Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Upholds PPA Cape Wind and National Grid (USA)
In a major legal victory for Cape Wind, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in two decisions unanimously upheld the long term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between Cape Wind and National Grid.
“This decision provides a big boost for creating up to 1,000 jobs and providing Massachusetts with cleaner air, greater energy independence and a leadership position in offshore wind power,” said Jim Gordon, President of Cape Wind.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reviewed the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) decision to approve the PPA between Cape Wind and National Grid and found that:
“In sum, our review of the record indicates that there was clearly sufficient evidence of which the department could base its conclusion that the special benefits of PPA-1 exceeded those of other renewable energy resources, and we uphold the department’s conclusion that approval of the contract was in the public interest.”
The Court also noted the DPU’s finding that Cape Wind would lower regional energy costs through “price suppression,” described as “the reduction of wholesale energy market clearing prices that results from the addition of low-cost generation resources.”
The DPU carefully reviewed the Cape Wind PPA during a five month adjudicatory proceeding involving twenty two different parties. Supporters and opponents of the PPA made their case and called witnesses. In the end, the DPU concluded that:
“The evidence in this proceeding makes it clear that the Cape Wind project offers unique benefits relative to the other renewable resources available. In particular, the project’s combination of size, location, capacity factor, advanced stage of permitting, and advanced stage of development is unmatched by any other renewable resource in the region for the foreseeable future. This combination of benefits will significantly enhance the ability of National Grid to achieve renewables and greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements.”
Offshore WIND staff, December 29, 2011; Image: capewind