The wind-energy industry just got a huge helping hand with the U.S. government giving its stamp of approval for the Cape Wind renewable energy project. Wind energy exchange traded funds (ETFs) may have to wait a bit to truly reap the benefits, though.

The $2 billion Cape Wind renewable energy project will allow 130 wind turbines to begin operating on a 25-square mile area in Nantucket Sound, writes Steve Dew for IndexUniverse. Energy Management Inc. estimates the project will yield an average output of 182 megawatts, which is enough to supply 200,000 homes. [Solar and Wind ETFs: Looking at the Big Picture.]

Energy Management has spent almost nine years going through new state and federal regulations that were passed for offshore turbines. The company’s efforts are hoped to have paved a way for a more streamlined regulatory approval process in future projects.

Cape Wind is the first offshore wind energy installation, and the U.S. Department of Interior calculates that the offshore Atlantic wind energy potential could be 1 million megawatts. Dozens of projects are currently in the works up and down the East Coast, potentially giving wind ETFs even more opportunities for growth in the future. [Your Guide To Green ETFs.]

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