First U.S. offshore wind project goes online, more offshore projects move forward
Offshore wind is dominating renewable energy news at the end of 2016.
First, history was made when Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island came online earlier this month. The company then announced plans for the Skipjack Wind Farm, a 120-MW project off the coast of Maryland, according to a U.S. Department of Energy release.
According to Deepwater Wind, the project will result in more than $100 million in economic benefits for Maryland and save ratepayers millions of dollars. The company is also moving forward with the South Fork Wind Farm off Long Island, N.Y., which could begin construction in 2019.
On Dec. 16, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced that Norwegian energy company Statoil is the provisional winner of the New York Wind Area lease sale. The company paid more than $42 million, a record price for a federal offshore wind lease sale.
The lease area contains 79,000 acres, has a projected capacity of 800 megawatts, and is 14 to 30 miles off the shores of Jones Beach, N.Y. The state of New York has a goal of generating 50 percent of its energy from clean power by 2030 as part of its Reforming the Energy Vision plan to create new jobs and economic development.
The same week, DONG Energy announced a partnership with Eversource Energy to jointly develop the Bay State Wind Project 25 miles south of Martha's Vineyard. The proposed offshore wind farm area has the potential for a 2,000-megawatt project or greater (enough to power one million Massachusetts homes).
To help move even more U.S. offshore wind projects forward, the Clean Energy States Alliance is working with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, the Maine Governor's Energy Office, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources to develop a regional offshore wind roadmap.
NYSERDA received a $592,000 U.S. Department of Energy grant in 2015 for the project, which examines how to bring scale to the offshore wind opportunity in the Northeast and identify what opportunities can be developed to collaborate in the region to drive cost reductions.
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