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Second Major Wind Farm Approved Off US Coastline

December 3, 2021 by Dan McCue
Second Major Wind Farm Approved Off US Coastline
(Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators have signed off on a proposal to build a wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island.

The South Fork Wind Project is the second commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project approved by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

The approximately 130 megawatt wind farm consisting of 12 or fewer turbines will be located approximately 19 miles southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, and 35 miles east of Montauk Point, New York. 

Its backers say construction of the facility will create about 340 jobs and provide enough power for about 70,000 homes.

“We have no time to waste in cultivating and investing in a clean energy economy that can sustain us for generations,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said at an event celebrating the project’s approval. 

“Just one year ago, there were no large-scale offshore wind projects approved in the federal waters of the United States. Today there are two, with several more on the horizon. This is one of many actions we are taking in pursuit of the president’s goal to open the doors of economic opportunity to more Americans.”

The Biden administration has established a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.

Achieving that goal will “result in the creation of tens of thousands of good-paying union jobs across the country, as America moves to ramp up domestic supply chains for all aspects of offshore renewable energy development,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Mineral Management Laura Daniel-Davis. 

The Bureau’s record of decision includes a range of measures to avoid and mitigate potential impacts that could result from the construction and operation of the proposed project. 

These requirements were developed after consultation with Native American tribes; federal, state and local government agencies; as well as industry, ocean users, and other key partners and stakeholders.

Federal regulators expect to review at least 16 proposals to construct commercial offshore wind energy facilities by 2025, representing about 19 GW of energy. 

The Biden administration is also preparing for lease sales in the New York Bight, as well as offshore the Carolinas and California next year. The administration is also actively working with states and key stakeholders to explore wind potential in the Gulf of Maine and in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as offshore Oregon and Hawaii.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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