In good news for the U.S. composites industry and proponents of offshore wind energy projects, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on April 19 announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has approved a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted for the much-discussed Cape Wind Energy Project. The COP is required before construction may begin on the wind energy generation facility planned in Nantucket Sound (Massachusetts), offshore of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island on the U.S. East Coast.
“After a thorough review of environmental impacts, we are confident that this offshore commercial wind project — the first in the nation — can move forward,” said BOEMRE director Michael R. Bromwich. Construction could begin as early as this fall.
The Cape Wind Energy Project calls for 130 3.6-MW wind turbines, each with a maximum blade height of 440 ft/134m, to be arranged in a grid pattern in Nantucket Sound. The wind farm is expected to produce 420 MW of electrical energy, about three-quarters of that needed in the Cape and Islands.
For more wind industry composites news, see CW conference director Scott Stephenson’s commentary on the recent CW Wind and Ocean Energy seminar in “From the Podium,” (link at right).