Offshore Industry News

It’s Official: Cape Wind Relinquishes Lease

Once well-positioned to become the nation's first off-shore wind farm, Cape Wind has given up on trying to develop a 46-square mile site in Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts, and relinquished its federal lease, according to the Cape Cod Times.

"Cape Wind has confirmed to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that it has ceased development of its proposed offshore wind farm project in Nantucket Sound and has filed to terminate its offshore wind development lease that was issued in 2010," Cape Wind vice president Dennis Duffy told the Times.

The project was dealt a major setback in January 2015, when Eversource and National Grid ended those contracts to buy power from the turbines, and again in 2016 when the state Energy Facilities Siting Board declined to extend permits for the project that had originally been issued in 2009, the Times reported.

Opponents had argued the project was a danger to navigation, marine life, birds and the local economy. Proponents argued it was necessary to help combat climate change, would create jobs and would launch the country’s offshore wind energy industry.

“During Cape Wind’s development period we successfully developed over a billion dollars of renewable solar and biomass energy projects and, although we were unable to bring Cape Wind to fruition, we are proud of the catalyzing and pioneering effort we devoted to bringing offshore wind to the United States,” Cape Wind president James Gordon said in a statement included in the email.

Though the Cape Wind project had been financially dead for almost three years, opponents worried that lease-holders might eventually revive the project. These latest developments end that possibility. Opponents of the project celebrated the decision to cease development:

In statement on their website, Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, said, “16 years ago a coalition of business and political leaders, Cape Cod and Island communities, Native Americans and fishermen, pilots and environmental advocates – all stood united to say no to a massive private development that would have ruined the national treasure that is Nantucket Sound. Today, I am thrilled to say that fight to stop Cape Wind is finally over.”

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