Cape Wind says it plans to start discussions with banks to structure a debt and equity funding package supporting the construction of its $1 billion, 420 megawatts offshore wind farm next month. That’s when�the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is expected to approve Cape Wind’s power purchase agreement with National Grid.
UPDATE: A DPU spokesman in Boston tells G.E.R. that the agency is working to meet the November 15th deadline, which he points out,� is a deadline Cape Wind requested.
Approving the National Grid PPA next month would allow Cape Wind to apply for key stimulus funds, like 1603 cash grants, which are all set to expire at the end of this year.
“We’re cautiously optimistic that [the DPU] they will approve the contract,” Cape Wind Communications Director Mark Rodgers tells G.E.R. He adds that� it “will move quickly” to secure financing once its PPA is approved by the DPU.
Cape Wind, which has hired�Barclays Capital as a financial adviser, has been�talking to project finance banks for a while now. The banks, which Rodgers declined to name, are on standby,� waiting for the DPU decision before committing further to the project.
As G.E.R. previously reported Cape Wind parent company, Boston-based Energy Management, is also looking to sell an equity stake in the project. “Discussions are ongoing,” says Rodgers, declining to name potential investors.
Yesterday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for the area off Cape Cod that will house the power plant.