New Offshore Wind Farm Could Deliver Massive Clean Energy Results In First Step For Niche Industry
Developers have begun construction on a large offshore wind farm in Massachusetts officials claim will deliver massive carbon emissions reduction results and kick-start similar projects as both lawmakers and landlords take harder looks at carbon neutrality.
Vineyard Wind 1, the 800-megawatt farm 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Cape Cod, will deliver clean energy to Massachusetts by 2023, officials said in a groundbreaking last week. The project, powered by 62 large General Electric turbines, is being built by Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
The first-of-its-kind development in the U.S. is expected to power more than 400,000 homes and businesses and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year, the equivalent of removing 325,000 cars off the road annually. The project is a centerpiece of Massachusetts’ strategy to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides said in a statement.
“Building this first project will not only put this industry on the path for long-term success in the United States but will help us power a green recovery that drives investment in our historic port areas, creates well-paying local jobs and provides new economic opportunities for underserved communities,” she said.
Cleaner power is on the minds of commercial real estate developers who are increasingly basing investment decisions on sustainability performance, and in some cities are required by law to make progress on carbon reduction efforts or face financial penalties. The expensive and sometimes controversial move to electrification from a reliance on fossil-fuel burning measures, largely related to heating, could ultimately decrease operating costs and deliver significant carbon reduction results, experts say.
The Vineyard Wind 1 project and Avangrid’s larger proposed offshore wind farm off the North Carolina and Virginia coasts could represent more than $15B in investment in the coming years, Avangrid Chairman and CEO Ignacio Galán said in a statement.
The project is part of President Joe Biden’s plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, or enough to power more than 10M homes, by 2030, the Associated Press reported. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said her office hopes to hold lease sales by 2025 of areas off both the West and East coasts and the Gulf of Mexico.