Cape Wind Project Approved, a Mere 10 Years Later

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A project that's been a symbol of NIMBYism and opposition to offshore wind power, the Cape Wind Project, is finally moving ahead, after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement approved its plan yesterday.

While it's good news for wind advocates, it's worth noting that many green power projects like solar plants in the Mojave desert and wind farms across the Midwest have encountered similar opposition. When you do something that impacts large amounts of land, many people have an interest in stopping or shaping the project. What we need is some way of evaluating the benefits of low-carbon power with the downsides of land-use impacts, but it's hard to even imagine what such a methodology would look like.

The U.S government on Tuesday approved a plan to build the country's first offshore wind farm, in a picturesque bay near Cape Cod, a popular Massachusetts holiday destination. Installation of 130, 3.6-megawatt wind turbine generators that will stand 440 feet high (134 meters) could begin in Nantucket Sound by the autumn, the Department of the Interior said in a statement announcing that the Cape Wind Project was finally going ahead, 10 years after it was first put forward.

Read the full story at Discovery News.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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