The United States is at long last about to get offshore wind power. A single, solitary foundation has been built for a wind turbine off Rhode Island, part of a projected 30 MW wind farm, a wee little thing to be sure. However grid-scale wind farms will be following quickly. After hundreds of millions in government funding, repeated assaults by rich NIMBYS (screw you Kennedy clan, and your phony environmentalism), and endless regulatory hurdles, we are finally getting offshore wind. Why did it have to take so long?
Deepwater Wind, God bless ’em, has three projects happening.
Block Island off Rhode Island looks like their deliberately small, proof-of-concept:
The first offshore wind farm in construction in the United States, the 30-megawatt, 5 turbine Block Island Wind Farm is scheduled to be online in 2016.
Deepwater ONE, also off Rhode Island, will be grid-scale:
Located in the best site for offshore wind in the United States, Deepwater ONE has over 1,000 MW of capacity. The wind is so strong and consistent in this site, that average annual capacity factors are expected to reach 50%, among the best in America. Deepwater ONE can be built in phases over time, supplying power to both southern New England and eastern Long Island. Located over the horizon, in the deep waters of Atlantic Ocean. The project will be barely visible from shore.
Eventually, this project would grow to 200 or more turbines generating 1 gigawatt of clean energy — for multiple power markets in the region.
Garden State, off New Jersey, will also be grid scale.
Located roughly 20 miles off the coast of Avalon, New Jersey, with nearly 200 turbines generating 1 gigawatt of clean offshore wind power.
Europe is way ahead of us on offshore wind.
Offshore wind energy is present in Europe, with close to 2,500 wind turbines already installed, according to the European Wind Energy Association. In 2014, 536 turbines were erected. Cumulatively, 74 wind farms in 11 European countries generate a total of 8,045.3 MW.
Hopefully the U.S. will have gigawatts of offshore wind energy soon too.