wind power turbine Turbines of the new Burbo Bank off shore wind farm stand in a calm sea in the mouth of the River Mersey on May 12, 2008 in Liverpool, England. The Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm comprises 25 wind turbines and is situated on the Burbo Flats in Liverpool Bay at the entrance to the River Mersey, approximately 6.4km (4.0 miles) from the Sefton coastline and 7.2km (4.5 miles) from North Wirral. The wind farm is capable of generating up to 90MW (megawatts) of clean, environmentally sustainable electricity. This is enough power for approximately 80,000 homes. The site is run by Danish energy company Dong Energy.
Credit: Getty Images

A massive stretch of water 14 miles south of Martha's Vineyard will be home to the nation's largest offshore area for wind energy commercial development.

The announcement by state and federal officials was made on Tuesday and means that more than 742,000 acres off of the Massachusetts coast are now available for wind energy commercial development. The proposed area is the largest in the nation and nearly doublesthe federal offshore acreage available for commercial-scale wind energy projects.

"Through sound science and true collaboration, we have identified an area best suited for offshore wind development that seeks to minimize conflicts with other important ocean uses,"U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a statement.


The land will be competitively leased to companies seeking to develop wind turbines in the federal waters off of the Massachusetts coast. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will auction the area off as four leases.

boston massachusetts wind energy area management A map of area (in green) recently opened up for wind energy commercial development.
Credit: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Tuesday's announcement of a Proposed Sale Notice triggers a 60-day public comment period. The end of the period also serves as the deadline for any companies wishing to participate in the lease sale, according to officials.

Officials did not say in their announcement how many wind turbines are expected to be built in the area.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

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