Feds Lease Ocean Waters to Wind Farm Company

Secretary Ken Salazar delivering the keynote address at the American Wind Energy Association's conference. U.S. Department of the Interior photograph.

Boston.com reports that the proposed 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound was awarded the nation’s first lease for offshore commercial wind this morning. The announcement was made by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

The 28-year lease for 25 square miles in federal waters will cost Cape Wind, the company behind the wind farm, an annual fee of $88,278 and a 2 to 7 percent operating fee during production based on revenue from selling the energy.

“This is the beginning of a new era for our nation in offshore energy production,” Salazar said in a speech to the American Wind Energy Association in Atlantic City, where he was signing the lease this morning. “Responsibly developing this clean, renewable, domestic resource will stimulate investment in cutting-edge technology, create good, solid jobs for American workers, and promote our nation’s competitiveness, security, and prosperity.”

Read the full article:

Boston.Com: The Green Blog

U.S. Department of Energy: Secretary Salazar’s remarks.

What are your thoughts on the lease agreement?

  • Should public waters be awarded to private concerns, which may limit access to boaters and fishermen?
  • Is wind-generated energy worth that kind of sacrifice, and does it set a precedent for more leases of this type?