First American Offshore Wind Facility Gets Federal Approval Off Cape Cod

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2010) – The federal government today approved the first-ever utility-scale U.S. offshore wind energy facility in Nantucket Sound, a decision that the Natural Resources Defense Council said paves the way for other facilities to get off the ground nationwide.

Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar today gave the Cape Wind facility off of Cape Cod a federal green light after a nine-year review process, much longer than a traditional coal power plant is typically reviewed. NRDC has participated in this process every step of the way, both advocating for the project to move forward and ensuring any potential impacts on the ocean environment will be minimized and mitigated.

This approval will jumpstart the development of offshore wind energy in the United States, helping America to begin developing it quickly, while protecting our ocean resources.

A statement follows from Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Cape Wind represents a significant clean energy first for America.  It shows us we can repower our country, we can do it the right way, and we can start today. Renewable energy projects like these not only help fight climate change, they can create jobs and play a central role in our economic recovery.

“The United States can be a world leader on clean energy, and offshore wind power has enormous potential to help us get there. This is a major victory for America’s clean energy future – and will help ramp up the U.S. offshore wind industry.”