James Montgomery, Associate Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com
March 21, 2013 | 9 Comments
New Hampshire, USA -- One of the final steps for the Cape Wind offshore wind project in Massachusetts is being made with the signing of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) to arrange debt financing. BTMU itself is pitching in "a significant amount of debt capital" that will go toward development and construction costs. (Barclays will continue to advise Cape Wind, while the group and BTMU nail down the rest of the needed financing.)
"Obtaining financing is one of the last steps to complete before proceeding with the construction of the project," stated Jim Gordon, president of Cape Wind. Financing should be finalized, and construction commenced, by the end of this year. Interior secretary Ken Salazar recently expressed confidence that the project approvals will be upheld and the project will go forward.
Cape Wind is the first proposed offshore wind project in the U.S., and like most trailblazers has been an ongoing saga of promise, commitment, and controversy at nearly every turn. For every faction offering support, there has been equal pushback from opponents. There's even a documentary about it.
"We have been impressed with Cape Wind's dedication and perseverance in moving this clean energy project through the regulatory and development process, and are glad to be able to assist this financing," said Takaki Sakai, Project Finance Director of BTMU.
Cape Wind says it has secured all if its federal and state permits and a 25-year commercial lease from the U.S. Department of Interior. Nearly 78 percent of its power output is committed in 15-year power purchase agreements (PPA) with National Grid and NSTAR, the state's two largest electric utilities. A marina on Cape Cod will be purchased to house maintenance and operations.
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 isn't the only offshore wind proposal in the U.S. The Mid-Atlantic region could be a major source of offshore wind-produced energy, with support from both New Jersey and Maryland. And North Carolina is receiving proposals for offshore wind projects too.
Lead image: Massachusetts state road map, via Shutterstock