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Thursday, 30 April 2015 08:56

First US offshore wind farm under construction!

The construction of the first offshore wind farm has just started on US ground in Block Island , a small island 13 miles south of Rhode Island, last Monday. Upon completion, the wind farm will supply all homes and businesses on Block Island with 30-megawatts of electricity. This is the first long awaited step in the offshore wind farm industry on U.S. ground and hopes are expressed that many more projects will follow. 

The Block Island wind farm will consist of five turbines and will allow homes and businesses on the island to use replace diesel generators. The wind farm, developed by Deepwater Wind, will also supply part of Rhode Island with electricity and it is expected to operate in fall 2016. Construction of the wind farm was welcomed by many environmental groups, with Bruce Nilles, senior campaign director for the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign stating the this is a landmark moment for the U.S. industry, playing a very important role in decarbonizing electric sector. 

Opposite to onshore wind turbines and solar industry, the offshore wind industry is significantly behind in U.S.. It is estimated that 47,000 onshore wind turbines have been installed across the nation, while solar power has grown by 6.2 gigawatts in 2014. Global champion in the offshore wind industry is the E.U. with 2,080 offshore turbines operating as of 2014. 

The main reason behind this mainly lies in environmental concerns, regarding the noise generated from construction and installation on marine life, as well as other effects on birds, bats and the sea floor. Environmental groups and wind industry representatives have worked closely in the past few years to deal with the above issues and according to B. Nilles "the U.S. has learned a lot on how to build offshore wind farms responsibly.

 

Source: Climate Progress

Read 1494 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 April 2015 09:45

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