Cape Wind developer mum on project

His comments suggest wind farm is not dead

THE DEVELOPER OF the troubled Cape Wind project quoted Mark Twain on Wednesday, saying reports of his death are greatly exaggerated.  But he had very little to say about efforts to get the project back on track after the state’s two leading utilities terminated their contracts to purchase the wind power.

“We’re examining our options and I can’t really get into anymore at this point. I’m sorry, I just can’t,” said Jim Gordon, the president of Cape Wind.

Cape Wind was dealt what many consider a death blow in early January when the state’s two largest utilities canceled their power purchase contracts with the proposed wind farm after it failed to meet several deadlines. At the time, Cape Wind said it had invoked a force majeure class in the contracts, barring them from being terminated because of events beyond the project’s control, specifically a series of lawsuits by opponents.

Gordon and Cape Wind officials have laid low ever since, but Gordon appeared on a panel yesterday at an offshore wind conference held at the Copley Plaza Hotel. He spoke enthusiastically about offshore wind, but had very little to say about his own project.

“We’re hoping that we can work with our utilities to try to resolve our problem,” he said. He declined to say whether the utilities have been responsive or whether the matter will end up in court. “We’re just hoping we can resolve things and stay on track,” he said.

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Bruce Mohl

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About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

During the panel discussion, Gordon noted that the state’s two largest utilities, Eversource Energy (the former NStar and Northeast Utilities) and National Grid, are now pushing natural gas pipeline infrastructure expansion and looking to import hydroelectricity from Canada.  Gordon suggested it was unusual to let transmission companies such as Eversource and National Grid drive the debate about the region’s energy solutions. “We absolutely need diversity but we really have to think about whether we want transmission driving the ultimate generation solutions,” he said.

Michael Durand, a spokesman for Eversource, said the utility has held no meetings with Gordon or Cape Wind officials since the power purchase contract was terminated.