ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Cape Wind President Jim Gordon signed the first lease for an offshore wind farm in the federal waters of the United States this morning at the American Wind Energy Association’s Offshore Wind Conference in Atlantic City, N.J.

The lease authorizes Cape Wind to construct the 130 turbine offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound, Mass., and to operate the facility for a period of 25 years.

“The signing of this lease sends an important market signal to the offshore wind industry that the United States is ready to move forward and that Cape Wind will be the first of many offshore wind projects in this country,” Gordon said.

Last month the U.S. Department of Energy unveiled a draft plan that calls for the United States to install 54,000 megawatts of offshore wind power capacity by the year 2030, which would require more than 100 Cape Wind-sized projects.

“We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work building America’s first offshore wind farm that will create hundreds of jobs, increase our energy independence, and promote a healthier and more hopeful energy future,” Gordon added.

Cape Wind is America’s first offshore wind farm to secure federal and state approval and to be issued a lease to operate by the federal government. Cape Wind will create jobs and promote greater energy independence and a cleaner environment. Cape Wind will also establish Massachusetts as a leader in offshore wind power.

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