Massachusetts One Step Closer to Nation’s First Offshore Wind Farm

After seven and a half years of environmental review, many of public hearings and community meetings the lead agency in charge of offshore energy projects released its 2,800-page Final Environmental Impact Statement on Cape Wind.

“This report validates the project will create new jobs, increase energy independence and fight global warming while being a good neighbor to the ecosystem of Nantucket Sound,” said Jim Gordon, the project’s developer. “Massachusetts is one major step closer to becoming home to America’s first offshore wind farm and becoming a global leader in the production of offshore renewable energy.”

According to the Minerals Management Service (MMS) Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS):

  • Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound is environmentally and economically superior to the alternative site locations that were studied
  • Building Cape Wind will create hundreds of jobs and generate more than a half-billion dollars in non-labor purchases in Massachusetts and Rhode Island
  • Cape Wind will not increase energy prices in New England and could help lower energy clearing prices
  • Most of Cape Wind’s electricity will be consumed on Cape Cod and the Islands where it will supply 75% of that region’s electricity and improve electric transmission performance
  • Cape Wind will help Massachusetts achieve its renewable energy requirements under the its RPS
  • Cape wind will have no major impacts on navigation, fishing, or tourism

Now that the MMS has issued the FEIS, its Record of Decision on granting a lease to Cape Wind could come within 30 days. According to the MMS FEIS its, “…final decision would account for the regional, state, and local benefits and impacts as well as for the overall public interest of the United States.” Cape Wind officials expect to complete the permitting process by March, 2009.

The American Wind Energy Association
welcomed the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Cape Wind Energy Project (Cape Wind) in Nantucket Sound.  

“We strongly support the development of offshore wind energy projects, and Cape Wind has the potential to be the first approved project in federal waters,” said Denise Bode, AWEA’s CEO. “The Minerals Management Service (MMS) took a critical step today in bringing offshore wind energy to the U.S. Projects such as Cape Wind will help establish the offshore wind energy market and allow the U.S. to develop this clean, reliable source of renewable energy.”

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