Skip to Main Content
December 02, 2010
Approval of Power Purchase Agreement Between National Grid and Cape Wind Relies on Brattle Analysis and Expert Testimony

Jurgen Weiss, Judy Chang, and Mark Sarro, principals in Brattle’s Cambridge, MA office, provided independent economic analysis and expert testimony in National Grid’s petition to enter into an amended power purchase agreement (amended PPA or PPA-1) with Cape Wind. The petition was approved on November 22, 2010 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). Under the agreement, National Grid will purchase energy, capacity, and renewable energy certificates (RECs) representing 50 percent of the potential capacity of the Cape Wind project, a wind energy generating facility of up to 468 MW that will be located offshore of Massachusetts. The Brattle Group was engaged by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office to provide expert testimony based on a critical review and analysis of the amended PPA. As part of this work, Weiss, Chang, and Sarro compared the costs that were likely to be incurred by National Grid ratepayers under this contract with the costs of other offshore wind projects in the U.S. and Europe. They also estimated the overall cost savings to ratepayers from the amended PPA relative to a PPA originally negotiated between National Grid and Cape Wind. The DPU approved the amended PPA based substantially on Brattle’s economic analysis and expert testimony. In reference to Brattle’s analysis, the decision states, “The various analyses performed by the Attorney General and Cape Wind demonstrate that the price terms of PPA-1 are reasonable compared to proposed offshore wind projects in the United States and to existing and proposed offshore wind projects abroad.” The DPU decided that the benefits of the Cape Wind project are unique and outweigh the costs. Those benefits include reduced greenhouse gas emissions required by the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 and assistance in meeting the renewable energy requirements of the Green Communities Act. The DPU concluded that the greenhouse gas emission mandates are “unlikely to be met without the Cape Wind contract and the associated emissions reductions from the project.” The DPU press release and the full text of the decision are available at the DPU website.