Offshore wind power project advances under Biden administration


Plans for a new wind power industry in the waters off the U.S. east coast took a significant step forward after the Biden administration completed a long-awaited environmental review of the first project to be proposed. on a commercial scale.

The 62 Vineyard Wind turbines would be located 15 miles south of the island of Martha’s Vineyard and would sell electricity to Massachusetts utilities.

The project could launch a construction boom in the United States for renewable energy technology already established in Europe. Offshore wind has the strong backing of President Joe Biden, who has pledged to cut carbon emissions from the U.S. electricity sector by 2035.

The Trump administration’s review of Vineyard Wind took years and was postponed until 2020 when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management demanded a separate analysis of the cumulative impact of all offshore projects.

In December, the developers of Vineyard Wind took of their application, citing the need to incorporate massive new turbines to be supplied by General Electric. The move also had the effect of passing a regulatory review to the Biden administration. The developers resubmitted the request in January, two days after Biden’s inauguration, and the review resumed.

The US Department of the Interior Monday mentionned he completed the environmental scan for the first phase of Vineyard Wind. He did not raise any significant issues that would prevent final approval by federal agencies.

The action “represents a major step forward in the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of accelerating the responsible development of renewable energy on public lands and waters as a key element in addressing the climate crisis and job creation, ”the department said.

Joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid, an American subsidiary of Spain’s Iberdrola, the Vineyard Wind, worth $ 3 billion, would have a production capacity of 800 megawatts of electricity. New US offshore wind electricity capacity is expected to exceed 30,000 MW by 2029, for a total investment of around $ 85 billion, said Dan Shreve, director of energy transition practice at Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy firm.

By comparison, wind farms operating on land have an installed capacity of around 124,000 MW in the United States, he said.

Offshore projects are advancing through the combination of lower technology costs, federal tax credits, and national clean energy standards that set targets for offshore wind power production.

new York the State has committed to having 9,000 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2035 and awarded contracts to two projects in January jointly run by BP and the Norwegian Equinor. New Jersey has a target of 7,500 MW by 2035 and has awarded a contract to Ocean Wind, a 1,100 MW project from Orsted in Denmark.

“The progress made in the Vineyard Wind licensing process is critical for the developers of the project and for the offshore wind industry as a whole,” said Erik Milito, president of the National Ocean Industries Association, a trade group that represents wind, oil and gas at sea. companies.

Vineyard Wind sponsors have said they plan to close funding for the project in the second half of this year and start generating electricity in 2023.

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