Offshore Wind Projects Moving Forward Along U.S. East Coast

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Two U.S. energy companies attempting to build the nation’s first offshore wind farms reported progress on their plans at an industry conference this week, providing hope for an industry still trying to assert itself in the U.S. energy market.

Speaking at the American Wind Energy Association’s annual conference, Rhode Island-based Deepwater Wind unveiled plans to buy five, six-megawatt turbines built by Siemens for a proposed $205 million wind farm near Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island.

“Believe it or not, the first offshore wind farm will probably happen in little Rhode Island,” CEO William Moore told Reuters. However, Fishermen’s Energy, which hopes to take advantage of a federal subsidy that may expire, announced it is targeting a 2011 ground-breaking for its own six-turbine farm off Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Perhaps the biggest development for the industry, however, is progress on a proposed undersea transmission line that would link future offshore wind farms along the mid-Atlantic coast. Project backers say it has passed a critical federal hurdle and that the regional grid operator, vendors, suppliers and others are coalescing around the project.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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