Cape Wind today again defeated the efforts of its opponents to block the country’s first offshore wind farm. In a significant decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the FAA’s approval of the Cape Wind project, rejecting every argument that had been advanced by the project’s opponents.
“The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the Town of Barnstable and their financial backer—coal billionaire Bill Koch-- have failed yet again in their continuing campaign to use the courts to delay the financing of Cape Wind,” Cape Wind Communications Director Mark Rodgers said. “The court’s definitive decision is an important legal victory that brings America that much closer to launching its offshore wind industry, a keystone in America’s renewable energy future,” Rodgers continued.
This decision takes on even greater importance because this was the same court that had previously provided project opponents their sole and temporary relief, opponents have lost all 12 legal decisions in other courts.
On October 28, 2011 this Court had remanded the FAA’s third Determination of No Hazard (DNH) back to the FAA to better explain the rationale for its decision. On February 9, 2012, the FAA issued a Public Notice of its reinstated project review, indicating its conclusion that “None of the turbines would have an adverse effect on the use of air navigation facilities or navigable airspace.” On August 15, 2012 the FAA issued its 4th DHN which project opponents challenged, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound pronounced confidence their challenge would be successful -- this is the case decided today in favor of the FAA and Cape Wind.
Cape Wind was represented by Geraldine Edens and Christopher Marraro of BakerHostetler.
Cape Wind will be America’s first offshore wind farm and will help catalyze a domestic offshore wind industry and related supply chain. Cape Wind has sold 77 ½% of its power output in long term Power Purchase Agreements to National Grid and NSTAR, the two largest electric utilities in Massachusetts. Cape Wind has announced it is purchasing a marina on Falmouth harbor on Cape Cod to serve as its maintenance and operations facility. Cape Wind is the first U.S. offshore wind project to be fully permitted, and to have been issued a commercial lease and received approval for its Construction and Operations Plan by the U.S. Department of Interior. Cape Wind is currently in its financing phase. For more information please visit: www.capewind.org.
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Mark Rodgers, 508-237-6312