NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The first offshore wind power project in the U.S. received a key approval from the state of Massachusetts on Monday.
Cape Wind received approval from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to sign a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement with U.K.-based National Grid. National Grid will be buying Cape Wind's energy, capacity and renewable energy credits under the terms of the PPA.
It's been a nine-year battle for Cape Wind against the political establishment in Massachusetts and elite elements of Martha' Vineyard, including the Kennedy clan. Cape Wind president Jim Gordon said in a statement on Monday afternoon, "Today's approval validates that Cape Wind is a good value delivering clean energy without all of the associated costs of fossil fuels. This long-term contract not only secures an abundant, inexhaustible clean energy resource but protects consumers from rising fossil fuel and environmental compliance costs."
Cape Wind and National Grid announced their intention to sign the PPA in May.The U.S. terrestrial wind market has had one of its worst years on record in 2010, with companies like Broadwind Energy (BWEN - Get Report) seeing their stock value dive and once-heralded initial public offering candidates like First Wind find the market conditions to be choppy. Meanwhile, U.S. companies with a focus on selling into overseas wind power markets, have fared better, such as American Superconductor (AMSC - Get Report), which sells wind equipment to Asian wind market companies.
(GE - Get Report) setting their sights on the U.K. opportunity.
(SI) has opened its North American Offshore Wind office in Boston because of Cape Wind, the company said in its statement announcing the regulatory approval. Earlier this fall, Google (GOOG) announced an ambitious plan to fund the development of an offshore wind power electricity transmission system.