Cape Wind Associates, the company behind the 130-turbine wind farm to be built in Nantucket Sound, are urging Massachusetts regulators to require that a merger between NStar and Connecticut-based Northeast Utilities include a condition to buy 50 percent of the power generated by the offshore wind project.
“Think big,’’ said Dennis Duffy, vice president of Cape Wind Associates, who last week filed a letter to the state Department of Public Utilities asking officials to make NStar and Northeast Utilities purchase “the remaining output of the CWA project.’’
Other groups watching the case, including the state Department of Energy Resources and the nonprofit Conservation Law Foundation, made similar entreaties, asking regulators to compel the utility companies to enter a long-term contract to buy electricity from a wind farm.
Cape Wind has been on the hunt for more customers since National Grid, one of the state’s largest utilities, agreed more than a year ago to purchase half of Cape Wind’s power. Securing another customer would cement Cape Wind’s viability, and help attract investors who can finance the wind farm’s construction. Many have long viewed NStar as the most likely candidate.
NStar spokeswoman Caroline Allen said the utilities plan to respond to all the recent filings and recommendations about the merger by next week, as required by the state. The deal would create a $17.5 billion energy company serving nearly 3.5 million customers.
“We would hope that any decision on Cape Wind would not affect any decision on our merger,’’ Allen said.
Mark Rodgers, a spokesman for Cape Wind, said the company has been working to sell the other half of its project’s power but declined to go into detail.
The project, which some estimate will cost more than $2.5 billion, went through years of opposition and legal battles before winning federal approval last year. US officials approved a construction and operations plan for the wind farm earlier this year.