BOSTON – The Cape Cod Commission has denied a permit for the nation’s first proposed offshore wind farm to run submarine and upland transmission cables from the site in Nantucket Sound to connect with the power grid on the mainland.

After voting against the proposal Thursday, the commission said it denied the permit application on procedural grounds “without prejudice” because “Cape Wind had failed to submit information” requested by a subcommittee reviewing the application “in a timely manner” and yet would not agree to an extension of the 60 day decision period.

Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said, “The Commission’s denial based, not on the merits but, on claims that Cape Wind provided insufficient information does not square with the record. Since 2001, Cape Wind has been providing extensive information about these cables to the Cape Cod Commission and State and Federal agencies.”

“In fact, in 2005 the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board approved Cape Wind’s electric cable because it found that Cape Wind would provide needed renewable electricity, deliver significant air quality benefits, lower electric costs and increase electric transmission reliability,” Gordon said.

Still, in its record of decision, the Cape Cod Commission wrote that because it had insufficient information, “the Subcommittee was unable to reach a conclusion with respect to the project’s consistency with local bylaws, and whether the probable benefits of the project outweigh the probable detriments.”

Cape Wind is proposing to place 130 wind turbines on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound to produce up to 420 megawatts of power. In average winds, Cape Wind will provide three quarters of the Cape and Islands electricity needs, the company says.

“No other agency, state or federal, involved in the permitting review of the Cape Wind project cares as much about Cape Cod as does the Commission,” said Glenn Wattley, chief executive officer of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, an organization opposed to the offshore wind farm. 

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