Barnstable’s Lawsuit in Cape Wind Case to Go Back to District Court

windfarmBARNSTABLE – A lawsuit by opponents of the Cape Wind project is going back to court.

The town of Barnstable, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound and others claimed that a power purchase agreement between Cape Wind and Eversource Energy, formerly NStar, was unconstitutional.

An appeals court ruled this week that District Court Judge Richard Stearns should not have dismissed the case.

Barnstable’s Assistant Town Attorney Charlie McLaughlin said, “The Court of Appeals accepted the town’s argument that the district court was incorrect in saying that this action was barred by the 11th Amendment.”

The 11th Amendment prohibits citizens from suing a state in federal court for past actions.

McLaughlin, says the contracts should not be looked at as past actions.

“Our allegations have been that everything is prospective, that the NStar contract and all the state action involved with it is future looking and not retrospective,” he said.

The original lawsuit contends that state officials pressured the utility into purchasing power from Cape Wind in order for the approval of a merger with Northeast Utilities.

Eversource Energy agreed to purchase about a quarter of the energy that would have been produced from the proposed wind farm on Nantucket Sound.

The energy utility backed out of the agreement in early January after Cape Wind failed to meet December 31, 2014 funding and construction deadlines.
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