Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri last week signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the potential for offshore wind energy in waters between Martha’s Vineyard and Rhode Island.

They designated 400 square miles as an “area of mutual interest” and agreed to collaborate on possible wind-energy projects in the area. The states will study costs and benefits of offshore wind energy in the area, which is 12 miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard and extends 20 miles west into Rhode Island Sound.

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