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First U.S. Offshore Wind Project Gains DEP Approval

Sarah Lozanova | Friday December 26th, 2008 | 13 Comments

cape%20wind%20nantucket.jpgThe U.S. wind industry has been a world leader, installing an impressive 5,244 megawatts in 2007. The U.S. offshore wind industry is another story, with no offshore wind farms yet developed. The tides may be changing however 4.7 miles off the coast of Cape Cod in Nantucket Bay.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) helped moved this proposed wind farm forward by approving the undersea cable that would transmit the generated power from 130 turbines to land.
In a letter notifying Cape Wind of their decision, a DEP official wrote, “the Department determines that the proposed project serves a proper public interest which provides greater public benefit than detriment to the public’s rights in said tidelands”.


cape%20power%20plant.jpegDevelopers of the $1 billion project are still waiting on a composite state and local permit, as well as federal approvals by the U.S. Coast Guard, Department of the Interior and the Federal Aviation Administration, said Mark Rogers, a spokesman for Cape Wind Associates LLC.
The project would power 75% of the electricity that Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island use under average wind levels. This would displace electricity from the controversial Cape Power Plant, which runs off of oil and natural gas.
The proposed wind farm has been the source of great controversy. One of the greatest concerns is that the 247 foot turbines may be visible from upscale beach homes and could hurt the tourism industry.
Cape Winds expects the permitting process to be complete by March, 2009. If developed, Cape Wind would be the first offshore wind farm in the U.S. As of 2007, there were 1165 megawatts of offshore wind generating capacity globally. Denmark and the U.K. have been the global leaders of this industry, followed by Sweden and the Netherlands.

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Photo Credit (lower photo): Cape Cod Times


▼▼▼      13 Comments     ▼▼▼

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  • McYo.

    I was a member of the MA Green Party back 8 years ago. (Y2K) Then I woke-up and, being disabled, realized that the Greens got no power. So then I resigned myself to being just-another-disabled-
    Democrat. Thank God for Ted Kennedy. Not only is he an absolute GOD for us disabled folks, but he also helped usher this issue to victory against the republitards.

  • Zach

    The Kennedys, who rather hypocritically opposed the project due to its supposed “proximity” to their compound, will be happy to know that from the shore, the turbines are silent and small, rotating languidly in even the harshest wind. This is an important step in the new clean energy economy, which will bring many, many jobs in a variety of sectors from here on.

  • E Villemaire

    As much as I respect Senator Kennedy for his political choices, I was agast at the selfishness he displayed by previously blocking this project. How could such a great man hold back the needs of so many for such a silly reason.

  • Anonymous

    That sounds great until the utility company starts sending that power off the cape. The canal plant was supposed to lower power costs but the electricity get sent to Maine first. The cape community will get stuck with environmentally damaging wind turbines, no decreased power costs, and some big company will make billions.

  • Anonymous

    Kennedy is the only one in state government that has not had the wool pulled over his eyes. This project is bad for the Cape. We will get stuck with broken promises and higher power costs. This project is only about money NOT the environment or the community of the Cape.

  • Dennis

    Hope someone makes money off this project. It will entice others to develop similar projects elsewhere through out the U.S. (and world).
    Nothing wrong with creating energy (renewable) and jobs for people nearby.

  • Kevin D G

    This is great news, and I truly hope this project moves forward…
    I for one, enjoy spending summers on Cape Cod, and the view of wind turbines in the far distance will not deter me in the least from returning. As a matter of fact, I’ll feel better about my stay knowing that the energy I consume there will at least partially be generated from a renewable source.

  • dabe

    Hope someone makes money off this project. It will entice others to develop similar projects elsewhere through out the U.S. (and world).
    Nothing wrong with creating energy (renewable) and jobs for people nearby..

  • http://daddytorrents.com retar

    As much as I respect Senator Kennedy for his political choices, I was agast at the selfishness he displayed by previously blocking this project. How could such a great man hold back the needs of so many for such a silly reason.

  • erika

    Hope someone makes money off this project. It will entice others to develop similar projects elsewhere through out the U.S. (and world).
    Nothing wrong with creating energy (renewable) and jobs for people nearby..

  • Barbara Durkin

    The lead federal MMS Cape Wind draft EIS states:
    “Given the estimated COST OF ENERGY IS $122/MWh, TWICE THAT OF THE CURRENT MARKET AND THIS IS AFTER THE FULL BENEFIT OF TAX AND RPS INCENTIVES, the prospects of entering a long-term purchase power contract would seem low.”
    Additional costs that would be occurred by Cape Wind, beyond twice current market energy pricing, and public subsidies, that:
    David G. Tuerck, executive director of the Beacon Hill Institute, 2006 noted:
    “What we found was quite remarkable. Cape Wind stands to receive subsidies worth $731 million, or 77 percent of the cost of installing the project and 48 percent of the revenues it would generate.”
    Unidentified Cape Wind costs, to additionally be borne by ratepayers and taxpayers, are:
    >the cost of bonding for the project and performance of the project
    >required upgrades to existing infrastructure and transmission lines
    >the very expensive operation and maintenance O&M contract.
    >(astoundingly) CERA, Cambridge Energy Research Associates, finds that we have to invest in the wind turbine installation vessels–first

  • Sarah Lozanova

    The first power plants of any kind have had an inflated price. The best example at the moment are proposed “clean coal” plants. Off-shore wind certainly has potential, although it may never be as cost effective as on-shore wind. For the technology to mature however, a large investment is required to get the ball rolling.

  • Barbara Durkin

    Wind energy requires large investments indeed, Sarah. Especially offshore wind energy.
    NewEnergyNews
    22 August 2008
    “The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) foresaw the urgent need to modernize the grid in preparation for adding gigawatts of New Energy to the U.S. energy mix. AWEA commissioned American Electric Power (AEP) to do the “AEP Transmission Vision,” a map showing how to get fron the grid now to the grid that must be: 19,000 miles of 765-kilovolt (kV) power lines at a cost of $60 billion.
    The problem: Building new transmission incurs Not-In-My-BackYard objections (NIMBY-ism). It eventually requires the exercise of eminent domain to obtain pathways for the wires. And that generates further popular opposition.
    Transmission builders are working hard to create solutions. The fate of the U.S. electricity supply hangs in the balance. Who will next be in the dark (and is the light they need in their own backyard)?”
    http://www.windfeeds.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1100:blackout-plus-5-years-better-grid-new-vision&catid=28:newenergynews&Itemid=273