A hotly contested wind energy project which will become the nation’s first offshore wind farm was approved today by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for development in the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts. The Cape Wind project, as it is called, will have some restrictions though “to minimize the potential adverse impacts of construction and operation of the facility.”
The Cape Wind project, according to the Boston Globe, was approved by the federal government “after nine years of battles over the proposal.” The $1 billion wind farm, which will sit on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, will reportedly generate enough energy to “meet 75 percent of the electricity demand for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island combined.” It will create a lot of jobs and will remove annually from the air CO2 emissions equal to that of 175,000 cars on the road.
The project, as mentioned before, will face some restrictions on its development to mitigate concerns expressed by those in opposition to its development. These include reducing the number of turbines “from 170 to 130, eliminating turbines to reduce the visual impacts from the Kennedy Compound National Historic Landmark; reconfiguring the array to move it farther away from Nantucket Island; and reducing its breadth to mitigate visibility from the Nantucket Historic District.” When completed, the Cape Wind wind farm will occupy a 25-square-mile section of Nantucket Sound.