Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Involving Nation’s First Offshore Wind Farm

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A lawsuit brought against National Grid in 2015 has been dismissed by a federal judge, reports ABC News.

Plaintiffs including the Rhode Island Manufacturer’s Association argued the utility’s deal to purchase power from the nation’s first offshore wind farm violated federal law and would increase electricity bills.

U.S. District Judge William Smith dismissed the case on grounds that the statute of limitations had expired before the lawsuit was filed.

The offshore wind farm is being constructed by Deepwater Wind off the coast of Rhode Island. It will serve as a demonstration project for a larger 90-MW installation planned for federal waters farther offshore.

The lawsuit was brought against National Grid, Deepwater Wind, and members of the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission over a 20-year power purchase agreement signed by the parties and approved by the commission in 2010. It was believed that the increased price of wind power would eventually reach parity with existing electricity rates over the life of the contract.

Rhode Island’s Supreme Court upheld the agreement in 2011 when another lawsuit also contested the deal due to electricity costs.

Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said his company was pleased by the dismissal of a frivolous lawsuit, and that the legal action would not affect construction of the project, planned for completion in the coming months.

The plaintiffs  are still deciding whether to appeal.

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