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State approves Cape Wind, NSTAR power purchase agreement

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved a 15-year power purchase agreement between NSTAR and Cape Wind, moving the project forward.

NSTAR will purchase 27.5 percent of Cape Wind’s power under the 15-year agreement approved by the state. The state’s approval removes a huge roadblock for Cape Wind to secure financing for the project.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld a similar deal between National Grid and Cape Wind in December 2011. National Grid agreed to purchase 50 percent of Cape Wind’s power.

“Taken together, these two PPAs provide Cape Wind with the critical mass to continue securing project financing,” said Theodore Roosevelt IV, Cape Wind’s Financial Advisor and Managing Director of Barclays in a press release.

The approval is a huge milestone for the 130-wind turbine project in Nantucket Sound. “This decision helps secure the position of Massachusetts as the U.S. leader in offshore wind power, launching a new industry that will create jobs, increase energy independence and promote a cleaner and healthier environment,” said Cape Wind President Jim Gordon in a press release.

Even though Cape Wind will now be able to finance the project the organization is still facing five lawsuits in federal court. Opponent and President of Save Our Sound Audra Parker said the project is not a done deal. “While the decision comes as no surprise, it is alarming that the state is willing to burden Massachusetts businesses and households with billions of dollars in added utility costs for this expensive and controversial project,” Parker said.

Cape Wind would be the first offshore wind farm in the United States.