Seizing our massive offshore wind potential

America's first offshore wind farm, Block Island, RI. Photo by Deepwater Wind

America's first offshore wind farm, Block Island, RI. Photo by Deepwater Wind

The following is a guest blog, written by Amber Hewett of the National Wildlife Federation. You can visit NWF’s blog, and the original article, here.

It’s been quite the summer for U.S. offshore wind power! Following months of unprecedented progress in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the Obama Administration released a strategy today that charts a collective path forward for the U.S. to seize the immense clean energy potential off our shores.

Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell gathered with state and federal officials in Boston to announce the National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States. Gathered in the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Wind Technology Testing Center, attendees learned of the Strategy’s three focus areas, and details on how the federal government can help clear the way for industry advancement:

  1. Reducing technical costs and risks;
  2. Supporting effective stewardship;
  3. And improving the market conditions for investment in offshore wind energy.

The National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Collin O’Mara attended the Boston event and issued the following response:

“We have miles to go before we reach the offshore wind deployment scale needed to confront climate change, but today’s event shows that, by working together, we take advantage of this golden opportunity to solve our energy, economic, and environmental challenges.”

U.S. Energy Secretary Moniz unveiling the National Offshore Wind Strategy in Boston. Photo by Mass Clean Energy Center

U.S. Energy Secretary Moniz unveiling the National Offshore Wind Strategy in Boston. Photo by Mass Clean Energy Center

The choice to release the national strategy in Boston comes on the heels of MA Governor Baker signing historic energy legislation into law this summer. On Tuesday, all three lease-holding developers signed an agreement to use the MA Clean Energy Center’s New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal to stage the projects they intend to develop in federal waters 12 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. Later this fall, the Block Island Wind Farm will bring commercial-scale offshore wind power online in the U.S. for the very first time. A new era for American energy is starting now – and the reports released today help to further underscore its worth and is urgent value in the fight against climate change.

“We are confident the strategy we’re outlining today will chart a course for additional investment in clean energy technologies that can help power America’s future.” – Secretary Sally Jewell

“Today’s collaborative strategic plan is part of a long-term commitment to support innovation that enables widespread offshore wind deployment and shows how offshore wind will benefit our country with new jobs, less pollution, and a more diversified electricity mix.” – Secretary Ernest Moniz

The highly anticipated announcement underscores that a clean, responsible energy future – one that reflects foresight and stewardship – is well within reach. Now to roll up our sleeves and make it happen!

America’s first offshore wind turbine, Block Island Wind Farm. Photo by Deepwater Wind

America’s first offshore wind turbine, Block Island Wind Farm. Photo by Deepwater Wind

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