The controversial wind farm proposed off the shores of the Cape and Islands won state environmental approval today, setting the stage for the project’s developer to seek state permits.
Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles signed a certificate finding that the Cape Wind project complies with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act. Bowles said the environmental benefits of the project – which would put 130 wind turbines across 25 square miles in Nantucket Sound ““ would offset any environmental damage.
Each year the clean energy project would prevent the release of enough carbon dioxide that it would equal taking 175,000 cars off the road, Bowles said. The turbines would as tall as 440 feet above sea level when the tallest blade is pointing straight up.
Construction of the project is by no means imminent. Because it is to be built in federal waters, primary approval of the wind farm lies with the federal government. The Minerals Management Service within the federal Department of the Interior is conducting a review that is expected to continue at least through the end of the year.
The state’s review was limited to the transmission lines that would bring power to land across state waters.
Heavy opposition from residents of the Cape and Islands, who fear that the project would industrialize Nantucket Sound and ruin ocean-front views, has delayed the project to date.
Ernie Corrigan, a spokesman for the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, said opponents will fight the release of state permits as well as to continue intervening in the federal review.
By Stephanie Ebbert, Globe Staff
30 March 2007
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