The proposed development has clinched a final permit from the US Environmental Protection Agency. The agency’s approval came 24 hours after the US Army Corps of Engineers issued Cape Wind a long-awaited Section 10 Permit.
The offshore project has faced years of controversy and opposition. If it keeps to schedule, it could be the US’s first offshore wind project. The company hopes to start construction this year.
Cape Wind president Jim Gordon welcomed the approvals: "The receipt of Cape Wind’s last permit approval represents a decade’s effort of our company and 17 federal and state agencies." Cape Wind will now try to secure project finance, said the company.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities in November approved Cape Wind’s power purchase contract (PPA) with National Grid.
However, the power purchase agreement (PPA) is currently being challenged by Massachusetts businesses who argue there should have been a competitive solicitation of the contract.
The contract only covers half of the 468MW project’s output. The price for the PPA is US$0.18/kWh in 2013, rising by 3.5% annually for 15 years.
Cape Wind will consist of 130 offshore wind turbines on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound off Massachusetts. It will provide most of the electricity used on Cape Cod and other nearby islands.