image: Cape Wind
For a while I was convinced that the claims by the developers of the Cape Wind offshore wind power project in Massachusetts that it would be the country's first offshore wind farm would have to be amended. It's just been in the planning stages for so long now that surely plans that have been touted in Delaware, New York, Rhode Island or Oregon would steal Cape Wind's thunder. But in the past couple months, the wind has been blowing in Cape Wind's direction:Last Friday, by unanimous vote, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board granted the project a Certificate of Environmental Impact and Public Interest. That effectively combines nine state and local permits related to the project's electrical cabling into one composite certificate.
State, Local Permitting Could Be Completed in 60 Days
This completed, the Siting Board will work with local towns to reach agreement on the town permits required. This process is expected to be completed, and a vote taken by the Siting Board within 60 days, thereby concluding state and local level permitting for the embattled wind power project.
Construction Could Begin Next Year
If all that goes as Cape Wind hopes, the final project will see 130 wind turbines built over a 24 square mile area in Nantucket Sound, which will generate enough electricity to power about 400,000 homes. Once permits are in hand, construction is expected to begin in early 2010, with production of electricity beginning in 2011 or 2012.
More: Cape Wind
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Cape Wind: An Audio Interview with Robert Whitcomb
'Environmentalists' Who Oppose Cape Wind Farm Apparently Linked to Fossil Fuel Industry