in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

Utility NSTAR's no-bid contract to purchase electricity from the Cape Wind offshore wind farm at three times the price of competing out-of-state green energy violates federal law and would unfairly burden ratepayers, claims a new lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by the Town of Barnstable, businesses, residents and the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. The alliance notes this action is one of several pending legal challenges to the 468 MW Cape Wind project, proposed off the coast of Nantucket Island.

The new suit against Massachusetts regulators, NSTAR and Cape Wind alleges the State discriminated against out-of-state companies by pressuring NSTAR to buy power from in-state generator Cape Wind. The suit also claims Massachusetts regulators exceeded their authority in setting wholesale rates for this contract.

"This state action was illegal for two independent reasons. First, it constituted illegal discrimination in favor of an in-state business, in violation of the dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution," the suit alleges. "Second, it constituted illegal regulation of wholesale electricity sales, in violation of the Federal Power Act and the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution."

"We understand the need for green energy, but it is unfair to be forced to pay three times more for Cape Wind," says plaintiff, Joe Keller, president of Keller Company Inc.

The suit claims NSTAR sought to comply with the Massachusetts requirement that a percentage of power come from renewable sources by buying green energy that was cheaper than Cape Wind. However, the complaint alleges that state regulators refused to support NSTAR's long-sought merger with Northeast Utilities until NSTAR contracted to buy the higher priced Cape Wind power.

"According to NSTAR's own estimates, the unconstitutional NSTAR-Cape Wind contract will increase the electricity bills of NSTAR customers by nearly 1 billion dollars over the life of the contract," the suit alleges.

Audra Parker, president and CEO of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, comments, "Our case alleges that NSTAR was coerced into signing a no-bid contract that violates federal law. The State's actions are even more disturbing given the increasing availability of alternative energy available at a fraction of Cape Wind's price."



Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Canadian Wind Industry Urges For More Federal Support

The Canadian Wind Energy Association says the country's federal government, once a big industry supporter, should again back wind power.


Wind And Solar Helped California Grid During Challenging Summer

According to the California Independent System Operator, the state suffered from heat waves and drought this year, and wind power played a "significant role" in keeping the lights on.


Recapping The Wind Industry's Third-Quarter Deals

Mercom Capital Group recaps investment and merger and acquisition activity during July, August and September.


Yearly Installed Capacity Figures Already Beat 2013 Numbers, More Wind On The Way: AWEA

While the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) lobbies Congress to extend the production tax credit, the association notes wind projects now under construction signal a vibrant 2015.


Yahoo Inks Contract To Buy Kansas Wind Power

The Internet company plans to log in to the Alexander wind project, which is being built by community developer OwnEnergy.

Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015
Renewable NRG_id1934
BG 2015DblBox_id2032
Canwea_id1984