The Biden administration on Wednesday approved an offshore wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island as part of a plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030.
The US Department of the Interior has announced that it has approved the construction and operation of the South Fork Wind Project, the Department’s second approval of a commercial-scale offshore wind power project in the United States. . Last week, the department launched the first commercial-scale offshore wind project off the coast of Massachusetts.
Seven large offshore wind farms are said to be developed on the east and west coasts of the United States and in the Gulf of Mexico as part of a plan announced last month by the Biden administration to build infrastructure, create jobs and combat global warming. Deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power would produce enough electricity to power more than 10 million homes.
The South Fork Wind project will be located approximately 19 miles (30 kilometers) southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, and 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of Montauk Point, New York. It is expected to provide around 130 megawatts, enough power for around 70,000 homes.
America’s first offshore wind farm opened off Block Island in 2016. But with five wind turbines, it’s not on a commercial scale. Orsted, the Danish energy company, has acquired Rhode Island-based developer Deepwater Wind and now operates the wind farm.
Orsted is developing the South Fork Wind project with the Eversource utility. The Home Office has approved up to 12 turbines. Rhode Island coastal regulators gave the project critical approval this spring despite objections from the fishing industry and some environmentalists.
Commercial fishing companies have said offshore wind projects planned off the east coast will make it difficult to harvest valuable seafood species such as scallops and lobsters. Some conservation groups fear the large turbines will kill the birds.
The project off the coast of Massachusetts, Vineyard Wind 1, is expected to produce around 800 megawatts, enough electricity for more than 400,000 homes. The first stages of construction will include laying two transmission cables that will link the wind farm to the mainland.
The administration plans to review at least 16 plans to build and operate commercial offshore wind power facilities by 2025.
“We have no time to waste on cultivating and investing in a clean energy economy that can sustain us for generations,” Home Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement. “Just a year ago, there were no large-scale offshore wind projects approved in US federal waters. Today there are two, with several more on the horizon. . “