Offshore, Project Development, Wind Power

Cape Wind Makes Headlines with FEIR Approval

In a flurry of regional articles, op-ed columns, ABC News and Associated Press coverage, the controversial 130-turbine Cape Wind Project has found itself in the news again with the clearing of yet another permitting hurdle.

On Friday, Massachusetts Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles determined that the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) submitted by the Cape Wind project “adequately and properly complies” with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act, which allows the project to now advance to the state permitting process. With national headlines in recent years often coupling the proposed offshore wind farm with words such as “thwarted” and “stalled”, this latest surge of press on the FEIR approval is helpful in getting the message across to the American public that the project is still advancing as planned, said Cape Wind’s Director of Communications, Mark Rodgers. “The process is moving forward and the day will come,” said Rodgers, commenting on reaching the end of the permitting process. “And we think that day will be in the first part of next year.” Situated across a 25-mile stretch of federal waters off the Cape Cod Coast in the Nantucket Sound, proponents are optimistic that the project will be able to successfully navigate the remaining local and state agency permitting processes and begin construction in 2009. Scheduled to come online in 2010, Rodgers admits the project will probably not be moving forward without opposition. On Friday, ABC News published an article entitled, Wind Farm? Not Off My Back Porch, highlighting the FEIR approval and U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, a Hyannisport, Massachusetts, resident and one of the biggest political heavyweights to come out in opposition to the Cape Wind project. However, with Cape Wind Associates LLC “committed to sticking with the project” said Rodgers, environmental advocates, journalists, Massachusetts voters and politicians across the country will continue to keep a close eye on the events surrounding the development of what may be the first U.S offshore wind farm built off the East Coast. Recent Cape Wind articles: Cape Wind moves on to federal review The developer of a Nantucket Sound wind energy project hopes to begin producing clean energy by 2010, after winning final state environmental approval yesterday, but the project still faces a major remaining hurdle: an expansive federal government review. – Boston Globe Plan for Wind Farm Off Massachusetts Clears State Hurdle A proposal to build the country’s first offshore wind farm in the waters off Cape Cod won state environmental approval on Friday, bringing the project a major step closer to being built. – New York Times Plan for big offshore wind farm passes hurdle A controversial plan to build the first large U.S. offshore wind-power farm won approval from Massachusetts authorities on Friday but still must clear federal regulatory hurdles. – Reuters Cape Wind project clears state hurdle A plan to build the nation’s first offshore wind farm cleared a major hurdle Friday, winning state approval of an environmental report submitted by the project’s developers. – Associated Press Cape Wind gets Mass. permit approval Cape Wind’s Final Environmental Impact Report was approved Friday by Massachusetts Office of Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles. – UPI Cape project gets a big lift: Wind farm wins key state OK The massive Cape Wind project got a major boost yesterday when Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration gave the controversial offshore-windmill plan an environmental thumbs up. – Boston Herald Big win for Cape Wind The state’s top environmental official has signed off on the Cape Wind project, delivering a significant victory to supporters of the proposal to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound. – Cape Cod Times Cape Wind gets crucial approval; State energy secretary gives environmental OK The plan to build a 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound has cleared another key hurdle. – The Patriot Ledger Nation’s first offshore wind farm clears important hurdle Cape Wind’s efforts to place the nation’s first offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoals in Nantucket Sound cleared a major hurdle today by getting Massachusetts’ approval of an environmental report (FEIR) submitted by the project’s developers last month. – Cape Cod Today Massachusetts Set to Build First Large Offshore Wind Farm A controversial plan to build a large wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod in Nantucket Sound has passed its first hurdle, receiving approval from Massachusetts’ authorities. – ToTheCenter.com Passionately conflicted over wind farm Some time ago a friend described himself as “passionately conflicted” over the Cape Wind proposal. Now I know even better how he feels. – Cape Cod Times Cape Wind would cut emissions, create jobs Offshore sites — where the wind blows harder and steadier — produce much more power than most land sites because wind turbines’ output increases rapidly with wind velocity; for example, turbines in doubled wind speed generate eight times as much electricity. – SouthCoastToday.com