U.S. takes the initiative in the first major offshore wind farm

The US offshore wind sector took a major step on Tuesday after authorities gave a green light to the construction and operation of the 800 megawatt (MW) Vineyard Wind 1 project.

In a statement, the US Home Office described the development located off the coast of Massachusetts as “the first large-scale offshore wind project in the United States.”

The Vineyard Wind project said it was expected to create 3,600 jobs and “provide enough power for 400,000 homes and businesses.”

The DOI added that Vineyard Wind has given “final federal approval to install less than 84 turbines off Massachusetts as part of an 800 MW offshore wind energy facility,” according to a decision record.

According to the Vineyard Wind team, the facility uses GE Renewable Energy’s huge Haliade-X turbines, so only 62 are actually needed.

Vineyard Wind is a 50-50 joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partner and Avangrid Renewables.The latter is a subsidiary of Avant gridIs part of the Iberdrola Group, a leading utility headquartered in Spain.

Iberdrola The investment in the project will be € 2.5 billion ($ 3.03 billion). If everything goes according to plan, we may launch service in 2023.

In a telephone interview on Tuesday, Jonathan Cole, global managing director of offshore wind at Iberdrola, told CNBC that project approval was “very important.”

“This is the permission we need to allow us to move forward and build the project,” he said.

“This is actually the start of the US offshore wind sector in earnest, as it is the first type in the United States and many other projects are expected to follow.”

“Therefore, it’s a big moment for this project and us, but it’s also a big moment for the entire US offshore wind sector.”

Cole’s view was repeated by many organizations, including the National Marine Industry Association.

Its president, Eric Milito, described the green light of the Vineyard Wind project as an “American energy milestone.”

“American offshore wind is a generational opportunity, and the prospects are more certain with the vineyard wind decision record,” he continued.

Elsewhere, Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association, praised “a historic day for our country with clean energy and a history of more than 10 years.”

“It’s time to drive offshore wind, catch up with global competitors, decarbonize the power grid, and enable the United States to bring economic and environmental benefits to its citizens and fight climate change. “She added.

The news on Tuesday represents the latest shots of America’s fledgling offshore wind sector.

In March, the Department of Energy, the Ministry of Interior, and the Department of Commerce said: Wanted offshore wind capacity to reach 30 gigawatts (GW) By 2030, the move expected by the Biden administration will create thousands of jobs and unleash billions of dollars in investment over the next few years.

If this goal is achieved, it represents an important expansion for the United States.The United States is home to a well-developed offshore wind industry, but the country’s first offshore wind farm, the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm. Commercial operation began only in the second half of 2016.

By 2020, wind power accounted for 8.4% of utility-scale power generation, according to preliminary figures from the US Energy Information Administration.

In contrast, the shares of natural gas and coal were 40.3% and 19.3%, respectively. Overall, fossil fuel shares were 60.3%, while nuclear and renewable energy shares were 19.7% and 19.8%.

Looking at the global situation of offshore wind, the United States still has a way to go before it can catch up with the more mature markets found in Europe.

Last year, the sector there Raised more than 26 billion euros (about 31.5 billion dollars), According to the figures of the industry group WindEurope, it is a record amount. In 2020, 2.9 GW of offshore wind capacity was installed in Europe.

U.S. takes the initiative in the first major offshore wind farm

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