Cape Wind and National Grid have entered into negotiations for an agreement to purchase electricity generated by the proposed offshore wind project in Nantucket Sound, reports The Cape Codder.
It is expected that the power purchase agreement (PPA) will boost Cape Wind’s financing prospects to build the 130-turbine project off the coast of Cape Cod, reports the local newspaper. The agreement still has a few hurdles to overcome before it’s finalized including the approval of processes and final agreement by the Department of Utilities, according to the article.
The project also has the support of several key Massachusetts officials, who have been urging President Obama for federal approval of the Cape Wind project before next week’s climate talks Copenhagen, reports The Boston Globe.
The office of Governor Deval Patrick, D-Mass. said the PPA is critical for financing the proposed offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound, in order to start construction and operation in time to qualify for federal incentives, which would reduce the cost of the project by 30 percent, reports North American Wind Power.
Governor Patrick has set a goal of generating 2,000 megawatts of wind-power capacity in the state by 2020, reports The Boston Globe. Currently, there are 15.1 megawatts.
Currently, National Grid supplies electricity to Nantucket and a few other communities in Massachusetts but not to any other Cape Cod communities, according to The Cape Codder.
There are still obstacles to overcome. As an example, opponents to the project say customers will pay the price with higher electricity costs. According to the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, electricity costs will increase, citing an estimate from the Federal Minerals and Management Service that pegs the increase at double the current rate, reports The Cape Codder.
Also, Native Americans from Cape Cod and the Islands, who oppose the project, have asked the National Park Service to determine whether Nantucket Sound is eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic places, reports The Boston Globe.