AWEA applauds Sec. Salazar’s signing of offshore wind power lease

Today at the North American Offshore Wind Conference & Exhibition, hosted by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) in Atlantic City, N.J., U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Cape Wind Associates, LLC, signed the nation’s first lease for commercial offshore wind farm development on the Outer Continental Shelf.

AWEA issued the following statement from Denise Bode, AWEA CEO, who was on stage with Secretary Salazar for the signing of the lease:

“This is a great moment, a major milestone, in getting the offshore segment of the U.S. wind turbines industry off the ground and in the water. Cape Wind has been a leader in the offshore wind power movement for years, and so it is appropriate that this historic moment take place right here at the first-ever North American Offshore Wind Conference & Exhibition—just a short walk from the Atlantic Ocean, where thousands of megawatts of wind energy are waiting to be tapped.

“Over 1,600 people from around the world witnessed the signing, some of them from countries that have taken the lead away from the United States in developing wind energy.

“The Cape Wind lease represents progress toward taking that lead back for America, and keeping not only construction jobs, but also wind manufacturing jobs, right here at home instead of having to watch them go to China and Europe. And it’s a major defeat for oil and coal interests who are funding front groups to try to stir up opposition to breakthrough projects like Cape Wind.

“We thank and congratulate Secretary Salazar and Jim Gordon, CEO of Cape Wind, for taking the opportunity of the conference to create this historic moment. With the kind of leadership that people like Secretary Salazar and Jim Gordon have shown, our industry will capture the jobs and manufacturing potential of offshore wind power.”

By Tom Gray,