Obama Administration Takes Major Step Forward for Offshore Wind Power in Massachusetts

from Wildlife Promise

Sally Jewell Wind Announcement

Secretary Jewell announcing a major step forward for offshore wind power in Massachusetts at the state’s Wind Technology Test Center in Charlestown.

The ever-growing need for viable, large-scale clean energy solutions to protect wildlife from the dangers of climate change places the Atlantic Coast at center stage—and today, the spotlight is on Massachusetts.

This afternoon, Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced to an eager crowd in Boston that the federal government is kicking off the leasing process for the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area with plans to hold an auction by the end of the year.

She brought enthusiasm for the progress this represents nationally, emphasizing that it doubles the area of federal waters far offshore currently available for wind energy development.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick joined the Secretary in expressing excitement about today’s announcement, highlighting the significant clean energy and job creation opportunity this could bring for the Commonwealth.

Secretary Jewell: “It takes a village.”

Secretary Jewell noted that today’s announcement would not have happened without strong leadership at the top here in the Commonwealth, highlighting how important state and federal collaboration will continue to be in the months and years ahead to ensure offshore wind development moves forward.

“National Wildlife Federation applauds the Obama Administration for taking this significant step forward for offshore wind power, and calls on Massachusetts’ leaders to seize this opportunity with a clear commitment to ensure that responsibly-sited offshore wind power plays a major role in the Commonwealth’s energy future.”

- Catherine Bowes, Senior Climate & Energy Manager, National Wildlife Federation

Speak Up for Offshore Wind Power in Massachusetts!

Next week, Massachusetts will host officials from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for two public meetings to discuss what’s next for offshore wind power development far off the state’s coast. Public support for progress in the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area needs to be loud and clear—and since the designated area is in federal waters, supportive comments are invited from far and wide.

For those of you in the area, join us and show your support for offshore wind power in Massachusetts:

Monday, June 23 // 5 – 7 p.m. // Vineyard Haven

Katharine Cornell Theatre, 54 Spring Street, Tisbury (Map)

Tuesday, June 24 // 5 – 7 p.m. // New Bedford

New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford (Map)

About the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area:

Massachusetts Wind Energy Area (BOEM)

Massachusetts Wind Energy Area (BOEM)

Separate from the soon-to-be-spinning Cape Wind project, and the Rhode Island- Massachusetts Wind Energy Area leased last July, the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area is located approximately 12 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 13 nautical miles southwest of Nantucket.

The 742,000 acre area has an estimated 5,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy generation potential—enough to power 1.6 million U.S. homes. It’s a critically-needed opportunity to diversify the Northeast regional energy mix, create significant new jobs and economic development, and protect wildlife and future generations from the dangerous effects of climate change.

Decision makers need to hear our resounding call for this tried and true clean energy solution that has been producing substantial amounts of power and jobs overseas for decades.

National Wildlife Federation is closely following the offshore wind leasing process to ensure that projects move forward with careful regard for marine and coastal wildlife and their habitats, such as the critically-endangered North Atlantic right whale—and in turn, advocate for the construction of projects that reflect high standards of stewardship.

Join us in showing support for responsibly-developed offshore wind power off the coast of Massachusetts!

Take ActionNot in the Massachusetts area, or unavailable next week? Add your voice in writing and we’ll deliver your comments for you!