Cape Wind won’t secure financing this year, delaying construction

Offshore wind developer Cape Wind will not secure all financing for its Nantucket Sound wind farm by the end of 2014 as previously planned, it said today.

Instead, the project is hoping to do so by the end of the first quarter 2015, project spokesman Mark Rodgers wrote in an email.

He would not comment further on the financial status of the planned first-in-the-nation offshore wind farm, simply saying, “We are moving forward.”

Cape Wind had expected to begin construction of its 130-turbine, 468-megawatt project in January 2015. While Rodgers confirmed Cape Wind will begin building the project next year, he said a precise construction schedule will not be announced until after financing closes.

The latest cost estimate for the project, made by the state of Massachusetts in 2010, was $2.6 billion.

In July, the offshore wind developer said it had secured $1.45 billion in financing, including a $150 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.

That loan guarantee was almost scrapped by House Republicans in July when they approved an energy and water appropriations bill. The loan was saved under the $1 trillion spending bill signed by President Obama this week, which did not jeopardize the loan but instead requires DOE to provide quarterly reports through fiscal 2016 about litigation risks associated with the loan (Greenwire, Dec. 10).

Other investments made public so far include $600 million from the Export Bank of Denmark; $200 million in mezzanine debt from PensionDanmark; and $400 million in commercial debt from a combination of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Natixis and Rabobank.

The project has already secured 15-year-long power purchase agreements with National Grid PLC and NSTAR.

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