‘Steel on the Water’ Critical for Offshore Wind in U.S.
Offshore wind power, a source of renewable energy that Europeans have been investing in for decades, has not yet materialized in the U.S. as debates have swirled about the viability of wind farms off the country’s coastlines.
That, however, may be about to change.
The Block Island Wind Farm is set to break ground in July off the coast of Rhode Island, and with it, the future of offshore wind in the U.S. seems very real. If completed, it will be the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., and if it is successful, it could prove that wind power generated by turbines off the coast is a viable enterprise similar to onshore wind farms, which generate about 4 percent of America’s electricity.
That could set the stage for other offshore wind projects all along the East Coast as the federal government expands the waters available for new offshore wind farm development. President Obama’s Climate Action Plan calls for offshore wind to be part of the administration’s goal to generate 20,000 megawatts of renewable power on federally controlled public lands and waters by 2020, a major part of America’s efforts to tackle climate change with low-carbon energy.