White House Announces Plans For Massive Expansion Of Offshore Wind Farms

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The Biden medication unveiled plans to make large, grid-transforming offshore upwind farms on overmuch of the U.S. coastline successful the coming years, a large effort to put successful renewable vigor and combat the increasing impacts of clime change.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said Wednesday the authorities would statesman enactment to place 7 large zones wherever it could lease national waters to offshore upwind development. Auctions could instrumentality spot by 2025, a large measurement toward President Joe Biden’s pledges to physique 30,000 megawatts of offshore upwind vigor by 2030, an magnitude that would powerfulness up to 10 cardinal homes.

“The Interior Department is laying retired an ambitious roadmap arsenic we beforehand the Administration’s plans to face clime change, make good-paying jobs, and accelerate the nation’s modulation to a cleaner vigor future,” Haaland said. “We person large goals to execute a cleanable vigor economy, and Interior is gathering the moment.”

The proposed areas include astir the full East Coast from Maine down to the Carolinas, the Gulf of Mexico, and coastline on Oregon and California. The program is an assertive determination that would assistance the White House’s goals to slash the nation’s fossil substance emissions by the extremity of the decennary and conscionable targets scientists person agelong stressed are needed to avert the worst effects of clime change.

From offshore upwind projects to star farms connected our nationalist lands, @Interior is moving hard to harness cleanable vigor towards a resilient, sustainable future. @POTUS’ projected investments into climate-related innovation volition instrumentality america to the adjacent level.

— Secretary Deb Haaland (@SecDebHaaland) October 13, 2021

Biden has pledged to chopped the nation’s fossil substance emissions — potent greenhouse gases ― by 50% of 2005 levels by 2030. The U.S. is simply a latecomer to offshore wind, which has been heavily deployed crossed overmuch of Europe.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a subdivision of the DOI, said the caller projects could make nearly 80,000 jobs. The Associated Press notes Haaland is besides moving to summation renewable vigor accumulation connected land, including greater concern successful upwind and star powerfulness by 2025.

While the plans could revolutionize the U.S. powerfulness grid, they inactive look uphill battles. The New York Times reports that adjacent if the sites walk lengthy regulatory reviews, determination is nary warrant companies volition lease the abstraction to physique the turbines. The paper adds that offshore upwind projects person besides been taxable to lawsuits from commercialized sportfishing groups and coastal landowners, and lipid and state companies could assertion that the renewable projects mightiness harm their ain concern models.

Interior Department officials said they program to enactment intimately with manufacture stakeholders to “establish confidence” successful the offshore upwind plans.

The Block Island Wind Farm disconnected  the seashore  of Block Island, Rhode Island, is pictured connected  Jun. 13, 2017.
The Block Island Wind Farm disconnected the seashore of Block Island, Rhode Island, is pictured connected Jun. 13, 2017.

Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Department of Energy besides said Wednesday it would walk $13.5 cardinal to survey the risks of offshore upwind improvement to wildlife, including birds, bats and marine mammals.

“Harnessing the unthinkable imaginable that exists wrong offshore upwind vigor is an indispensable portion of reaching a net-zero c future,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said successful a statement. “In bid for Americans surviving successful coastal areas to spot the benefits of offshore wind, we indispensable guarantee that it’s done with attraction for the surrounding ecosystem by co-existing with fisheries and marine beingness — and that’s precisely what this concern volition do.”

The Biden medication lone approved the nation’s archetypal commercial-scale offshore upwind workplace successful May — the Vineyard Wind project, which lies astir 12 nautical miles disconnected the seashore of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The task is expected to make astir 800 megawatts of energy that could powerfulness up to 400,000 homes.

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