Energy

US approves 800-MW Vineyard Wind as its first major offshore wind farm

US approves 800-MW Vineyard Wi...
A prototype of GE's Haliade-X turbine, which will be used in the US' first large-scale offshore wind farm
A prototype of GE's Haliade-X turbine, which will be used in the US' first large-scale offshore wind farm
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A prototype of GE's Haliade-X turbine, which will be used in the US' first large-scale offshore wind farm
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A prototype of GE's Haliade-X turbine, which will be used in the US' first large-scale offshore wind farm

The US federal government has given the green light to the country's largest offshore wind farm to date, and one that will greatly expand its capacity to generate this form of renewable energy. The Vineyard Wind 1 project will feature dozens of the world's most powerful offshore wind turbines, which will work together to generate enough electricity for up to 400,000 homes.

The approval follows steps taken this year by the Biden administration to ramp up offshore wind projects in the US, which ultimately work towards the target of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030. Such an achievement is expected to generate enough power for more than 10 million American homes, and negate 78 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.

As it stands, the US is home to almost 70,000 wind turbines generating around 120 GW, though only a fraction of that comes from offshore facilities. The newly approved Vineyard Wind 1 project off the coast of Massachusetts marks a massive expansion of this by adding 800 MW, and is expected to create around 3,600 jobs in area.

The approval clears the way for the construction of 84 turbines around 12 nautical miles (13.8 mi or 22 km) off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, an island in the Atlantic. As we learned late last year, turbines for the Vineyard Wind 1 project will be Haliade-X turbines from GE Renewable Energy, which stand 853 ft (260 m) tall as the world's largest and most powerful.

Because of their output, Vineyard Wind says only 62 of these turbines will be required to generate the 800 MW. These turbines will be spaced at least one nautical mile (1.8 km or 1.1 miles) apart and will be installed in an east-west orientation in line with US Coast Guard guidelines.

“Today’s offshore wind project announcement demonstrates that we can fight the climate crisis, while creating high-paying jobs and strengthening our competitiveness at home and abroad,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “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.”

While the Vineyard Wind 1 project will be the largest off-shore wind farm in the US by some margin, it still pales in comparison to the world's largest, the 3.6-GW Dogger Bank project in the UK.

Vineyard Farm is expected to start delivering energy to Massachusetts in 2023.

Sources: The White House, Vineyard Farm

5 comments
5 comments
guzmanchinky
That is very cool. Someday maybe we can power the world this way. I know driving through Texas was mind blowing, I've never seen so many wind turbines horizon to horizon...
Aermaco
Wind power is beautiful almost like a living plant responding to sun and wind feeding energy to other living systems,
Sadly the Luddites who are scared of any visual change, have slowed much progress with specious arguments against wind power. The first time I saw some wind plants on a ridge near me it gave me a thrill I still recall from its beauty.
One anti wind power rant was that there are early human graves down there out in the ocean over 10k years ago when the glaciers were holding water levels much lower exposing land to live on. If so then the wind mast foundations are an opportunity to actually discover their buildings, tools and artifacts of life back which then can become revered in museums, IF any? It would not be a desecration of some graves but a great enlightening of humanity. Our planet is covered with dead folks all over everywhere so does that mean No digging is allowed,, anywhere?
Smokey_Bear
While I don't think wind mills are ugly, I also don't think they're beautiful.
They are much better then a coal plant, but I'd prefer a future with cheap to produce, modular nuclear reactors. Perfectly steady power, regardless of the wind, sun, snow, or night, just reliable abundant power.
John McGowan
First I would remind everyone that the rich environmentally active residents have traditionally fought wind turbines, that includes John Kerry off of martha’s vineyard. Wind power is still the most expensive power so how is this going to keep costs down for utility customers. I travel,through southern california and see large wind farms and many of the turbines are idle during times when wind is available. What 3600 jobs is this going to create? Likely they will be temporary construction jobs after that it is only a maintenNce crew that is needed. And this is another project that was started under the trump administration that biden is taking credit for.
jocco
3600 workers for how long? how many wind turbines would it take to affect the rotation of Earth?