Finally, a Political Tailwind for Offshore Wind Power

COM grad Jim Gordon's plans for Nantucket Sound gather momentum

Sitting in his Arlington Street office, musing about seismic political shifts in Washington, Jim Gordon, whose 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound has been stalled by legal challenges, controversy, and red tape for eight years, does one thing he hasn’t done before: he refers to his opposition in the past tense.  “They’ve marginalized themselves,” says Gordon (COM’75), CEO of Cape Wind. “That, and the earth has shifted under their feet.”

Gordon is talking about political turf as much as growing awareness that the best response to global warming will involve wind and solar energy. President Obama has given a broad endorsement of renewables as a cornerstone of his energy policy, and the administration’s new secretary of the interior, Ken Salazar, has zeroed in on Gordon’s project, announcing support for turbines atop the shallows of Horseshoe Shoal between Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, along with the bulk of state and federal regulators, also has signed on to the project that Gordon says will supply 75 percent of the electricity needed on the Cape and islands, with zero emissions, zero water consumption, zero waste discharge, and zero foreign energy. And reputable polling data suggest that more than 80 percent of the Massachusetts public now thinks building a mammoth wind farm in the Sound is a sound idea.Click here to read this article by Seth Rolbein in BU Today