The first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the United States has just received the green light from the Biden administration. The approval has the potential to significantly expand the country’s wind energy sector after years of regulatory limbo for proposed offshore projects.
The Home Office (DOI) has granted permission for the Vineyard Wind Project to install up to 84 turbines off the coast of Massachusetts. When completed, the project will be able to produce up to 800 megawatts (MW), enough electricity for 400,000 homes. This is a dramatic increase in the existing offshore wind capacity in the United States. There are currently only two small developments off the East Coast and these cannot produce a total of 42 megawatts of electricity.
The Biden administration has big ambitions for offshore wind. It has set a target of getting 30,000 MW of power from offshore wind by 2030. This is part of a larger plan to tackle climate change by achieving 100% clean electricity from here 2035.
“A clean energy future is within reach in the United States. Approval of this project is an important step towards advancing the administration’s goals of creating well-paying union jobs while combating climate change and empowering our nation, ”said Secretary of State. Interior Deb Haaland in a statement.
Europe is already ahead of the game, with more than 25,000 MW of offshore wind capacity today. Globally, wind and solar power are taking off when it comes to electricity production. New renewable energy capacities accounted for 90% of the growth of the global energy sector in 2020 and is expected to do so again in 2021 and 2022, according to a market update released today by the International Energy Agency. energy.
Vineyard Wind first submitted its construction and operating plan for federal government approval in 2017, although plans for the project have been ongoing since 2009. Now that the project has been lit green, it should be operational by 2023, according to project developers Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
Vineyard Wind Receives Decision Report from DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is probably a good sign for more than a dozen other offshore wind projects awaiting federal approval. This is also good news for adjacent industries, including shipbuilding. There has been a “goosebumps” situation for the offshore wind industry: it needs specialized vessels to build new projects, but shipbuilders were reluctant to invest in new builds until large projects received. permits to go ahead. Vineyard Wind’s endorsement could be the wind in the sails to really get the two industries moving.