BOSTON — After nine years of regulatory review, the federal government gave the green light Wednesday to the nation’s first offshore wind farm, a sprawling project off the coast of Cape Cod.
The approval of the 130-turbine farm gives a significant boost to the nascent offshore wind industry in the United States, which has lagged far behind Europe and China in harnessing the strong and steady power of ocean breezes to provide electricity to homes and businesses.
With Gov. Deval Patrick standing beside him, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced at a news conference at the Massachusetts Statehouse that the government had approved a permit for Cape Wind Associates, a private venture, to build the farm.
“I am approving the Cape Wind project,” Mr. Salazar said. “This will be the first of many projects up and down the Atlantic coast.”