Photo via There Were 42
US states in the Northeast are uniting to take advantage of their greatest potential renewable energy source: the blustery winds off the Atlantic coast. It's extremely tricky business, but states from New Jersey to Maine are ready to get plans for the nation's first offshore wind farm off the ground. Not wanting to be left importing their energy from the Midwest as more wind farms spring up, the northeastern states are rushing to get the massive offshore project underway.
And what started out as a sort of competition between states to develop the wind farms independently has given rise to cooperation and a pooling of resources. The states are hoping that they can speed up the process, and create a broader, more efficient network by working together.
According to Climate Wire:
States from Maine to Maryland are exploring ways to share potential infrastructure, like strings of underwater transmission lines, and know-how about siting, permitting and building fields of turbines off their coastlines.They've come to the conclusion that the project will be completed faster if they work as a team--and that it could mean more jobs, a coveted local energy source, and major cost savings. Many hurdles still remain--zoning issues, wildlife concerns, and the hitherto untested process of installing offshore wind turbines in the US.
But the states are moving ahead nonetheless, and progress is already underway. Some are cooperating with the federal government's pioneering offshore wind project, Cape Wind. Here's a rundown of what the states are up to, via Climate Wire: Several states are moving forward with projects.
Massachusetts recently gave final approval to Cape Wind. Delaware chose Bluewater Wind for a proposed 450-megawatt facility. New Jersey is working with several developers on a 350-megawatt plan. And Rhode Island, Maryland, New York and other states are pushing ahead, too. Maine, meanwhile, is choosing five sites to test deepwater technologies, like various types of floating turbines.Hopes are high--high enough that experts have declared that offshore wind may indeed be the key to energy independence for states in the Northeast.