First American Offshore Wind Farm Makes Green Energy History

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Development of the first offshore wind farm in the United States wrapped up this week, and the turbines will start contributing electricity to the grid by November.

Workers finished installing the fifth and final turbine on Thursday off the coast of Rhode Island, just over a year after the Providence-based company Deepwater Wind started construction on the project. The Block Island Wind Farm will hopefully mark the beginning of a new chapter in renewable energy in the U.S. and abroad, as many countries have already begun adopting new sources of renewable energy.

“I think offshore wind is going to be a very large component of the new power plants that we’re going to build here in the Northeast going forward over the next several decades because it’s a big resource and it’s a clean resource,” says Jeff Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind.

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With a price tag of $300 million, the relatively small wind farm has the capacity to produce 30 megawatts of electricity, which is reportedly enough to power up to 18,000 homes, including the few residences on nearby Block Island, currently powered by expensive diesel fuel. The remaining energy will be channeled to the mainland using a 20-mile long cable installed by National Grid, the company that supplies power to Rhode Island.

Plans are in the works to expand the offshore wind farms in the U.S., including another Deepwater Wind project to supply power to Long Island that has yet to get off the ground. Currently, the electricity sector is responsible for one third of the emissions in the U.S., so investing in clean energy is essential to reaching emission regulations and achieving a more sustainable future.

Mary Anne Hitt, the director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign said in a statement, “Our untapped offshore wind energy potential is enormous and it holds the key to creating thousands of good paying clean energy careers, cleaning up the dangerous fossil fuel pollution endemic in many our coastal cities, and provides another effective solution to addressing the climate crisis.”

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About the author: Evan Vitkovski

 

An American writer, filmmaker, journalist, and blogger living in Taipei, Taiwan. So many stories to tell, so little time.

 

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