Cape Wind, the first offshore wind farm ever approved in the U.S., today passed another major milestone with the approval by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities of a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement with the utility, National Grid, to buy Cape Wind’s energy, capacity and renewable energy credits.
“Massachusetts is now in a position to become a global leader in offshore wind power creating thousands of new jobs and a more secure, hopeful energy future," Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said. "This long-term contract not only secures an abundant, inexhaustible clean energy resource but protects consumers from rising fossil fuel and environmental compliance costs,” Gordon continued.
The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) decision culminates a comprehensive six-month review of the project, including 13 days of evidentiary hearings with testimony from 15 witnesses, 1,362 exhibits and nearly 3,000 transcript pages.
"This is a major victory for renewable energy in the United States," said attorney Matthew Pawa, who represented one of the intervening organizations, Clean Power Now, in the DPU proceedings. "We are particularly pleased that the DPU agreed with our position that it should include in its analysis the future cost benefits of complying with the state global warming law and that it rejected the Attorney General's argument to ignore those cost benefits as speculative," Pawa said.
In its decision, the DPU wrote: “[I]t is abundantly clear that the Cape Wind facility offers significant benefits that are not currently available from any other renewable resources. We find that these benefits outweigh the costs of the project.”
Approval by the Massachusetts DPU comes on the heels of news that Cape Wind project construction will soon bring over 1,000 new manufacturing, staging, assembly, construction, and operations jobs to Massachusetts.
"National Grid recognizes that as a public utility, we need to facilitate these important renewable projects while maintaining a focus on minimizing the cost to our customers," said National Grid President Tom King when the utility first announced its intention to purchase the Cape Wind output in December of 2009.