Obama Administration OKs Construction Plan for Wind Farm off Cape Cod

By Steve LeBlanc | April 19, 2011 | 11:46 AM EDT

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, left, and Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes view Nantucket Sound during a tour of the area for the proposed Cape Wind project off the coast of Cape Cod on Feb. 2, 2010. (AP File Photo/Julia Cumes)

Boston (AP) - A federal agency has approved a construction plan for a wind farm off the Massachusetts coast, clearing the way for work to begin on the nation's first offshore wind farm as early as this fall.

U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar made the announcement about the Cape Wind project in Boston on Tuesday. He says the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement has approved the plan.

Cape Wind plans to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound. But the wind farm still could face legal action from opponents who question the cost to ratepayers and the potential impact on wildlife.

Gov. Deval Patrick says in a statement that federal approval moves the region a step closer to benefiting from the clean energy and jobs that will be created by the project.