October 8, 2010
Salazar signs Cape Wind lease
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Cape Wind Associates, LLC have signed the first lease for commercial wind energy development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
"This is the beginning of a new era for our Nation in offshore energy production," Secretary Salazar said in a speech to the American Wind Energy Association in Atlantic City, N.J, where he signed the lease earlier this week.
"This crucial milestone opens a new chapter of clean electricity production and a new source of jobs for our nation," said Jim Gordon, President of Cape Wind.
The lease authorizes Cape Wind to constructa 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," Gordon said.
"We're ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work building America's first offshore wind farm that will create hundreds of jobs, increase our energy independence and promote a healthier and more hopeful energy future," Gordon said.
"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," Gordon added.
Denise Bode, AWEA CEO, who was on-stage with Secretary Salazar for the signing of the lease, said:
"This is a great moment, a major milestone, in getting the offshore segment of the U.S. wind industry off the ground and in the water. Cape Wind has been a leader in the offshore wind power movement for years, and so it is appropriate that this historic moment take place right here at AWEA's first-ever North American Offshore Wind Conference & Exhibition--just a short walk from the Atlantic Ocean, where thousands of megawatts of wind energy are waiting to be tapped.
"Over 1,600 people from around the world witnessed the signing, some of them from countries that have taken the lead away from the United States in developing wind energy.
"The Cape Wind lease represents progress toward taking that lead back for America, and keeping not only construction jobs, but also wind manufacturing jobs, right here at home instead of having to watch them go to China and Europe."
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.