The US Department of the Interior has awarded the first leases for exploration of offshore wind development. The leases to three companies, Deepwater Wind LLC, Babcock and Brown Bluewater Wind LLC, and Fisherman’s Energy of New Jersey LLC, will allow the companies to build meteorological towers between 6 and 18 miles off the New Jersey and Delaware coastlines so that they can gather data on wind speeds and conduct environmental studies to judge the viability of building wind farms. The proposed wind farms would consist of up to 100 turbines each, and would be situated between 16 and 20 miles offshore.
In announcing the leases, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said, “Wind energy off the Atlantic coast is a very significant resource. The technology is proven, effective and available, and can create new jobs for Americans while reducing our expensive and dangerous dependence on foreign oil.”