- Cape Wind, the proposed $2.5 billion, 468 MW wind project planned for Nantucket Sound, encountered a new setback in its bid to be the first U.S. utility-scale offshore wind installation when National Grid and Northeast Utilities terminated contracts for the purchase of 77.5% of Cape Wind’s generation.
- National Grid holds a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 50% of the project’s output and Northeast Utilities subsidiary NStar holds a PPA for 27.5% of Cape Wind’s electricity. Both said Cape Wind had failed to obtain financing and begin construction or put up financial collateral by December 31, 2014, as required in the 2012 contracts.
- Cape Wind President James Gordon wrote the utilities on Dec. 31 asking them not to void the contracts. The “extended, unprecedented, and relentless” obstructive litigation from the William Koch-backed Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, Gordon wrote, make extension of the deadlines allowable under the contracts' terms.
Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound President Audra Parker called the utilities’ actions “a fatal or near-fatal blow” and “very bad news for Cape Wind, but very good news for Massachusetts ratepayers.”
“We do not regard these PPA terminations as valid due to the Force Majeure provision of the contracts that extends the milestone dates,” wrote Cape Wind Communications Director Mark Rodgers to Utility Dive. “It would be a travesty if delays caused by an interest group funded by one of the Koch brothers could stop a project that would make Massachusetts a leader in offshore wind, create good jobs, and help mitigate climate change. We are determined to supply our power to this supply-constrained region and that we will pursue every option available.”
Massachusetts is proceeding with a New Bedford marine commerce terminal expected to make the region a center of future offshore wind development.