[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

News Watch Home

Final OK expected for nation’s first major offshore wind farm  

Credit:  By Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport | The New York Times | May 11, 2021 | www.nytimes.com ~~

The Biden administration on Tuesday will announce its final approval of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, a major step toward President Biden’s goal of expanding renewable energy production across the United States, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The Vineyard Wind project calls for up to 84 turbines to be installed in the Atlantic Ocean about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. Together, they could generate about 800 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 400,000 homes.

The $2.8 billion project is a joint venture of the energy firms Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

The idea of a wind farm off the Massachusetts coast was conceived two decades ago but ran into repeated setbacks, delays and well-funded opposition from waterfront property owners before the Trump administration moved to cancel the project’s permitting process.

The Biden administration jump-started progress on Vineyard Wind in March as part of its larger push to tackle climate change.

The administration has pledged to build 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind in the United States by 2030. It’s a target the White House contended would spark $12 billion in capital investments annually, supporting 77,000 direct and indirect jobs by the end of the decade.

“It’s a big deal on its face. It’s the first of its kind,” said Frank Callahan, president the Massachusetts Building Trades Council. He praised the administration and said, “I think it’s an important message that these jobs will be good union jobs with good wages and benefits.”

The Biden administration said that it intended to fast-track permits for projects off the Atlantic Coast and that it would offer $3 billion in federal loan guarantees for offshore wind projects and invest in upgrades to ports across the United States to support wind turbine construction.

Vineyard Wind is broadly viewed as a test of the Biden administration’s ability to speed up permitting offshore wind projects while navigating concerns from some labor groups as well as commercial fishermen and others.

“It’s a big deal, and not just for Vineyard Wind. This is the icebreaker, it’s the first one, it’s charting the course,” Rafael McDonald, an electricity and renewable analyst at IHS Markit, said after the Biden administration released its initial environmental review in March. “There’s all this pent-up demand from state mandates, and Vineyard Wind is the bellwether.”

Electricity generated by the Vineyard Wind turbines will travel via cables buried six feet below the ocean floor to Cape Cod, where they would connect to a substation and feed into the New England grid. Construction would begin later this year; the project’s developers say it could be operational by 2023.

In addition to Vineyard Wind, a dozen other offshore wind projects along the East Coast are under federal review. The Interior Department has estimated that by the end of the decade developers of offshore wind projects could install at least 2,000 turbines from Massachusetts to North Carolina.

The effort fuses the administration’s goal of cutting planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions with its promise that renewable energy will create new economic opportunities. Mr. Biden has pledged to cut United States emissions roughly in half by 2035. If Mr. Biden’s offshore wind targets are met, it will accomplish a chunk of that goal by avoiding 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the administration said.

Many Republicans are skeptical of Mr. Biden’s job creation claims and say the president’s plans – particularly his suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters – are already hurting union workers in fossil fuel industries.

Offshore wind, which is booming in Europe, is a nascent industry in the United States. Only two wind farms currently operate, off the coasts of Virginia and Rhode Island. Together, they produce 42 megawatts of electricity.

But several Atlantic Coast states, including Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Virginia, have committed to buying more than 25,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2035, according to the American Clean Power Association.

Still, some coastal communities have decried wind farms as eyesores, and some environmentalists are concerned about the impact on marine life.

Fishing groups, meanwhile, are concerned that their boats and trawlers will be forced to steer clear of the hulking turbines, the largest of which now have rotor diameters the length of two football fields. That could limit the amount of seafood they can catch, potentially depriving coastal fishing communities of millions of dollars in revenue.

Brad Plumer contributed reporting.

Source:  By Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport | The New York Times | May 11, 2021 | www.nytimes.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.



Wind Watch on Facebook

Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

National Wind Watch