JUL 05, 2017 5:43 PM PDT

All bets are on for Massachusetts' first offshore wind farm

Offshore wind is a mostly untapped industry in the United States, with only one offshore wind farm currently operating off of Block Island in Rhode Island. But New England is looking to change that within the next several years, continuing the trend with an offshore farm off of Massachusetts’ island, Martha’s Vineyard. So far three companies, Deepwater, DONG Energy and Vineyard Wind, have acquired federal lease auctions; bids and proposals will be submitted within this year, with a final decision regarding which company will be awarded the contract coming at the beginning of next summer.

These bids come as a directive from state legislature last year which stated that Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil must sign contracts with wind renewable energy companies in order to acquire 1,600 MW of offshore wind by 2027. The first project must incorporate at least 400 MW and the bids for this project had to be solicited by the end of June. Deepwater Wind is the company that is responsible for Block Island’s offshore farm and is New England-based while Dong Energy and Vineyard Wind are both based out of Denmark.

Although the proposals were released last week, the whole process is a lengthy one. “[The request for proposals] may change and be refined as it goes through a review…then it will be finalized and published on June 30,” said Bill White, senior director of offshore wind development for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC).

The MassCEC and AWS Truewind gathered data of wind speeds for the predicted region where the wind farm will be constructed, calling it the Massachusetts wind energy area (MAWEA). According to White, the average wind speed there is 10.2 meters per second (22.8 miles per hour), which is among the highest on the East Coast.

Block Island's wind farm is already operating. Photo: Clean Technica

Nevertheless, compared to Europe, the US is behind in the offshore wind industry. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, more than 90% of offshore wind capacity is constructed in waters off the coast of eleven different European countries. The wind capacity from these farms, and the remaining 10%, generated a global capacity of almost 12,000 MW. Following the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, this means we are likely to reach up to 47,000 MW by 2020.

Sources: USA News, Renewable Energy World, Utility DIVE

About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
AUG 12, 2022
Earth & The Environment
Humans, not climate, contributed to mammal community similarities 10,000+ years ago
AUG 12, 2022
Humans, not climate, contributed to mammal community similarities 10,000+ years ago
In a recent study published in Nature Communications, an international team of researchers discuss how the increasing ho ...
AUG 24, 2022
Space & Astronomy
New Technology Takes Us Up Close with Black Holes
AUG 24, 2022
New Technology Takes Us Up Close with Black Holes
In a recent study published in The Astrophysical Journal, an international collaboration of researchers use computer mod ...
AUG 24, 2022
Plants & Animals
Threat Assessment of U.S Trees Provides Blueprint for Conservation Efforts
AUG 24, 2022
Threat Assessment of U.S Trees Provides Blueprint for Conservation Efforts
Extinction rates have accelerated around the globe. Changes in climate and habitat loss, in particular, are driving more ...
AUG 26, 2022
Technology
Recycling PPE to Make Stronger Concrete
AUG 26, 2022
Recycling PPE to Make Stronger Concrete
When you’re done wearing that face mask, where does it go?  The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) sk ...
AUG 30, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
This Day in Science History 8/30/1871: Birth of Ernest Rutherford Who Laid the Groundwork for Nuclear Physics
AUG 30, 2022
This Day in Science History 8/30/1871: Birth of Ernest Rutherford Who Laid the Groundwork for Nuclear Physics
On August 30, 1871, Ernest Rutherford, who would later establish the groundwork for nuclear physics and be knighted as S ...
SEP 11, 2022
Technology
Walking and Slithering Share Common Characteristics
SEP 11, 2022
Walking and Slithering Share Common Characteristics
In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers led by the Uni ...
Loading Comments...