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Cape Wind Remains a Dream: Project Developer Gives Up

It was to be the first offshore wind farm in the USA. What remains is 16 years of struggle against windmills.

Part of the permitting documents for Cape Wind (Image: Cape Wind)Part of the permitting documents for Cape Wind (Image: Cape Wind)

It began in 2001 as a vision: the first offshore wind farm in the United States was to be built off the coast of Massachusetts to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels of the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. What followed was a 16 year struggle against windmills - literally. The Cape Wind project, which consisted of 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound's ocean, provoked the anger of many very prominent and very wealthy residents of the islands who were afraid for their beautiful view. Among them were well-known clans such as Kennedy and Koch, who repeatedly littered the project planner with complaints and delayed construction.

Although Boston-based developer Energy Management Inc. was at times successful in court, the persistence of the opponents ultimately ensured that the project was finally buried. Energy Management has already informed the responsible U.S. Bureau of Ocean Management that the offshore wind development lease contract received in 2010 will not be fulfilled. As early as two years ago, when various contracts with local energy suppliers that were supposed to purchase wind power were cancelled, experts had predicted that this could mean the end of the project.

In the meantime, the development of U.S. offshore wind has continued elsewhere: last year, project developer Deepwater Wind opened the first offshore wind farm off Rhode Island: Block Island consists of five turbines and has a capacity of 30 megawatts.


Windfair Staff
USA, Cape Wind, Block Island, offshore, project developer, wind farm

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