More Offshore Wind Coming to the Atlantic Coast

By Rick Laezman | Apr 19, 2018
Pixabay David Kaspar wind-park-2057881_1920.jpg

The movement to embrace renewable power has always been inclusive, favoring any and all viable sources.

Earlier this month the Trump administration borrowed a page from that playbook as it announced the opening of two new lease sales for offshore wind off the coast of Massachusetts, calling it part of an "all-of-the-above energy policy."

The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will auction the leases. Lease OCS-A 0502 consists of 248,015 acres, and Lease OCS-A 0503 consists of 140,554 acres.

According to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the proposed sale area has "tremendous offshore wind energy potential."

The announcement may seem somewhat out of character. Both Trump and Zinke have dismissed wind and solar power, and Trump has made no secret about his bullishness on fossil fuels.

Regardless, it is good news for the renewable energies industry, which has had its share of ups and downs and an uncertain future in the current political climate. Last year, developers of Cape Wind, which would have been the nation's first offshore wind farm and would have been built in waters off the coast of Massachusetts, announced they were withdrawing the project after struggling against years of opposition. Furthermore, in the wake of the solar tariff announcement, the solar industry expressed concern about its future.

Since the Cape Wind project collapsed, the industry has seen more positive developments. In December, wind power developer Deepwater Wind announced that its Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island had become the first operational offshore wind farm in the United States.

Additionally, in February, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorized Anbaric Development Partners the right to develop its "Massachusetts Ocean Grid," a grid system to transmit electricity from offshore wind.

For its part, the BOEM also recently announced a high level assessment of all waters along the U.S. Atlantic Coast for potential wind power leases. State governments are also joining in. Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey are in various stages of developing wind power generation.

About The Author

LAEZMAN is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has been covering renewable power for more than 10 years. He may be reached at [email protected]

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