The federal government announced Tuesday that it conditionally approved a $150 million loan guarantee for Cape Wind, the 130-turbine wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound, off Massachusetts.
The U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee, combined with already announced commercial debt and equity for the offshore wind farm, would give the project's developer more than half of the projected $2.6 billion cost, according to a report in the Cape Cod Times.
The Cape Wind loan is far less than the developer requested in 2011, said Audra Parker, president of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the project's primary opposition group.
"It's a conditional commitment again and it's a far cry from the $1.97 billion that Cape Wind tried to get in the original application," she told the paper. "I think it's a vote of low confidence in the project moving forward."
Cape Wind, first proposed in 2001, has faced stiff opposition from critics who say the project will irreparably harm Nantucket Sound, is too expensive and is a danger to navigation.
Supporters argue that it is potentially the first step toward establishing a new industry that will provide clean energy, good jobs and help address climate change.