Salazar, Cape Wind Sign First U.S. Offshore Commercial Wind Energy Lease

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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Cape Wind Associates LLC have signed the nation's first lease for commercial wind energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

‘This is the beginning of a new era for our nation in offshore energy production,’ Salazar said in a speech during the American Wind Energy Association's North American Offshore Wind Conference & Exhibition in Atlantic City, N.J. ‘Responsibly developing this clean, renewable, domestic resource will stimulate investment in cutting-edge technology; create good, solid jobs for American workers; and promote our nation's competitiveness, security and prosperity.’

The area offered in the lease comprises 25 square miles on the OCS in Nantucket Sound off the coast of Massachusetts. The 130 planned wind turbines could generate a maximum electricity output of 468 MW, with an anticipated output of 182 MW. The site of the project on Horseshoe Shoals lies outside shipping channels, ferry routes and flight paths but is adjacent to power-consuming coastal communities.

The Cape Wind energy project would be the first wind farm on the OCS, potentially generating enough power to meet 75% of the electricity demand for Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island combined.

The 28-year lease for the area off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., will cost the company $88,278 in annual rent prior to production, in addition to a 2% to 7% operating fee during production. The fee is based on revenues from selling the offshore wind energy in regional markets.

Salazar signed the record of decision for the Cape Wind project in April, which paved the way for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement's decision to issue a commercial wind lease to Cape Wind Associates.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of the Interior

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