OffShore Wind Project Approved for Cape Wind
The Department of Public Utilities approved the first ever United States offshore wind power contract between National Grid and Cape Wind. The 15 year contract approved the Massachusetts based facility at 18.7 center per kilowatt-hour in 2013, which will rise by 3.5 percent over the period of contract.
“This contract fulfills a statutory mandate under the Green Communities Act to facilitate the development of renewable energy generation, and it does so with strong protections for ratepayers,” said DPU Chair Ann Berwick. “It is abundantly clear that the Cape Wind facility offers significant benefits that are not currently available from any other renewable resource, and that these benefits outweigh the costs of the project.
"Not only does the contract support the largest renewable energy project proposed in New England, it provides protection for consumers against the volatility of fossil fuel prices for a portion of electricity purchases. We are fully persuaded that if Massachusetts is to meet its statutory renewables and greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements, offshore wind, and Cape Wind in particular, will have to be part of the mix.”
Those opposed to this contract have focused on the price differences from onshore wind projects like the one in Maine’s Kibby Mountain, which sets the price at less than 11 cents per kWh. However, the 25 year power purchase project was only partially approved, as the Department of Public Utilities claimed the companies were not clearly identifying a utility to buy the power in their initial proposal.
The prices weren’t a concern of the DPU, who indicated that electrical markets fluctuate for customers, and offshore wind turbines would reduce any possibility.