A step toward offshore Massachusetts wind power

Friday’s call is one of the first steps toward permitting wind farms to be built there, but the construction of turbines in the area is still years away.

The department said it would begin an environmental review of the proposed leasing area and asked developers to say where within the area they would want to build wind turbines. The roughly 826,000-acre leasing area is south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island in the Atlantic Ocean.

Other areas along the Atlantic Coast are closer to being leased to wind developers. The department said Thursday it planned to issue leases off the New Jersey and Maryland coasts by year’s end.

A separate lease held by the Cape Wind farm project in Nantucket Sound has already been issued, but the wind turbines project is stalled due to legal and financial troubles.