United State’s First Offshore Wind Farm Approved
After nine long years, Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, approved the United State’s first off-shore wind project, Cape Wind, in Nantucket, Massachusetts on April 28th. Cape Wind is the first offshore wind farm ever approved in the United States.
The wind farm project will be located in an area off Nantucket Island called Horseshoe Shoal and will consist of 130 wind turbines that will have a capacity of 420 MW – which has the promise to provide 75% of the electricity needs for both Nantucket and Cape Cod, MA.
Although the U.S. leads the world in wind power, other countries have taken a significant lead in the use of offshore wind for renewable energy. According to journalist Megan Treacy, that’s important “because offshore wind is stronger, more consistent and near coastal population centers, meaning more power generation, less gaps in electricity and no need for huge transmission networks (like those needed to distribute wind energy in the middle of the country).“
The www.CapeWind.org website states that the wind farm will also contribute to helping to clean the environment and air, to reducing dependence on foreign energy, to helping stabilize electric costs and to creating new jobs.
As a nine year timeline would indicate, the project was almost analyzed and debated to its death. Although environmentalists are applauding Salazar’s decision, there are still significant local opponents to the project. Jim Gordon, President of the Cape Wind project, is asking everyone to join in and help in the completion of the project. That cooperation should also help establish Massachusetts as a leader in offshore wind power.
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