US unveils plans for seven major offshore wind farms

Block Island Wind Farm turbines tower above the water off the shores of Rhode Island (AFP/DON EMMERT)
·2 min read

The US government on Wednesday unveiled plans to build up to seven major offshore wind farms along the country's coasts as part of its push to supply wind-generated energy to more than 10 million homes by 2030.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland made the announcement while speaking at a conference on wind power in Boston, Massachusetts.

"The Interior Department is laying out an ambitious roadmap as we advance the administration's plans to confront climate change, create good-paying jobs, and accelerate the nation's transition to a cleaner energy future," she said.

In March, President Joe Biden's administration announced it would invest heavily to boost offshore wind farms, as part of its efforts to fight climate change.

In addition to wind energy to millions of homes, the administration's plans would produce 30 gigawatts of wind power by 2030, cut 78 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and create tens of thousands of jobs.

Haaland said the government aimed to hold up to seven offshore lease sales by 2025 for waters in the Gulf of Maine, Central Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, as well as off of the coast of New York, the Carolinas, California and Oregon.

Only one offshore wind farm is currently fully operational in the United States: the Block Island Wind Farm, completed at the end of 2016 off the state of Rhode Island and capable of producing 30 megawatts.

The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project, with a capacity of 12 megawatts, saw its first phase completed in 2020. The final site is to be completed in 2026 and could supply energy to 600,000 households.

The Biden administration's support for wind power is in stark contrast to former president Donald Trump, who repeatedly ridiculed the renewable energy source during his term, claiming it was expensive and inefficient.

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