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Calling it a “Hail Mary” effort, a group trying to save Cape Wind’s $2.6 billion proposal to construct 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound has launched a petition drive aimed at convincing Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts, to reinstate her company’s commitment to purchase half the power produced by the wind project.
“We need National Grid to be a leader to help Massachusetts transition from fossil fuels to alternatives like Wind,” states the petition, which directly addresses Reed.
The Cambridge-based Better Future Project, a climate advocacy group with members across the state and on the Cape, is driving the effort.
“Marcy Reed has been a strong supporter of this project,” said group spokeswoman Emily Kirkland. “We feel if she sees enough public support, she might step up and do the right thing.”
The group’s initial target was to gather 1,000 signatures, but it easily surpassed that goal within 72 hours of the petition’s posting on the group’s website: www.betterfutureproject.org.
National Grid and NStar terminated their power purchase agreements earlier this month after Cape Wind failed to meet its deadline to secure financing and achieve other milestones for the project. With no one to purchase the power, the turbine project was virtually dead.
Other contracts with Cape Wind related to facilities where the turbines were to be constructed and later maintained have also fallen through, and ISO New England confirmed last week it had suspended Cape Wind from participating in the New England wholesale electricity markets because the company had not maintained a minimum amount of collateral.
When contacted, Jake Navarro, spokesman for National Grid, said he hadn’t heard of the online petition. “We’re certainly supporters of renewable energy and looking forward to future opportunities,” Navarro said. “We were disappointed Cape Wind was unwilling to meet its commitments to extend its contracts.”
Better Future Project has also planned a rally on Feb. 28, gathering hundreds of wind supporters on the Boston Common to throw “Hail Mary” passes and call on Reed “to make the winning catch and save Cape Wind.”
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