining portion of Cape Wind's power to another customer under the same financial terms. The DPU's refusal could hurt Cape Wind as the company seeks financing for the proposed 130 turbine project.
Today’s decision culminates a comprehensive six-month review of unprecedented scope, including 13 days of evidentiary hearings.
This approval comes on the heels of significant Cape Wind project announcements that locate the creation of over 1,000 new manufacturing, staging, assembly, construction, and operations jobs in Massachusetts. In addition, Siemens has opened its North American Offshore Wind office in Boston because of Cape Wind.
Cape Wind will be rated to produce up to 468 megawatts of wind power with 130 turbines each producing up to 3.6 megawatts. Maximum expected production will be 454 megawatts. Average expected production will be 170 megawatts which is almost 75 percent of the 230 megawatt average electricity demand for Cape Cod and the Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
Cape Wind will be 5.2 miles from Point Gammon, a private island in South Yarmouth, 5.6 miles from Cotuit, 6.5 miles from Craigville Beach on Cape Cod. Cape Wind will be 9.3 miles from Oak Bluffs and 13.8 miles from the town of Nantucket. Cape Wind will be farther away from the nearest home than any other electricity generation facility in Massachusetts.
Photo credit: Cape Wind
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