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Cape Wind Getting Federal Approval

The Washington Post has stated that source close to the Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, will approve the Cape Wind wind farm project off the coast of Nantucket.

This decision will conclude nine years of planning and debate over the controversial wind farm and will see the first American offshore wind power project built.

Cape Wind will see the installation of 130 wind turbines at a cost of about $1 billion; a move opposed by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and supported by six east coast governors.

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East Coast Governors Support Cape Wind Power

Six East Coast Governors have formally backed the Cape Wind wind farm being considered by the Obama Administration.

With a week to go before the big decision is made, the six governors have petitioned the U.S. Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, to permit the massive offshore wind farm and disregard the opposing views of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

The governors stated in the their letter to Salazar that, “If the ACHP’s approach to historic preservation is adopted, it would establish a precedent that will make it difficult, if not impossible, to site offshore wind projects anywhere along the eastern seaboard.”

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation voiced their concern about the Cape Wind project on April 2 saying that the project should be rejected because they will be visible from historic properties on Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Cod.

The $1 billion wind power project would see 130 large wind turbines installed across 25 square miles of federal coastal waters. The plan has been in the works for almost a decade now and, if approved, would be the first off shore wind power project in the U.S.

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Cape Wind Power Future in Obama’s Hands

President Obama hasn’t made any indication on what he plans to say on April 30 when he reveals the fate of the Cape Code Wind Power project.

The massive wind power plan was been in the works for nearly a decade and it is now up to Obama and interior Secretary Ken Salazar whether the project will be allowed to continue.

This wind power project’s future could have far reaching ramifications for wind energy around the U.S. since there are several other big wind power projects being contemplated based on the results of whether Cape Wind gets the federal thumbs up or down.

With renewable energy like wind and solar a top priority for the Obama Administration, it seems likely that Cape Wind will get the approval it’s been seeking for so long. But, renewable energy supporters did get reason to be concerned when Obama permitted offshore natural gas drilling exploration last month while the this massive wind power project, and it’s 130 wind turbines, still sits in limbo.

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Barack Obama Faces Senator Kennedy on Cape Wind

President Barack Obama faces a real political bind. Senator Edward Kennedy, who was an early backer of Obama and who suffered a seizure at his inauguration, is on the opposite side of the fence when it comes to a Cape Cod wind farm, Cape Wind.

Kennedy, a resident of Nantucket, has fought against the wind farm for eight years, arguing that it will cause radar interference to boats and planes, hurt wildlife and hinder the ocean views from Cape Cod, and has sued to stop the project. Kennedy owns an oceanside home that would have a direct view of the proposed 125 wind turbines that would stand 440 feet above sea level. However, Kennedy maintains that his spoiled view is not why he opposes the project.

However, a strong advocate for Cape Wind is Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a close friend of Obama. Patrick believes that this wind farm will be instrumental in making  his state a leader in alternative energy.

Obama has made it known that he is also a strong supporter of wind power. Obama pledged that the nation would “harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories” in his inaugural address. He also visited an Ohio wind turbine factory.

“There would have to be some extraordinary reason to not make a favorable decision, aside from deference to Ted Kennedy,” a project ally told the media. “And if deference to Ted Kennedy is what delays this project, this means that deference is being paid by the president himself—and [that he’s] doing so at the expense of his pledges on energy policy.”

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MA Governor Calls for 2000 MW of Wind Power by 2020

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has set a goal of developing 2,000 megawatts of wind power capacity by 2020.

“With the growing interest in wind turbines we see in communities across the Commonwealth [of Massachusetts] and the abundant wind resource we have off our coast, wind power is going to be a centerpiece of the clean energy economy we are creating for Massachusetts,” said Patrick.

It is expected that an offshore facility will make up part of the 2,000 MW, with the U.S. Minerals Management Service this week, with the release of its favorable environmental impact statement on the Cape Wind project.

Massachusetts and Texas have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for two Wind Technology Testing Centers in the country. The Governor noted how this move will not only make Massachusetts and Texas hubs for wind power research, but also boost the potential economic gain of technology development, entrepreneurship and jobs.

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