By now, 130 turbines were supposed to be turning above the shallow area of Nantucket Sound known as Horseshoe Shoal. But nothing is there to capture the power of December’s winds, except perhaps for the wings of the long-tailed ducks that winter around Cape Cod.
In the dozen years since Cape Wind was first proposed, there have been reams of study over potential impact on waterfowl, marine mammals, and submerged Indian burial grounds. The developers received local, state, and federal approvals, were granted the first U.S. offshore wind energy license in 2010, and gained the support of some key environmental groups.
But the true test will be the final hurdle: money.
To qualify for a U.S. investment tax credit that would cover 30 percent of its estimated $2.6 billion in construction costs, Cape Wind developers must break ground by December 31, or prove that they’ve made a substantial start on the project. And an important backer, the Danish pension fund PensionDanmark, has pledged $200 million contingent on a year-end deadline for lining up additional investors.