Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch has filed suit against his own state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) seeking to overturn the PUC's approval of a power purchase agreement (PPA) between offshore-wind developer Deepwater Wind and utility company National Grid. The project and the PPA have generated controversy from the start. Earlier this year, the PUC rejected a PPA for the same offshore-wind project.

That initial rejection led the Rhode Island General Assembly to pass a law in June 2010 amending the process for approval of PPAs and forcing the PUC to reconsider the Deepwater Wind agreement. Mr. Lynch contends that, because it is aimed at reversing a particular decision of the PUC and benefits a single developer, the new law is unconstitutional. He is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn the law and reverse the PUC's approval. Mr. Lynch's suit is the third seeking to prevent the agreement from taking effect. The Conservation Law Foundation and a pair of local plastics manufacturers also have asked the state Supreme Court to intervene.

If implemented, the PPA would allow Deepwater Wind to begin construction of a 20-megawatt, eight-turbine demonstration project off of Block Island in Rhode Island. Deepwater Wind hopes to complete the project before the end of 2012.

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