Cape Wind Hits Yet Another Roadblock For Offshore Wind Farm

Cape Wind has hit yet another snag in what’s become a decade-long battle to build an offshore wind farm off the Massachusetts coast.

The process has taken so long that two utilities terminated their power purchase agreements (PPA) to buy the electricity, citing missed milestones on construction and financing. The project obviously hinges on the ability to sell the energy. 

"Cape Wind has been the subject of extended, unprecedented and relentless litigation by the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound that’s prevented us from achieving critical milestones under the PPA," the developer wrote to utilities National Grid and NStar, reports ReNews. The company expects to quickly overcome remaining litigation hurdles, they say. 

Cape Wind says it hopes to begin work this year on the 468 megawatt (MW) project (130 turbines).

On January 29, 12 developers will bid on four offshore leases totaling 742,000 acres in the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area. The area is further offshore than Cape Wind.

Offshore Wind - Cape Wind

Meanwhile off New Jersey’s coast, Fishermen’s Energy is breaking ground on its 25 MW pilot project, even though state regulators keep rejecting it. It had to get started by the end of 2014 before the tax credit expired as part of the Tax Extenders package. The company is appealing the state’s decision in court.

So, there’s still only one offshore wind farm that’s guaranteed to move forward, Deepwater Wind’s off Rhode Island. It begins construction this spring.

The Department of Energy is expected to soon release its Wind Vision Initiative, with a goal 35% of electricity from wind by 2050.

Read our article, Offshore Wind Leasing Area Doubles on East Coast.

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