US plans 800MW wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island

Plans for Vineyard Wind 1, the US’ first large-scale offshore wind farm, was approved by the federal government this week.

The project is being developed by Vineyard Wind, a company set up by Bilbao-based utility Iberdrola to carry out the scheme. The name is a reference to Martha’s Vineyard, Rhode Island, which will be the onshore base for the project.

The plan is to install 84 turbines over a  650 sq km area about 24km offshore. These will generate a maximum of 800MW of electricity, enough to power 400,000 homes. The wide area is necessary because the turbines will be installed with a minimum of a nautical mile between them, meeting US Coast Guard recommendations.

Gina Raimondo, the secretary of commerce, said: "Today’s announcement demonstrates that we can fight the climate crisis, while creating high-paying jobs and strengthening our competitiveness at home and abroad.

"This project is an example of the investments we need to achieve the Biden-Harris administration’s ambitious climate goals, and I’m proud to be part of the team leading the charge on offshore wind."

Ed Markey, chair of the Senate subcommittee on clean air and climate, added: "Vineyard Wind will be the first of many offshore wind projects to come, and we can use our Bay State know-how to show the rest of the country how to get steel in the water, zero-emission energy on the grid, and union jobs to American workers.

"Our domestic offshore wind industry, including manufacturing, unionised workforce development, installation, and transmission, is a key component of our 21st-century infrastructure, and I will fight to make sure it is supercharged in any infrastructure or recovery package."

The project is part of Biden-Harris administration’s goal of generating 30GW of energy from offshore wind by 2030.

  • Edited 11/6/21 amending a mistake concerning Rhode Island’s capital, thank you for your comments

Image courtesy of Ian Dyball/Dreamstime

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  1. Martha’s Vineyard is not the capital of Rhode Island. Providence is.

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