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U.S approves wind power for 1 million homes

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The U.S. Interior Department has completed an environmental review for a massive wind farm that has the potential to power up to 1 million homes and cleared the way for more offshore development.

Project area of the Choke Cherry, Sierra Madre wind farm

A headwind of renewable power is approaching. The U.S. Interior Department has completed an environmental review for a massive wind farm that has the potential to power up to 1 million homes and cleared the way for more offshore development.

Yesterday, the government announced that environmental reviews had been completed for Wyoming's Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Farm, which could become the U.S's largest project with up to 1,000 turbines.

"When it comes to wind energy, we're making significant progress both onshore and offshore to diversify our nation's domestic energy portfolio and stand up a clean energy economy," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.

The farms would produce 3,000-megawatts and be managed by Power Company of Wyoming, and will be built at an estimated cost of US$4B-$6B. Half of the turbines will be located on public lands. The utility has forecast a regional economic benefit.

Assessments were also completed for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The ability to develop on the OCS, combined with cheaper turbines, could lead to a boom for the wind industry.

"Today, as we take the next steps toward realizing what could be the largest wind energy project in the world and holding a competitive offshore wind lease sale, we are really at the forefront of a renewable energy revolution," Salazar added.

(image credit: USDA Farm Service Agency)

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David Worthington

Contributing Editor

David Worthington has written for BetaNews, eWeek, PC World, Technologizer and ZDNet. Formerly, he was a senior editor at SD Times. He holds a business degree from Temple University. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure