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Feds To Open Up 742,000 Acres Off Mass. For Wind Energy Leases

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(Photo credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell say more than 742,000 more acres off the Massachusetts coast are being opened for commercial wind energy leases.

Patrick said Wednesday the state “is poised to lead the charge in offshore wind energy development,” and gain economic and environmental benefits.

The officials said proposed area is the largest in federal waters and will nearly double the acreage available for commercial-scale wind energy projects. The area is about 12 miles offshore, south of Martha’s Vineyard. It is to be auctioned as four leases.

So far the government has awarded five commercial wind energy leases off the Atlantic Coast, including Cape Wind in Nantucket Sound off Massachusetts and an area off Delaware. Two competitive leases also have been awarded in the Massachusetts-Rhode Island area and Virginia.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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