WASHINGTON (July 1, 2014) — The U.S. Department of Energy today gave the Cape Wind offshore wind project a major boost by providing a $150 million loan guarantee that could prove key to attracting the remaining financing for the project, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Located in Nantucket Sound, Cape Wind could provide enough pollution-free and carbon-free power to meet 75 percent of the electricity demand on Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. It is also projected to create 600-1,000 jobs in Massachusetts.
NRDC is a leading advocate for offshore wind and a strong supporter of the Cape Wind project.
A statement follows from the Director of NRDC’s Energy and Transportation Program, Kit Kennedy:
“After a decade of persistence—including fending off more than a dozen attempts to derail the project from Bill Koch-funded opponents—Cape Wind construction could finally begin before the end of the year. We expect the project should be able to leverage this sizeable investment and definitive vote of confidence to attract the remaining private capital necessary to finally get spinning.
“The U.S. has been lagging far behind Europe and even China in capturing the enormous clean energy potential blowing off our shores. Cape Wind can finally kick-start the nation's offshore wind industry and—with a dozen other projects lined up—the next generation will not be far behind.”
- The federal government approved the project in 2010, after nine years of careful consideration and two full federal environmental reviews. There were also multiple state and local environmental reviews and approvals. This is much longer than a traditional coal power plant, which typically gets approval in just two years.
- The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound—a group that counts fossil fuel billionaire Bill Koch as its largest funder—has been a main obstacle to the project by filing more than a dozen lawsuits to try to stop it. All of them have ultimately failed.
- A dozen other offshore wind projects are now also in development in the U.S.