Feds continue pursuit of offshore wind

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Environment America

WASHINGTON, DC — The Obama administration continued its push for clean, renewable energy during a White House summit on offshore wind today, awarding a half-million dollar competitive grant to state offices in Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island to “advance offshore wind market development through multi-state cooperation.”
“Especially after such an exciting week in the cause for climate action, we welcome continued progress toward clean, renewable offshore wind power,” said Rob Sargent, energy program director at Environment America.
The grant award and White House summit come on the heels of two other key markers of progress for Atlantic offshore wind:  the announcement of an offshore lease sale in New Jersey, and the determination that wind turbines in three proposed areas off North Carolina’s coast would not cause environmental harm. Together, the moves put an additional 644,000 acres closer to being leased to wind developers.
Today’s grant award continued the drumbeat among state policy leaders, NGO’s, and wind developers for taking advantage of the tremendous potential for offshore wind, especially along the Atlantic Coast, with its shallow waters and access to high-population areas.
The country has long lagged behind other nations in developing offshore wind, but the first such U.S. projects are finally nearing completion, with five turbines scheduled to be in operation off Rhode Island’s coast by next year.
By 2030, officials project offshore wind could provide enough energy to power 4.5 million homes.
“Offshore wind has tremendous potential to deliver pollution-free energy up and down the Eastern seaboard and help solve the climate crisis,” said Sargent. “Thanks to leadership from the president and the states, we’re getting closer. We look forward to working in partnership with all levels of government, the industry, and the public to make offshore wind a reality.”