Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that he was approving the Cape Wind Project, the Nation’s first deep water offshore wind project. Secretary Salazar’s decision overcomes a recommendation from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) to disapprove the Project because of impacts to properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, including Nantucket Sound. Earlier this year the Keeper of the National Register determined the Sound is eligible for listing in the National Register for several reasons, including as a traditional cultural property because of its association with cultural practices or religious beliefs of two Indian tribes.

The Cape Wind Project would deploy 130 wind turbines. It is the Nation’s first commercial wind project to be located in marine waters. Several opponents have announced plans to file suit to block the Project.

Secretary Salazar’s decision sends an important signal on the Administration commitment to develop renewable energy resources despite objections from some environmental groups, local governments and Indian tribes. The Project is supported by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who stood beside Secretary Salazar when the Secretary announced his decision.

Check back here for more details as they are released, and please contact Cherise Oram, Michael O’Connell or any of our other renewable energy attorneys for more details!