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  • Wednesday, August 1, 2012


    FEDS MOVE AHEAD ON ATLANTIC OFFSHORE WIND Offshore wind farms will be encouraged in tracts along the East Coast

    Peter Brannen, July 23, 2012 (Washington Post)

    “The federal government is poised to auction to wind farm developers 2,434 square miles of the continental shelf in the Atlantic Ocean, which would allow wind farms to sprout 10 miles off the shores of six states, from Massachusetts to Virginia…Extensive efforts are underway to avoid the fiasco of the first proposed offshore wind farm in U.S. waters. That 24-square mile project off the coast of Cape Cod unleashed a fierce, decade-long battle that still lingers in the courts. Although Europe has had offshore wind farms for many years, the United States remains without even one…

    “The plan to auction leases to offshore wind farm developers represents an enormous commitment to a potentially vast new industry…Wind turbines in the Atlantic alone could generate more than 1,000 gigawatts of power, an amount equal to the country’s current total energy-generating capacity…”

    “The area to be leased [before the end of this year by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) of the Interior Department]is about the size of Delaware… 125 square miles off the coast of Maryland, 161 square miles off Delaware…[and] 176 square miles off Virginia…[plus acres] off the coast of New Jersey and Rhode Island…[and 1,161 square miles] off Massachusetts]…

    “…[A]s the federal government tries to jump-start a homegrown, renewable energy source, it is anticipating and trying to address in advance every possible objection…including spoiled views and potential hazards to birds, marine life and underwater archaeological sites…In addition to incorporating lessons learned with Cape Wind, the agency is grappling with the legacy of a poorly situated land-based wind farm in California that has killed thousands of raptors, souring some environmentalists on wind power…BOEM is also taking pains to protect man-made resources…”


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