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Offshore Wind

Cape Wind, Nstar get approval of P.P.A. for 129 MW of wind power

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has approved a 15-year power purchase agreement between utility Nstar and the Cape Wind offshore wind project.

Aiming to build America’s first offshore wind farm, Cape Wind Associates L.L.C., has been working to secure both federal and community approval for the proposed 420 megawatt wind farm. (See related story.)

The approval of the P.P.A. with Nstar would help the development company secure financing needed to push through with the project. Construction has been calendared for 2015.

The Department of Public Utilities had previously approved a P.P.A. between Cape Wind and National Grid for 50 percent of Cape Wind’s power. The decision was upheld by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Based on the power purchase terms, Nstar will avail of 129 megawatts or approximately 27.5 percent of the Cape Wind facility’s estimated total output of electricity supply along with associated renewable energy credits.

Nstar said it will pay 18.7 cents per kilowatt-hour for Cape Wind power in the first year of the contract. The price can rise 3.5 percent each year under the agreement, Reuters reported.

“This decision helps secure the position of Massachusetts as the U.S. leader in offshore wind power, launching a new industry that will create jobs, increase energy independence and promote a cleaner and healthier environment,” said Cape Wind President Jim Gordon. – K. Jalbuena

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