Feds Approve Cape Wind Project

In a joint press conference today with Governor Deval Patrick at the Massachusetts State House, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said his department has approved a scaled-down version of the long-delayed Cape Wind project at Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. Salazar said that the revised project approved by the department will consist of 130 wind turbines rather than 170, that the turbines will be moved farther away from Nantucket Island than originally proposed, and that additional seabed surveys will be conducted before construction to ensure that any as-yet-undiscovered submerged archaeological resources are protected. Some of the changes were made specifically to reduce the visual impact of the wind farm from the Kennedy family compound in Hyannisport; deceased Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy was a longtime opponent of the project. The wind farm, first proposed in 2001 by private developer Cape Wind Associates, is expected to supply enough power for Nantucket Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and much of Cape Cod and create several hundred construction jobs. “This will be the first of many projects up and down the Atlantic coast,” Salazar said at the press conference.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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