United States

United States

Cape Wind suffers further setback

UNITED STATES: Cape Wind Associates has ended its two-year $4.5 million lease for port facilities in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Cape Wind would have been a key tenant for the Marine Commerce Terminal, America's first facility designed to handle the heavy loads associated with offshore wind projects. The terminal is almost built.

The developer and Massachusetts Clean Energy Centre (MassCEC) agreed to end their agreement, said a spokeswoman for MassCEC, a clean energy development agency.

Cape Wind was to use the 28 acres for staging its 468MW Cape Wind offshore project, off Massachusetts.

The lease — announced in September — required Cape Wind to complete its project financing, which it has not been able to do.

"Cape Wind is not able to use this facility this year due to the utilities' wrongful announcement of PPA terminations in January," said a Cape Wind spokesman.

National Grid and Northeast Utilities' NStar – now called Eversource Energy — had ended their power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 77.5% of Cape Wind's output because of the financing, and because Cape Wind had not started construction or posted collateral.

Cape Wind is fighting the PPA terminations. The project, which has faced relentless lawsuits by well-funded opponents, appears to be in disarray.

The developer had also pulled out of leasing land for staging in Rhode Island, and has been terminated from New England's wholesale electricity markets.

The project's misfortunes are in sharp contrast to the 30MW Block Island project off of Rhode Island, which has just announced it has completed financing. 

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