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

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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