Blowing in the Wind

By Bronte Payne
Clean Energy Associate

2016 is shaping up to be a big year for offshore wind in the United States. Over the last several years, the Obama Administration has leased eleven commercial offshore wind energy areas, the Department of Energy and Department of Interior released the National Offshore Wind Strategy, Massachusetts made the largest commitment to offshore wind in the country at 1,600 megawatts and construction is complete on America’s first offshore wind project.  

I’m thrilled about all this progress since I’ve been working with my Environment America colleagues and allies to build support for tapping into the tremendous offshore wind resources right off our coasts.

This week I joined clean energy advocates, offshore wind developers, supply-chain manufacturers, and state and national officials, to plan the strategies for taking clean energy to the next level. Over 600 people convened at the American Wind Energy Association’s Offshore WINDPOWER Conference, which we were excited to be a partner of.  

 

                                                               

 

Matt Morrissey, Vice President of Massachusetts for Deepwater Wind, begins a panel discussion that included Bill White, Director of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Chris Kearns, Chief of Program Development for the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, David Hochschild, Commissioner of the California Energy Commission, Katherine Kollins, President of the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition, and Greg Matzat, Senior Advisor at NYSERDA.

 

 Abby Hopper, Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, spoke at the event on the recently released National Offshore Wind Strategy and stated, “[offshore wind] is really a national focus.” Offshore wind is a focus here at Environment America too, because we know that offshore wind will need to play a big role in moving America to 100 percent renewable energy.  

                                                             

 

Bronte Payne, Environment America’s Clean Energy Associate (Right) with Abby Hopper, Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (Left) at the release of the National Offshore Wind Strategy.

 All of the buzz surrounding offshore wind is inspiring but I was even more excited to be discussing taking it to the next level after seeing the pictures Rob Sargent, Environment America’s Clean Energy Program Director took of the Block Island Wind Farm last week. I am excited to continue working with our allies to make sure Block Island is truly only the beginning for offshore wind.

 

Rob Sargent, Environment America’s Clean Energy Program Director got an up close look at the Block Island Offshore Wind Farm.