Controversial Cape Wind Project wins court's approval

19 December 2006 -- Stakeholders in the Cape Wind Project celebrated Monday after a positive ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that permits two transmission lines to be built in order to bring electricity from what would be the first U.S. offshore wind farm.

The ruling affirmed the May 2005 decision of the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (MEFSB) approving the construction and operation of undersea transmission lines to serve the Cape Wind Project.

An organization that formed to oppose Cape Wind appealed the MEFSB decision to the Court. However, the Court issued a unanimous decision in favor of Cape Wind, acknowledging the MEFSB's "eminently reasonable and practical approach" in determining that the transmission lines were needed to serve the wind farm, even though the wind farm itself will ultimately require the approval of federal agencies.

Cape Wind President Jim Gordon stated that, "the state's highest court has now confirmed the validity of the original agency decision, which said emphatically that Cape Wind's power is needed, that Cape Wind will reduce air pollution and that the project is a needed part of our state's energy mix."

"The Court unequivocally affirmed the soundness of the Siting Board's decision to approve the Cape Wind's transmission lines," stated David Rosenzweig, Counsel for Cape Wind, who argued the case before the Court on behalf of the Project.

The Court's decision will facilitate Cape Wind's efforts to secure the remaining necessary state approvals to construct and operate the controversial project.

The MEFSB approved Cape Wind's application at the conclusion of a 32-month review of unprecedented length that included 2,900 pages of transcripts, 923 exhibits and 50,000 pages of documentary evidence.

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