Sometime late next summer or early Fall, visitors will come to Cape Cod to view America's first offshore wind farm. As gas prices skyrocket upwards and nuclear power plants frighten their neighbors, this Cape Cod-only attraction will separate us from every other family destination in the country.
In Palm Springs, California, the 30-year-old wind farm has been the area's second most popular attraction for decades, and Eco Tours will soon vie with whale watches as the Cape's most popular according to tourism officials questioned for this story.
"The creation of this world class tourist attraction will provide yet another great reason for people all over Massachusetts, New England, the United States and the World to visit Cape Cod and the Islands."
- David Scudder, Hy-Line.
Today at a news conference on the Hyannis docks, Jim Gordon of Cape Wind will announce that his company has named Hy-Line Cruises as the official Cape Wind Eco Tour and Visitor Center operator at a joint news conference to be held overlooking Hyannis Harbor.
Hy-Line Cruises plans to initially acquire a passenger vessel to be dedicated to providing the public with narrated Cape Wind Eco Tours that can be expanded with additional vessels embarking from additional ports in the future.
The Visitor Center will educate visitors of all ages about the history of the Cape Wind project and energy use on Cape Cod, the U.S. and around the world. Specific emphasis will be placed on the history of energy use on Cape Cod and the Islands ranging from historic windmills to whale oil, to fossil fuels and the new transition to a clean energy economy led by citizens of Cape Cod and Massachusetts.
David Scudder, Vice President of Operations at Hy-Line Cruises said, "Hy-Line is confident that the Cape Wind Eco Tour and Visitor Center at Hy-Line Cruises will promote the continued growth of our company and stimulate economic development and job growth and creation in Hyannis, Cape Cod, the Islands, and the Massachusetts tourist-based economy. The creation of this world class tourist attraction will provide yet another great reason for people all over Massachusetts, New England, the United States and the World to visit Cape Cod and the Islands."
"It will stand as a testament to the spirit, ingenuity and progressiveness of Cape Cod and how our community harnessed the wind to protect and preserve our environment."
- Jim Gordon, Cape Wind.
Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said, "The Cape Wind Eco Tour and Visitor's Center at Hy-Line Cruises represents more than creating a world class tourism attraction and drawing visitors from around our region, nation and globe. It will stand as a testament to the spirit, ingenuity and progressiveness of Cape Cod and Massachusetts and how our community harnessed the wind to protect and preserve our environment, to revitalize our economy and to create a healthier more secure future."
Congressman Keating, Senator Wolf, CCCC President Schatzberg, others applaud historic decision
According to Hy-Line's David Scudder, "Ecotourism is one of the fastest-growing segments of tourism globally." He added, "The new business could create hundreds of jobs for the region" referring to the experience in Denmark and other European countries which have offered Eco Tours for over a decade.
U.S. Rep. William Keating, who will be among the officials to speak at an 11 a.m. news conference at Hy-Line, said the benefits of the Cape Wind Hy-Line partnership will give an economic boost to the region's vitally important tourism industry. Most estimates say tourism brings in well over half of all the income annually to Cape Cod businesses.
"It will will give an economic boost to the region's vitally important tourism industry."
- US Rep. Bill Keating.
Mr. Keating was the only candidate running for the 10th District Congressional seat last Fall who supported Cape Wind, and he said bringing tourists to the Cape Wind farm has news and economic benefits well beyond the tourism season.
"People will travel from all over the U.S. to see America's first offshore wind farm", Keating said, adding that the Cape and Islands have even more to offer visitors than Denmark while has long benfited from the ecotourism associated with its offshore wind farms.
State Senator for the Cape and Islands Dan Wolf said, "My hope is that this creative collaboration helps us realize a long-term energy vision for our region that includes a plan for responsible and sustainable consumption, production and distribution."
Hy-Line officials are committed to developing a green vessel to be used for this purpose and they are exploring the use of an innovative hybrid engine and they are also pursuing the possibility of this vessel being made in Massachusetts.
Hy-Line Cruises is working closely with the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA) and others to tie into the inter-modal transportation system to service its site by using green shuttle buses servicing offsite parking at the CCRTA.
Hy-Line Cruises and Cape Wind look forward to working with Cape Cod Community College to develop a curriculum of credit and non-credit courses that can be used to educate and train students and others in our community so they can attain jobs created both by the Eco Tour Cruises and at the Visitor Center.
"The College is thrilled to be the educational partner in this new venture that will have multiple economic impacts throughout the region."
- Kathleen Schatzberg,
Cape Cod Community College.
Cape Cod Community College President Kathleen Schatzberg said, "The College is thrilled to be the educational partner in this new venture that will have multiple economic impacts throughout the region. We anticipate that students in multiple disciplines will be involved, from providing local historic as well as ecological/environmental information as tour guides, to serving as customer service and operational personnel for tour services. As the business develops, we look forward to creating the workforce training programs needed to build its success."
Cape Wind will build America's first offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal that will supply most of the electricity used on Cape Cod and the Islands from clean, renewable energy - reducing this region's need to import oil, coal and gas. Cape Wind will create new jobs, contribute to a healthier environment, increase energy independence and establish Massachusetts as a leader in offshore wind power.