You may have heard of the Cape Wind project, the long-stalled renewable energy project that sparked a legal battle that went all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Court. The project is in the news again, but this time it’s for a good reason: The offshore wind farm is back on track with funding secured and a green light from the Obama administration. Construction should begin later this year, and once completed, it will be the first offshore wind farm in the United States.

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The United States has an abundance of coastline, so it’s surprising that offshore wind energy hasn’t caught on yet. The Cape Wind farm was proposed in 2001 but didn’t really get moving until 2010, when the Department of the Interior approved the project. But just as things were getting started, concerned citizens of Nantucket began fighting the project in court. These citizens include notable individuals like William Koch, son of the dirty-energy dynasty the Koch family, Paul Fireman of Reebok and Michael Egan, son of the founder of EMC Corp. Koch was quoted in Forbes magazine in 2006 as saying, “Why would you want to sail in a forest of windmills?”

On Tuesday, Cape Wind announced that it had secured debt financing from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. “This is a significant step toward achieving financial close for Cape Wind,” said Ted Roosevelt IV, Managing Director at Barclays, financial advisor for the project. With financing complete, construction should begin later this year.

The project will be built in the Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. In average wind, the farm will generate enough electricity to provide three-fourths of the Cape and surrounding island’s needs, which should reduce carbon emissions by over 700,000 pounds each year. The project will provide thousands of jobs during construction and 150 permanent jobs after that. Hopefully the project is just the beginning for new offshore wind farms in the US.

+ Cape Wind

via Clean Technica

Images by Slaunger and Christopher Owen Jones