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Offshore wind farms at least a year off

Aug. 28, 2009 at 12:51 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Permits for the first offshore U.S. wind farms remain at least a year away but are on track to be approved, Interior Department officials said.

"We are going to see this commercial development occurring, both offshore and solar. You will continue to see tangible progress toward that," Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes said.

Interior officials are dealing with "regulatory underbrush" from the George W. Bush administration's failure to do much to develop wind and solar energy on public land and water, interior officials told the Los Angeles Times in a story published Friday.

Wind projects are moving closer to reality off New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island and other Northeast states, but the projects still must clear permitting processes and environmental reviews, Hayes said.

One of the projects is a giant wind farm first proposed eight years ago for Nantucket Sound. Critics worry about the farm's environmental effect, and advocates say the project would provide the majority of the power for Cape Cod and nearby islands.

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