Cape Wind gains go-ahead
From an article in The New York Times:
After nine years of regulatory review, the federal government gave the green light on Wednesday to the nation’s first offshore wind farm, a fiercely contested project off the coast of Cape Cod.
Opponents said they would continue to fight construction of the farm, known as Cape Wind, which would sprawl across 25 square miles of Nantucket Sound, Katherine Q. Seelye reports in The New York Times.
But the decision is expected to give a significant boost to the nascent offshore wind industry in the United States, which has lagged far behind Europe and China in harnessing the strong and steady power of ocean breezes to electrify homes and businesses.
“This will be the first of many projects up and down the Atlantic Coast,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said at a news conference here in the Massachusetts Statehouse with Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat and supporter of the venture, at his side.
In announcing the much-anticipated decision, Mr. Salazar hastened to add that he was requiring the developer, Cape Wind Associates, to take several steps to mitigate possibly adverse effects on the environment — including views from the Kennedy Compound National Historic Landmark, which overlooks Nantucket Sound. Those steps include adjusting the turbines’ color and configuration.
Opposition to the proposal from Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who died in August, had been a major thorn in the Obama administration’s side in advancing the project.
The Cape Wind farm would lie about 5.2 miles from the nearest shore, on the mainland, and about 13.8 miles from Nantucket Island. The tip of the highest blade of each turbine would reach 440 feet above the water.