Cape Wind Denied Subsea Cable Permit Extension

Cape Wind Associates will not get a two-year extension on its permits for two underwater power lines in Nantucket Sound, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board decided on Wednesday.

The final decision follows the board's recommendation that the permits should not be extended by May 2017, as earlier requested by Cape Wind Associates.

The board justified the decision by saying that the 468MW offshore wind project is unlikely to enter construction phase by mid-2017, especially following Cape Wind's loss of two major contracts with National Grid and Eversource Energy in 2015.

Cape Wind Associates is disappointed with the decision, and the company will apply for a new set of permits, a company spokesman was cited as saying.

Cape Wind Associates obtained the commercial lease to construct and operate the wind farm in October 2010. The project will consist of up to 130 Siemens 3.6MW wind turbine generators. The electricity generated from the project could provide about 75 percent of the electricity demand for Cape Cod and the Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

The lease area is comprised of approximately 46 square miles in Nantucket Sound, 25 square miles of which make up the project footprint area on Horseshoe Shoal. The lease includes a 5-year site assessment term and a 28-year operations term.

Back in February 2015, the developer submitted a request for a two-year suspension of the operations term of its commercial lease, which was approved by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in July 2015. No construction or installation activities related to the commercial lease may occur during the lease suspension period which expires in July 2017.

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