The large and controversial Cape Wind offshore wind farm project, only approved to appear off the coast of Massachusetts last week by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and subject to possible lawsuits to block it from implementation, already looks to have netted a big utility customer – National Grid, a large scale electricity provider in the Northeast.
National Grid said on Monday it will file a contract with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to buy clean power from Cape Wind once it comes online by the end of 2012. This contract, subject to approval by the DPU, would find the utility purchasing “50 percent of the wind farm’s output including electricity, renewable energy certificates (RECs), and other potential market attributes for 20.7 cents per kilowatt hour.” In terms of cost to its millions of customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, this is said to translate into “a total monthly bill increase of $1.59, roughly two percent per month, for a typical residential customer who uses 500 kWh per month.”
National Grid added it will also be filing a second contract the same day which, if approved, “would facilitate the purchase of the remaining 50 percent by another party or parties.” The utility noted as well that it will “only be purchasing slightly more than three percent of its total electricity supply from Cape Wind.”
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