The Biden administration is set to sharply increase offshore wind power along the U.S. east coast, saying Monday it is taking action to approve a huge wind farm off New Jersey as part of an effort to generate electricity for more than 10 million homes by 2030.
Reaching the goal could mean jobs for more than 44,000 workers and another 33,000 in related jobs, the White House said. This effort would also prevent 78 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, a key step in the fight to slow the climate crisis.
Joe Biden “believes we have a huge opportunity ahead of us not only to address the threats of climate change, but to use it as a chance to create millions of well-paying union jobs that will fuel America’s economic recovery.” Said White. Gina McCarthy House Climate Advisor.
“Nowhere is the magnitude of this opportunity clearer than for offshore wind.”
The pledge “will create pathways to the middle class for people from all walks of life and communities,” she added.
The administration said it intended to prepare a formal environmental scan for the Ocean Wind project off New Jersey, making it the third commercial-scale offshore wind project in the United States.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (OEM), which is part of the Department of the Interior, said it was targeting offshore wind projects in the shallow waters between Long Island, New York and New Jersey. A recent study shows that the region can support up to 25,000 development and construction jobs by 2030, according to a statement.
OEM has said it will push to sell commercial leases in late 2021 or early 2022.
Ocean Wind, 15 miles off the south coast of New Jersey, is expected to produce about 1,100 megawatts per year, enough to power 500,000 homes.
The Home Office announced environmental reviews for Vineyard Wind in Massachusetts and the South Fork Wind Farm about 35 miles east of Montauk Point in New York City. Vineyard Wind is expected to produce around 800 megawatts and South Fork around 132.
Biden has pledged to double offshore wind production by 2030 as part of his efforts to slow the climate crisis. The likely approval of the Atlantic coast projects – at the forefront of at least 16 offshore wind projects along the east coast – marks a sharp turnaround by the Trump administration, which has blocked wind power on land and in the ocean.
Donald Trump has often derided wind power as an expensive and bird-killing way to generate electricity, and his administration has resisted or opposed projects such as Vineyard Wind. The developer of the Massachusetts project has temporarily withdrawn its application to avoid possible rejection. Biden provided a new opening for the project shortly after taking office in January.
“For generations we have postponed the transition to clean energy and are now facing a climate crisis,” Home Secretary Deb Haaland said.
“As our country faces the interrelated challenges of a global pandemic, an economic downturn, racial injustice and the climate crisis, we must make the transition to a better future for all.”
Vineyard Wind is expected to become operational in 2023, Ocean Wind a year later.
The development of offshore wind power is in its infancy in the United States, far behind Europe. A small wind farm operates in waters controlled by Rhode Island, and another small farm operates off Virginia.
The three major projects belong to European companies or subsidiaries. Vineyard Wind is a joint project of a Danish company and an American subsidiary of the Spanish energy company Iberdrola. Ocean Wind and South Fork are run by Danish company Orsted.
Wind developers are poised to create tens of thousands of jobs and generate over $ 100 billion in new investment by 2030 “but the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management must first open the door to new rentals, ”said Erik Milito, president of National Ocean Industries Association.
Fishing groups from Maine to Florida have expressed fears that large offshore wind projects could make large swathes of the ocean closed to their catches.