United States

United States

Cape Wind looks to RI for staging lease

UNITED STATES: Cape Wind is looking to lease an area of a Rhode Island port facility to be used for staging and construction of the 468MW offshore project.

The Cape Wind project could begin construction next year
The Cape Wind project could begin construction next year

The board of directors at the Quonset Business Park at the Port of Davisville will meet later today to vote on the proposal, which will see Cape Wind obtain a 12-month option-to-lease deal for 56,656 square metres of the port area.

A spokesperson from Cape Wind said the developer was "optimistic" the board would approve the plans. If consent is given, Cape Wind will have 12 months to decide whether to use the lease.

The spokesperson said the company was also considering a port area in New Bedford, Massachusetts for staging and manufacturing of the 130 Siemens 3.6MW turbines.

The project, located in the Nantucket Sound, 8.3 kilometres from the coastline in northeast USA, is still in the financing stage. The Cape Wind spokesperson told Windpower Monthly the developer was confident financing would be achieved by the end of the year, which could mean offshore construction starting in 2015.

In 2012, the company bought a marina in Falmouth, Massachusetts to be used as an operations and maintenance base.

The Cape Wind project is set to become one of the United States' first offshore wind project. But it has repeatedly come up against legal challenges by anti-wind group, Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.

Last week, they hired highly respected, constitutional lawyer Laurence Tribe.

He will appeal a decision by US Federal Court that dismissed a lawsuit claiming utility NSTAR was forced to buy the electricity from Cape Wind at a higher cost than buying from lower cost power generators from outside of Massachusetts. Campaigners claim this contravenes the US Constitution.

Cape Wind said they were "not concerned" who the lawyer was. The company believes the "facts are on our side" and are confident the dismissal of the lawsuit will be upheld.

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