The project hoping to become the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States was dealt a major setback as two utilities said they would not buy power from it.

National Grid and Northeast Utilities both told Cape Wind that it had missed a Dec. 31 deadline to secure financing and start construction in Nantucket Sound off Massachusetts, the Boston Globe reported.

{mosads}Each utility agreed in 2012 to buy 27.5 percent of Cape Wind’s power. But that contract also required construction to start by the end of 2014, the utilities said.

Cape Wind also did not choose to post financial security to extend the deadline in the contract, a Northeast Utilities spokesman told the Globe.

Cape Wind said it doesn’t believe the utilities’ terminations to be valid, since the contracts allow for extensions in certain cases, since as the “extended, unprecedented, and relentless litigation” being brought by a group against the project.

Ian Bowles, a former energy and environment chief for Gov. Deval Patrick (D), told the Globe that the contract cancellations are likely the end of Cape Wind.

State and federal officials had pinned their hopes for years on Cape Wind as an opportunity to show that the United States can build wind farms offshore.

The Obama administration had also been a strong backer of Cape Wind, and though it is planned for waters that are not federal, the administration has taken some steps to support it.

But Republicans and some Democrats have joined groups opposing the project, including through numerous lawsuits.

Cape Wind blames one such group, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, for the latest litigation that has thus far prevented it from starting construction.

Tags Cape Wind offshore wind Wind power

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