The state's proposed Wind Energy Zone has gotten a boost from the Federal government. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was in New Bedford Tuesday, presenting its environmental assessment of the 740-thousand acre zone, expected to be the future site of several hundred wind turbines. The assessment forecasts minimal impact to marine life and commercial fishing prospects within the site. While the report is a positive one, Maureen Bornholdt of the Bureau says there's still major steps ahead before developers can begin their work...

After qualified developers are selected, they'll be able to bid on spaces within the zone. That auction is expected to take place sometime in the fall of 2013. Residents are encouraged to review the environmental assessment and submit public comment by December 3rd.