Cape Wind edges ahead after PPA victory

UNITED STATES: National Grid US is free to buy power from the proposed Cape Wind offshore wind farm, after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on 28 December upheld a disputed power purchase agreement (PPA).

A computer-generated representation of the Cape Wind project
The deal was challenged by the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound on the grounds that it would result in much higher electricity prices than other renewable-energy options. "The benefits of PPA-1 outweighed its costs," said Massachusetts’ Justice Margot Botsford, siding up with an earlier decision by the Department of Public Utilities that the 15-year PPA should stand.

The Alliance’s president and CEO Audra Parker called the ruling "a blow to ratepayers, businesses and municipalities" and maintained that the Cape Wind project would never be built.

Cape Wind president Jim Gordon said the ruling was a "big boost" for the 130-turbine project, which has had a decade-long gestation period and is to be located 4-11 miles offshore from Cape Cod in the Atlantic Ocean. However, with a buyer still to be found for the remaining 50% of its output, its future remains uncertain.