United States Approves of First Major Offshore Wind Farm as Nation Looks to Expand Green Energy

By Thomas Price Wednesday, May 12, 2021

As climate change becomes a larger focus to governments and people, the need to replace reliance on traditional energy sources grows with it. As a result, investment in alternative, sustainable energy continues to expand. While many business owners and large company names have already begun the transition, the United States (US) government is now joining in as well. The US recently approved a major offshore wind farm that could help replace a significant amount of power still being derived from natural gas, coal, and oil.

A wind turbine farm.

Details on the Approved Wind Farm

The aptly titled Vineyard Wind 1 Project will be the eventual name for the 800-megawatt offshore wind farm that has been approved off the coast of Massachusetts. The project is expected to cost around $3.03 billion and will be a joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Group in Spain. While the project has yet to break ground, the latter company suggests the wind farm could be open and fully operational as early as 2023.

Additionally, the Vineyard Wind 1 Project could also be a massive boost to local economies. While Copenhagen Infrastructure and Avangrid Renewables both run their company operations in Europe, it is estimated that the project will create around 3,600 domestic jobs, with a portion of those becoming permanent. The project will also help generate enough energy to power 400,000 businesses and homes.

While the US has a robust land-based wind turbine collection, that cannot be said for offshore energy production. Once operational, the Vineyard Wind 1 Project will be only the second major offshore wind farm generation sustainable energy for the US. The first wind farm, which only began operating in 2016, is a 30 megawatt Block Island wind farm located off the coast of Rhode Island. The addition of 800 megawatts from this new project would produce more than 20 times the sustainable energy currently being produced by the US offshore.

Larger Goals From the US Government

The Vineyard Wind 1 Project is only one part of a much larger goal from the US to create significantly more alternative, sustainable energy. In fact, the 800-megawatt production will help add to the 30-gigawatt goal that the US hopes to reach before 2030. In addition to the Vineyard Wind 1 Project, the Department of Interior has been reviewing the environmental impact of 2 other offshore wind projects that could possibly be approved in the near future.

This 30-gigawatt offshore wind energy goal could help avoid a whopping 78 million metric tons of CO2 emissions if reached by 2030.

When commenting on the new offshore wind farm, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said, “Today’s offshore wind project announcement demonstrates that we can fight the climate crisis, while creating high-paying jobs and strengthening our competitiveness at home and abroad. This project is an example of the investments we need to achieve the Biden-Harris administration’s ambitious climate goals, and I’m proud to be part of the team leading the charge on offshore wind.”

About the Author

Headshot of Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on entertainment and sports features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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