Cape Wind gets DPU approval NStar deal
After proceedings that spanned eight months, the state Department of Public Utilities has approved a 15-year power purchase deal between NSTAR Electric and Cape Wind, a ruling that the offshore wind farm project says will help it secure additional financing, the State House News service reported.
According to Cape Wind, the power purchase agreement is for 27.5 percent of Cape Wind's power; the project has a separate agreement with National Grid to buy 50 percent of the project's power. In a statement, Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said, "We are very pleased with the favorable reception we have been experiencing from the financial community and this approval of our PPA with NSTAR will further help Cape Wind secure financing and deliver all of the public benefits this important project will provide."
Project supporters view it as a source of jobs and abundant renewable energy while critics of the project say it's targeted for an inappropriate location in Nantucket Sound and will lead to higher energy prices compared to other sources. According to the DPU, the benefits of the contract exceed its costs and the agreement provides adequate protections for ratepayers.
In a statement, DPU chairman Ann Berwick said the contract will help the state meet statutory renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission goals. "This contract supports the largest renewable energy project proposed in New England while providing protections to consumers against the volatility of fossil fuel prices," Berwick said. The contract sets a base price at 18.7 cents per kilowatt hour for 2013, rising 3.5 percent annually, with upward and downward price adjustments allowed based on contingencies. DPU estimates the contract is expected to increase the typical residential NSTAR bill by $1.16 per month.