Government officials have completed an environmental assessment report that they say could help “set the stage for moving forward aggressively” with wind turbine energy projects in federal waters off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The study will help simplify the leasing process for companies to construct wind farms in the more than 164,000 acres of waters off the 2 states, The Associated Press reports. The Bureau of Ocean Energy said the area is an ideal location for power generation.U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told the news source that more than 8 companies have already expressed an interest in leases offshore Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including Deepwater Wind New England, Energy Management LLC, Fisherman’s Energy and US Wind Incorporated. Once leased, the projects could generate hundreds of construction jobs for skilled trade workers, engineers and supervisors. The government said the assessment could help it offer leases to developers by the end of next year.According to the Bureau of Labor, the wind industry construction sector employs workers with a variety of skills on their resumes, including welders, assemblers, quality control inspectors and industrial production managers.