Obama Admin Fast-tracks Offshore Wind Power in Mid-Atlantic

Petra Gagilas/CC BY-SA 2.0

Remember that the US has exactly zero offshore wind power projects built and only one approved for construction; the nation will still be playing catch-up with Europe and China here.

Today the Department of Interior announced a streamline policy of approval for offshore wind power in outer continental shelf areas off New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.

“We are moving toward commercial-scale offshore wind energy leasing in the mid-Atlantic and adding the necessary tools to offer those leases,” said [Bureau of Ocean Energy Management] Director Beaudreau. “We considered public input and conducted a thorough analysis to ensure future projects are sited in the right places, where the wind energy potential is significant and where environmental effects and conflicts with other uses can be minimized and managed.”

More: Department of Interior

As it is a genuine step forward for renewable energy in the US, the NRDC was rightly chuffed by the news, with Kit Kennedy writing:

The process for getting offshore wind power off the ground in this country takes far too long. The projected timeline for approval of an offshore wind project is currently 7-9 years, far longer than the typical siting process for a fossil-fuel fired power plant (generally 2 -3 years). It’s a crying shame that that it has taken so long to get clean, homegrown offshore wind turbines up and running while fossil-fuel power plants, with their plethora of health and environmental impacts, can be green-lighted in a fraction of the time.

Tags: United States | Wind Power