Massachusetts Approves Cape Wind Offshore Wind Project

April 11, 2007

Photo of a row of wind turbines rising from the ocean.

Although the United States is a leader in wind power technology, it does not yet have an offshore wind plant such as this one, which is located off the coast of Arklow, Ireland.
Credit: GE Energy, ©2004, General Electric Company

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) announced in late March its determination that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 420-megawatt Cape Wind offshore wind project is adequate and complies with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act. The finding allows Cape Wind Associates, LLC to file for construction permits with various state agencies. The announcement was welcomed by Cape Wind, which says the decision brings its planned wind plant "one step closer." See the press releases from the Massachusetts EOEA (PDF 55 KB) and Cape Wind. Download Adobe Reader.

Meanwhile, Cape Wind continues to wait for federal approval of its proposed project. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 shifted federal jurisdiction for the project to the Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS), which is preparing an EIS for the project. Meanwhile, the MMS has prepared a draft programmatic EIS for its Outer Continental Shelf Alternative Energy and Alternative Use program, the program that oversees offshore energy projects such as the Cape Wind project. The draft programmatic EIS is available for review online, and the MMS is accepting comments through May 21st. The MMS is also holding public hearings on the draft programmatic EIS in cities on both coasts and in Houston, Texas. The first hearing will be held on April 16th in Washington, D.C. See the MMS Cape Wind page, the MMS press release, and the draft programmatic EIS Web site.