Quantcast

Obama Administration Inches Toward Guaranteeing $150 Million Loan For Nation's First Offshore Wind Farm

Business

The Cape Wind project faced a dozen opposers in court over the years, but it has never been closer to reality.

The U.S. Department of Energy on Tuesday announced the first step toward issuing a $150 million loan guarantee to help Cape Wind begin constructing the nation's first offshore wind farm as early as next year. The commercial-scale operation would create a capacity of 360 megawatts of energy off the coast of Cape Cod, MA.

The DOE is deeming the announcement as a "conditional commitment" with a promise to monitor the project's development before closing the loan guarantee. The DOE would join a slew of public and private lenders helping bring the $2.6 billion farm to light.

A conditional loan guarantee is the firmest, federal backing Cape Wind could have hoped for at this point. Rendering credit: Cape Wind Project

"Today's announcement by the Department of Energy represents an important endorsement by the United States government of the environmental, economic and energy benefits that offshore wind will provide to our country," Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said in a statement. "We appreciate Energy Secretary [Ernest] Moniz helping launch the American offshore wind industry, creating jobs and unleashing a new clean energy source for the nation."

Moniz joined Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and U.S. Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA) to make the announcement.

“Offshore wind will not only provide a new, clean source of energy for the United States, it will reduce American reliance on fossil fuel, mitigate climate change and jump start a new U.S. industry that will create thousands of clean energy jobs,” Patrick said.

Updated project figures show that it would create about 400 construction jobs and 50 operations jobs. Its 130 or so turbines would create much of the electricity needed to power Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

“There is tremendous potential for producing clean, pollution-free wind energy off of our coasts," Environment America Energy Program Director Rob Sargent said. "We are thrilled that the Obama administration has announced another critical step forward in making this vision a reality for America. As states transition away from dirty energy under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, offshore wind energy is the Atlantic Coast’s largest pollution-free resource."

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Rebecca Burgess came up with the idea of a fibersheds project to develop an eco-friendly, locally sourced wardrobe. Nicolás Boullosa / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

If I were to open my refrigerator, the origins of most of the food wouldn't be too much of a mystery — the milk, cheese and produce all come from relatively nearby farms. I can tell from the labels on other packaged goods if they're fair trade, non-GMO or organic.

Read More Show Less
A television crew reports on Hurricane Dorian while waves crash against the Banana River sea wall. Paul Hennessy / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

Some good news, for a change, about climate change: When hundreds of newsrooms focus their attention on the climate crisis, all at the same time, the public conversation about the problem gets better: more prominent, more informative, more urgent.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) met with Bill Gates on Nov. 7 to discuss climate change and ways to address the challenge. Senator Chris Coons

The U.S. Senate's bipartisan climate caucus started with just two members, a Republican from Indiana and a Democrat from Delaware. Now it's up to eight members after two Democrats, one Independent and three more Republicans joined the caucus last week, as The Hill reported.

Read More Show Less
EPA scientists survey aquatic life in Newport, Oregon. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to significantly limit the use of science in agency rulemaking around public health, the The New York Times reports.

Read More Show Less
A timelapse video shows synthetic material and baby fish collected from a plankton sample from a surface slick taken off Hawaii's coast. Honolulu Star-Advertiser / YouTube screenshot

A team of researchers led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration didn't intend to study plastic pollution when they towed a tiny mesh net through the waters off Hawaii's West Coast. Instead, they wanted to learn more about the habits of larval fish.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Two silver-backed chevrotain caught on camera trap. The species has only recently been rediscovered after being last seen in 1990. GWC / Mongabay

By Jeremy Hance

VIETNAM, July 2019 – I'm chasing a ghost, I think not for the first time, as night falls and I gather up my gear in a hotel in a village in southern Vietnam. I pack my camera, a bottle of water, and a poncho; outside the window I can see a light rain.

Read More Show Less
(L) Selma Three Stone Engagement Ring. (R) The Greener Diamond Farm Project. MiaDonna

By Bailey Hopp

If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.

Read More Show Less
Flooding in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina on Sept. 11, 2005. NOAA Photo Library / Lieut. Commander Mark Moran

The most destructive hurricanes are three times more frequent than they were a century ago, new research has found, and this can be "unequivocally" linked to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less