Is offshore wind energy about to take off in the US?
When I moved to the US in 2006, offshore wind energy was in its infancy back in the UK. Since I left my home country, however, gigawatts and gigawatts of offshore wind capacity have been added. Meanwhile, in the US, we're still waiting for our first serious offshore wind farm to be completed.
That may be about to change. Already we have one 30MW offshore wind farm being constructed off the coast of Rhode Island, and now Cleantechnica reports that both New York state and Massachusetts are making serious policy moves to support offshore wind.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), for example, has just announced that it will be taking part in the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) commercial offshore wind energy lease auction which could see up to 81,000 acres opened up for offshore wind development off the coast of Long Island. Meanwhile, Massachusetts House and Senate both passed legislation to begin soliciting contracts for offshore wind energy as soon as 2027, with the potential for 2GW of capacity to be added.
Encouragingly, the move comes at a time when European offshore wind energy operations are smashing cost reduction records. I suspect this could be the start of something big!