The US Department of Interior secretary Ken Salazar and Cape Wind Associates have signed the nation's first lease for commercial wind energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf.

The area offered in the lease covers 25 square miles, and the lease authorizes Cape Wind to construct a 130-turbine offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound and to operate the facility for a period of 25 years.

The 28-year lease for the area off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, will cost the company $88,278 in annual rent prior to production, and a 2% to 7% operating fee during production.

The fee is based on revenues from selling the offshore wind energy in regional markets.

At average anticipated production, Cape Wind is expected to produce enough energy to power more than 200,000 homes.

Last month, the US Department of Energy unveiled a draft plan that calls for the nation to install 54,000MW of offshore wind power capacity by the year 2030.