The Biden administration has approved the construction of the first large offshore wind farm in the United States this week. Set to be constructed 12 nautical miles (22.2 kilometers) off the coast of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, the huge operation, called Vineyard Wind, is predicted to produce 800 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 400,000 homes.
The Department of the Interior made the announcement on May 11, stating not only will it be a huge milestone towards the administration's ambitious offshore wind energy production goal of 30 gigawatts by 2030, but it will also generate a large number of jobs in the area.
“Today’s offshore wind project announcement demonstrates that we can fight the climate crisis, while creating high-paying jobs and strengthening our competitiveness at home and abroad,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in a statement.
“This project is an example of the investments we need to achieve the Biden-Harris administration’s ambitious climate goals, and I’m proud to be part of the team leading the charge on offshore wind.”
This monster wind farm will contain up to 84 turbines and places the US among the many other countries with operational wind farms, with the UK, Germany, and China firmly leading the charge. Global renewable energy is now growing at the fastest rate since 1999, with world superpowers improving their capacity by 45 percent over the last year. The US is now on an aggressive strategy implementing renewable energy into its grid, which made up around 20 percent of net US electricity production in 2018 owing to hydropower and wind power. As the fastest-growing energy source in the US, it is expected that this number will dramatically increase over the coming decade.
As such, the Biden administration has now committed to adding 30 gigawatts of wind power to the grid by 2030, which is claimed to both reduce the US' reliance on fossil fuels and create tens of thousands of new jobs in the process. With this large offshore farm set to produce just 800 megawatts, you may begin to understand just how high this goal is, but high funding in the sector hopes to achieve it regardless.
“A clean energy future is within our grasp in the United States. The approval of this project is an important step toward advancing the Administration's goals to create good-paying union jobs while combatting climate change and powering our nation,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.