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U.S. Approves First Offshore Wind Farm

The US government has approved a plan to build the nation’s first offshore wind farm, in Nantucket Sound near Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Some 130 massive wind turbines, each generating 3.6 megawatts of energy, will tower 440 feet (134 meters) above the waves. Installation could begin as soon as this fall, according to the Department of the Interior.

(Photo: Martin Petitt)

The project was first proposed in 2001 and has undergone “an unprecedented level of environmental and regulatory analysis,” according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE).

The US government carried out a “thorough review of environmental impacts” on marine life before approving the project.

Micheal Conathan, director of ocean policy at the Center for American Progress, told Agence France-Presse that the wind project would “finally make America a player in the rapidly expanding offshore wind energy field” and would create “new, green employment opportunities.”

The project is expected to generate about 1,000 jobs. Once completed, it will provide about 75% of the annual energy requirements for Cape Cod and the nearby islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. It will also reduce CO2 emission in Massachusetts by more than 733,000 tons per year.

According to Discovery News, the US ranks 2nd globally in wind power generation, with 16,819 megawatts capacity, behind Germany, which has a capacity of 22,247 megawatts.

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