A federal appellate court has overturned a lower court ruling to dismiss a lawsuit against purchase power between Massachusetts’ utility and Cape Wind offshore wind energy project.
In May, U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns ruled against an allegation that the state illegally pressured a utility company to buy power from the $2.6 billion offshore project.
However, the three-judge panel concluded the suit against Massachusetts officials was not barred by the Eleventh Amendment, which deals with each state’s sovereign immunity.
According to the initial agreement Northeast Utilities’ subsidiary NStar signed to acquire a quarter of the electricity produced by the 468MW wind farm while National Grid agreed to buy half.
The project was dealt a harsh blow in January this year when National Grid and NStar decided to terminate the power purchase agreement as the wind farm developer failed to meet the deadline to obtain financing and begin construction by the end of 2014.
Cape Wind has secured all required permits and was expected to begin construction in 2015 after it completes its financing.