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Obama Admin to accelerate offshore wind power development

November 23, 2010

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and other senior departmental officials are promising to “announce a major new initiative to accelerate the development of wind energy projects along the Atlantic coast.”

Though the industry is still in its infancy, America cannot afford to be lagging behind other nations on the offshore wind energy front. Wind power proposals have been subjected to redundant permitting processes which have held these projects up for years. Cape Wind is the first offshore wind project to receive federal approval. This happened just last month though, after eight years of pending approval for construction.

It’s no surprise that the United States is already seriously losing out in the offshore wind sector. Thankfully, The Dept. of the Interior has decided to take action and address the long list of issues with the current system.

The AP reports:

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar vowed Tuesday to spur offshore wind projects in the Atlantic Ocean by expediting permits and identifying promising areas for wind power … Salazar said he will institute a “smart permitting process” that could result in leases issued within two years, instead of seven years or more.

…Salazar said he and other federal officials will work with governors in 11 Atlantic Coast states to identify promising areas for wind development. If no serious problems are identified, leases could be issued late next year or in early 2012.

As I mentioned last month, Google announced it was investing in a transmission network for wind energy across the Atlantic Seaboard. The Atlantic Wind Connection will stretch 350 miles off the coast, from New Jersey to Virginia, and will be able to connect 6,000 megawatts of wind energy to residents along the East Coast.

Let’s all cross our fingers that this process can, in fact, be expedited. America cannot afford to continue to lag behind other nations on energy.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Joe H permalink
    November 27, 2010 4:11 PM

    I can’t believe this is finally going to go (or at least making progress)! They have been battling this for years out in Nantucket Sound. I hope the sustainability in terms of marine life is ok. The shoals have gotten beaten up so bad over the last 10 or so years. The location is perfect for this though as the depth is so low, I hope the marine life agree with all of the construction and new habitat.

    Have you seen the BQE proposal?

    And happy holidays Linds…

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