A proposal to build the first massive U.S. offshorewind energy project, opposed by influential residents of nearby resorts, got afavorable environmental review on Friday from the U.S. government

The Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service foundthere would be little negative impact from the Cape Wind energy project off the Massachusettscoast aimed at providing power for 400,000 homes.

MMS spokesman Dave Smith said the final environmental reviewfound the impacts “”are expected to be mostly negligible orminor.””

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With an estimated price tag of more than $1 billion, CapeWind would consist of 130 wind turbines over 24 square miles (62 sq km) inNantucket Sound, within view of popular Cape Cod resorts.

Opponents include U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy and otherresidents of nearby Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, along with someenvironmental groups and local fishermen.

Jim Gordon, president of developer Energy Management Inc.,said construction could begin by early next year and Cape Wind could begin producingelectricity in 2011 or 2012.

The project’s environmenal review will be open for public inspection for 30 days. The incoming Obama administration will decide whether to grant final government approval, MMS spokesman Smith said.

Source: Reuters

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