Federal Advisory Council Wants to Block Cape Cod Offshore Wind Farm
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation is asking the U.S. Interior Department to block the $1-billion wind project off Cape Cod in Massachusetts because it would impact 34 historic properties including those of local Indian tribes, reports Reuters.
Cape Wind Associates has been battling local businesses, politicians and environmentalists for several years to build its proposed 130 wind tower farm. The latest update in February indicated that the U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar hoped to reach an agreement by the end of April over the long-delayed Cape Wind power project.
Reuters reports that Interior Secretary Salazar had asked the panel for advice but does not have to follow its recommendations, which came two days after Cape Wind selected Siemens AG to supply the turbines for the project.
The Siemens announcements resulted in additional problems for the developer. Opponents say that the taxpayer-subsidized project should select a U.S. company to supply the turbines if the project is approved, reports The Boston Herald. They estimate that taxpayers will pay about one-third of the estimated $1.6 billion total cost to build the project.
In response to the Advisory Council’s findings, Cape Wind stated in a press release that although it disagreed with the Advisory Council, it is “pleased that the Interior Secretary has a complete record to make a final decision on the project.”
The company also stated: “The bulk of the record was contained in a very favorable Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) issued by the Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the Department of Interior last year that looked at every benefit and impact of the project. The FEIS found Horseshoe Shoal to be the optimal site for this project.”
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