Last week, the Cape Wind offshore wind farm was approved by the federal government, but there were still some unknowns left to deal with, a major one being who would buy the power the wind farm generated. Today, that part has at least partially been decided, with Massachusetts utility National Grid agreeing to purchase half of the power starting in 2013.
Under the contract, National Grid will buy the electricity at 20.7 cents per kWh, which will lead to an increase of only about $1.59 per month on its customers energy bills.
The contract is a win-win for National Grid and Cape Wind. The agreement is enough for the wind farm to start securing financing and investors and the electricity being purchased will equal three percent of the utility's total load -- a big step towards a state requirement to get 15 percent of their total electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
The project is set to be completed by the end of 2012, but there are still other hurdles to clear: more purchase agreements are needed, many lawsuits have been filed to halt the project and lots of red tape lays ahead to build the wind farm.
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