Bad news continues to plague the $2.6 billion Cape Wind proposal to construct 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound.
ISO New England confirmed Monday that it had suspended Cape Wind from participating in the New England wholesale markets. ISO New England can’t comment on a specific participant beyond confirming the suspension, spokeswoman Marcia Blomberg wrote in an email.
“But in general, suspensions are a result of a participant not maintaining a minimum amount of collateral and/or assurance policy,” Blomberg wrote.
ISO New England is an independent, not-for-profit company authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to coordinate and direct the flow of electricity throughout the New England region, overseeing the billion dollar markets where wholesale electricity is bought and sold.
Cape Wind’s spokesman Mark Rodgers called the suspension from participation in wholesale markets irrelevant, since the wind turbines have yet to be constructed.
“Cape Wind will be qualified well in advance of coming online and actually producing energy for sale,” Rodgers wrote in an email.
The proposed offshore wind farm’s woes began Jan. 6, when NStar and National Grid announced the end of power purchase agreements with Cape Wind because the company had missed a Dec. 31 deadline for securing project financing and completing other significant milestones.
Without buyers for its energy, renewable energy experts say it will be nearly impossible for Cape Wind to secure the financing required for construction.
Cape Wind could have paid the utilities to extend the contracts, but company President James Gordon instead invoked a clause that allows for an extension of the agreements if there are unanticipated delays. Gordon cited years of litigation as the cause of the delays.
Since the pull-out by the utilities, a spokesman for Quonset Development Corporation confirmed the end of an option allowing Cape Wind to lease two properties in North Kingstown, R.I., for possible use as a staging area during turbine construction. According to Quonset spokesman Ted Kresse, Cape Wind had stopped paying for the option.
And an arrangement to buy a marina in Falmouth harbor, announced in 2012, is also off the table. The person who picked up the phone at East Marine last week said the purchase and sale agreement was terminated Dec. 31.
A $4.5 million deal to lease South Terminal in New Bedford for staging and turbine construction is still on, according to Massachusets Clean Energy Center spokeswoman Catherine Williams. The terminal, not yet completed, is owned by the quasi-public agency, which signed a two-year lease with Cape Wind.
The president and CEO of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound issued a statement when the power purchase agreements fell through earlier this month, saying “this news may finally mean the end of the long fight to save Nantucket Sound from industrialization.”
The group will now focus on seeking an end to the long-term lease with the federal government for use of 46 miles of Nantucket Sound, according to the statement.
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