Skip to Content

Cape Wind Farm Finally Approved

After nine years of reviews, the Cape Wind project gets the go-ahead.
April 28, 2010

The Cape Wind offshore wind project, which could be the first built in the U.S., has been approved by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The decision, announced today, comes after nearly 10 years of political opposition, environmental reviews, and most recently objections from local Indian tribes.

Because of these objections, Salazar is requiring that the project be scaled back from 170 wind turbines to 130 wind turbines and that the developer conduct more marine archeological surveys. He is also requiring “other steps” to make them less visible, such as the coloring of the turbines and their lighting.

Salazar acknowledged that the permitting process was a mess. “There’s no reason an offshore wind permit should take a decade,” he said. He’s working on streamlining the process.

Lawsuits could yet delay the project further. But Salazar thinks these can be overcome. “We are very confident that we will be able to uphold the decision against legal challenges that might be filed,” he said.

Massachusetts Governor Duvall Patrick says construction could begin within a year.

Salazar presented the project as a way to help the United States keep up with other countries’ efforts on offshore wind, such as European countries and China. But it might not make sense to “keep up” in this area. Although offshore winds provide an enormous potential resource, there are much cheaper places to generate wind power in the United States. It might make more sense to let other countries drive down costs of offshore wind while focusing on developing the cheapest possible on-shore wind power.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

wet market selling fish
wet market selling fish

This scientist now believes covid started in Wuhan’s wet market. Here’s why.

How a veteran virologist found fresh evidence to back up the theory that covid jumped from animals to humans in a notorious Chinese market—rather than emerged from a lab leak.

light and shadow on floor
light and shadow on floor

How Facebook and Google fund global misinformation

The tech giants are paying millions of dollars to the operators of clickbait pages, bankrolling the deterioration of information ecosystems around the world.

masked travellers at Heathrow airport
masked travellers at Heathrow airport

We still don’t know enough about the omicron variant to panic

The variant has caused alarm and immediate border shutdowns—but we still don't know how it will respond to vaccines.

This new startup has built a record-breaking 256-qubit quantum computer

QuEra Computing, launched by physicists at Harvard and MIT, is trying a different quantum approach to tackle impossibly hard computational tasks.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.