Cape Wind signs offshore lease

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Cape Wind President Jim Gordon signed the first lease for an offshore wind farm in the federal waters of the United States yesterday morning at the American Wind Energy Association’s Offshore Wind Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey, according to a press release.

“This crucial milestone opens a new chapter of clean electricity production and a new source of jobs for our nation,” Jim Gordon, President of Cape Wind, said.

The lease authorizes Cape Wind to construct the 130-turbine offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound and to operate the facility for a period of 25 years.

“The signing of this lease sends an important market signal to the offshore wind industry that the United States is ready to move forward and that Cape Wind will be the first of many offshore wind projects in this country,” Mr. Gordon said.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Energy unveiled a draft plan that calls for the United States to install 54,000 megawatts of offshore wind power capacity by the year 2030, which would require more than 100 Cape Wind-sized projects.

“This important day for our region and our nation would not have arrived without the continuous support of the Governor and Legislature, a strong majority of the public across Massachusetts including Cape Cod and the Islands, the leading environmental organizations in the region and nation, organized labor, health and trade organizations, and Clean Power Now which has mobilized local grassroots public support,” Mr. Gordon said.