By George Bachrach and Rick Mottila
At long last, America’s first offshore wind project, Cape Wind, has secured its permits, leases and is finalizing financing. Once turbines are erected, miles off-shore, it will begin producing most of the electricity that will supply energy to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. But Cape Wind is only the beginning. The U.S. Department of the Interior recently announced the nation’s largest, additional offshore wind lease area off the coast of Massachusetts.
This is not only great news for Massachusetts, but great news for America. The U.S. needs to catch up with Europe and Asia in harnessing not only the energy of offshore wind power, but also the jobs that can drive our economy. Europe alone has 58,000 people working in the offshore wind industry where 64 offshore wind farms are successfully producing clean power and helping Europe become more energy independent while reducing carbon emissions. Here in Massachusetts the clean energy industry of wind and solar combined has already created over 80,000 new jobs, and 5,500 new small companies. It’s the fastest growing element of our economy.