Offshore Wind Power Gaining Momentum
An 800-megawatt project, Vineyard Wind, off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, is awaiting final approval by the Army Corps of Engineers. Laura Daniel Davis, principal deputy assistant secretary of land and minerals at the U.S. Department of the Interior, says, “The demand for offshore wind energy has never been greater. The technological advances, falling costs, increased interest and the tremendous economic potential make offshore wind a really promising avenue.” Some two dozen offshore wind projects are in development along the East Coast.
According to the International Energy Agency, wind could provide more than 18 times the world’s present electricity demand and is well-suited to serve heavily populated areas. For instance, almost 40 percent of Americans live near the coasts. Offshore wind power could assist in relieving the dependence on carbon-based sources of electricity and relieve congestion on the grid for Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Houston and Seattle. Offshore turbines are in open waters where wind is strong and abundant. As the technology has matured, the turbines have gotten bigger and further out to sea.