Cape Wind Fights Back
Cape Wind Associates has filed a court appeal against the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board’s decision not to extend the company’s permit for two subsea cables that would connect a 468MW offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound to the mainland.
The board decided not to extend the permit by May 2017 based on the developer’s inability to demonstrate that the project will enter construction phase by mid-2017, adding that the construction was likely to be postponed further after Cape Wind lost key contracts with National Grid and Eversource Energy back in 2015.
The appeal, filed to the state’s Supreme Judicial Court, calls for reversal of the board’s decision.
Cape Wind Associates argues that the board’s decision not to approve a two-year permit extension was ”based on errors of law” and was ”made upon unlawful procedures.” The developer also said that the decision is ”unsupported by substantial evidence and lacks requisite subsidiary findings.”
In its appeal, Cape Wind Associates claim that in reaching the decision to deny the permit extension, the board overstepped its authority and interfered with the United States Bureau of Offshore Energy Management’s (BOEM) exclusive federal authority, as the project is located in federal waters and is ”outside of the boundaries and regulatory jurisdiction of the Commonwealth.”
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 covers 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.
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.
Offshore WIND Staff