The beleaguered 468MW Cape Wind offshore project received another blow this week after a court overturned a ruling.
A US Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling that dismissed a lawsuit over one of the project’s power-purchase agreements.
Utility NStar (now Eversource) in 2012 agreed to buy 27.5% of the output at above-market rates in return for approval of a merger with Northeast Utilities.
Project opponents, including the Town of Barnstable, advocacy group Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, businesses and individuals, claimed Massachusetts violated the US constitution by engineering the PPA. A District Court judge dismissed the lawsuit, ruling the state has sovereign immunity.
This week, the appeals court said that decision was in error. It sent the case back to the lower court for the suit to proceed.
The project in Nantucket Sound remains in serious trouble after NStar and National Grid cancelled PPAs totaling 77.5% of the output.
Cape Wind has maintained the contracts remain valid, however it has been unable to secure financing and has cancelled port facility leases.