WASHINGTON – A $900 million, 130-turbine wind farm planned for a site just off the coast of Cape Cod in the Nantucket Sound received final approval from the federal government, opening the door to building the nation’s first offshore wind farm and marking the end of a nine-year struggle to approve the project.
The Cape Wind project has undergone a comprehensive review by 17 federal and state agencies over the past eight years, and opposition from legislators, residents of Cape and islands, and other critics.
“Going first is never easy, and Cape Wind is proud of the role we played in raising awareness for what will become a major component of our energy future and in helping the United States develop a regulatory framework for this new, exciting industry,” says Jim Gordon, Cape Wind president.
“We hope to begin construction of Cape Wind before the end of the year,” he says.
A report published by Charles River Associates estimates the wind farm, which will be located on Horseshoe Shoal, will reduce wholesale electric prices for the New England region by $4.6 billion over 25 years. The report found that the Cape Wind project will place downward pressure on the wholesale clearing price of electricity by reducing operations of fossil fuel units. This will result in average savings of $185 million per year in New England, according to the report.
The Siemens turbines will be 258 feet tall from the surface of the water to the center of the blades, with the lowest blade tip height 75 feet above the surface of the water and the highest 440 feet above water. The base of the wind turbines will be 16 feet in diameter. The wind turbines will be arrayed in a grid pattern of parallel rows.
From the closest beach on Cape Cod, in clear conditions, the wind turbines will appear one half-inch above the horizon, according to Cape Wind.
For more about the project visit www.capewind.org.