Yesterday the Massachusetts Supreme Court issued a ruling rejecting a claim that developers of the Cape Wind project, a 130-turbine wind farm proposed off of Nantucket Sound, do not have proper authority to lay transmission lines in state territory. In 2007, the Cape Cod Commission rejected Cape Wind's request to build undersea and underground transmission cables necessary to connect the project to the regional electric grid. Last year, project developers made the same request of the Massachusetts State Energy Facilities Siting Board, which granted it. Opponents of the project argued that the state Board exceeded its powers by overstepping the local ruling, and that it improperly focused on the effects of the transmission lines rather than the project as a whole.
In backing the state Board 's approval, the state Supreme Court held that the state Board’s authority trumped the local board’s authority, and that because Cape Wind is being built entirely in federal waters, the Board does not have the authority to reject the project by opposing the necessary transmission lines.