On April 29th, 2010, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar approved America’s first offshore wind farm project! But before construction can start, there will additional studies to make sure that there are certain things, like the site, where Indian burial grounds, can be preserved and whether the views of the cape can be minimally obstructed as opponents, like late Senator Kennedy, were concerned with.
The project has been on the table for approval for nine years since the first announcement of the project. Some residents of the surrounding area, including Wampanoag Indian tribes and the late Sen. Kennedy, have opposed the project because they believe it would obstruct their views and disrupt spiritual rituals and ancient burial sites of the Indians. But environmentalists around the country and five East Coast governors all rallied for its approval and it has just been approved!! The wind farm will have a capacity of 420 MW — enough to meet 75 percent of Cape Cod and the Islands’ electricity needs. That is so awesome and enough reason for me to vacation there more often!
Here is the press release from CapeWind.Org
CAPE WIND APPROVED by Federal Government as America’s First Offshore Wind Farm; Project will Add Clean Energy Jobs for Region
Thursday, April 29, 2010
BOSTON, MA, APRIL 28, 2010 – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced his approval of Cape Wind with a favorable Record of Decision for the project to be constructed on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound off the coast of Massachusetts.
“Secretary Salazar’s decision today to approve Cape Wind has launched the American offshore wind industry. It allows our nation to harness an abundant and inexhaustible clean energy source for greater energy independence, a healthier environment and green jobs,” said Cape Wind President Jim Gordon.
Reflecting on the near decade long permitting path for Cape wind, Gordon said, “Going first is never easy and Cape Wind is proud of the role we played in raising awareness for what will become a major component of our energy future and in helping the United States develop a regulatory framework for this new exciting industry.
“What enabled Cape Wind to reach this crucial milestone is the steadfast support of leading environmental, labor, health and trade organizations and the support of the overwhelming majority of Massachusetts citizens who have repeatedly made their voices heard. We also appreciate Governor Deval Patrick’s support, vision and leadership to make Massachusetts a global leader in offshore renewables and the clean energy economy. Thank you to all those who made this day possible,” Gordon added.
“While this project was exhaustively analyzed and debated and even with Federal and State approvals demonstrating the significant environmental and economic benefits of Cape Wind, we recognize there are some local opponents who disagree, with Secretary Salazar’s decision. We appreciate their involvement in helping to shape the project and we now reach out to ask them to join the community and country in ushering in a new era of environmental stewardship, energy security and prosperity,” Gordon added.
Looking ahead, Gordon said, “We hope to begin construction of Cape Wind before the end of the year.”
Cape Wind completed State and local permitting in 2009.
Cape Wind’s proposal to build America’s first offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal would provide most of the electricity used on Cape Cod and the Islands from clean, renewable energy – reducing this region’s need to import oil, coal and gas. Cape Wind will create new jobs, help stabilize electric costs, contribute to a healthier environment, increase energy independence and establish Massachusetts as a leader in offshore wind power. For more information visit www.capewind.org.
I always thought if someone could capture that strong ocean breeze and making into energy, it would be awesome. And in light of the recent oil spill disaster off Louisiana, I leave you with this picture from Huffington Post of what could happen if there ever was a disaster on a wind farm.