There are no offshore wind farms in the United States, although several are already in development off Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Delaware. The Rhode Island and New Jersey developments are in state waters, while the Delaware lease was not awarded in a competitive process, Sopko said.
The Cape Wind project, in federal waters off Cape Cod in Massachusetts, was the nation's first offshore wind project to be approved and predates the system that has since been put into place, Sopko said. It is scheduled to be up and running in 2015.
A project under development in Rhode Island, which includes just a handful of turbines, is scheduled to go online in 2014, which is would make it the nation's first offshore wind farm.