Common Sense to Offshore Wind Power
Developing new wind power farms off the Atlantic coast of America received a much needed shot in the arm this week from the Obama administration. One of the largest deterrents to expanding wind power offshore is the multiple levels of federal, state, and local red tape that every project must go through before even one wind turbine can be built. The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a fast track process that will remove years from the process by pre-qualifying potential tracts offshore for potential developers that are considering new offshore wind projects. The new initiative has been rightfully named, “Smart from the Start”.
BALTIMORE, MD -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today launched a ‘Smart from the Start’ wind energy initiative for the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf to facilitate siting, leasing and construction of new projects, spurring the rapid and responsible development of this abundant renewable resource. “Our ‘Smart from the Start’ Initiative for Atlantic wind will allow us to identify priority Wind Energy Areas for potential development, improve our coordination with local, state, and federal partners, and accelerate the leasing process,” Salazar noted. “If we are wise with our planning, we can help build a robust and environmentally responsible offshore renewable energy program that creates jobs here at home.” The accelerated leasing process is being simplified through a regulatory change, enabling leases to be issued in 2011 and 2012. – U.S. Department of the Interior
With our nation still heavily dependent on foreign sources for our energy needs then it makes for common sense that our government does everything possible to expedite our weaning from those energy sources.
The Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts is just one example of regulation gone mad with the project taking almost ten years before even one watt of energy is harvested. Cape Wind once completed will supply 75% of the electricity needed by the residents and businesses on Cape Cod. Just imagine dozens of such wind farms off the Atlantic coast and the impact that would have on reducing our energy dependence.
Several states like Maryland, New Jersey and Rhode Island have already taken steps to speed up the process for new offshore wind power farms and the added streamlining by the Department of the Interior is a win, win for renewable energy in America.