The Department of the Interior has given its approval for the construction of a planned offshore wind farm. The project, known as Revolution Wind, will be situated in federal waters near Rhode Island, just south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
With an estimated capacity of over 700 megawatts, Revolution Wind is set to generate renewable energy that can power almost 250,000 homes. Additionally, during the construction phase, it is expected to create around 1,200 job opportunities.
This marks the fourth commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project to receive approval from the Department of the Interior. The existing approved projects include Vineyard Wind off Massachusetts, South Fork Wind off Rhode Island and New York, and Ocean Wind 1 off New Jersey.
The approval of Revolution Wind brings the Biden administration closer to achieving its goal of developing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030. U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland expressed that this milestone signifies the collaborative effort between the industry, labor, and partners across the East and West coasts as well as the Gulf coast.
Let’s harness the power of our coastlines and build a thriving offshore wind industry. Together, we can pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future.
Wind Turbine Plan Approved with Fewer Turbines
The development of a wind turbine plan has reached its final version, as approved by the department. In an effort to minimize negative impacts on visual resources, ocean floor habitats, and other ocean activities, the plan calls for fewer turbines than initially proposed by the developer.
Identified Locations and Compensation Fund
The comprehensive plan outlines potential locations for the installation of 65 wind turbines and two offshore substations. To address any potential losses experienced by recreational and commercial fisheries in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as well as in other states affected by the construction of the turbines, Revolution Wind plans to establish a compensation fund.
Protecting Protected Species
Furthermore, steps will be taken to reduce potential harm to protected species such as marine mammals, sea turtles, and Atlantic sturgeon. This demonstrates a commitment to prioritizing the welfare and conservation of these animals amidst the implementation of the wind turbine project.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Ambitious Goal
In line with its ambitious target, the Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management aims to review at least 16 offshore wind project plans by 2025. This translates to over 27 gigawatts of clean energy for the nation.
Vineyard Wind Project Underway
Additionally, the Vineyard Wind project, which is a separate initiative, is currently in progress approximately 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. This undertaking includes the installation of 62 turbines with an expected electricity output of 800 megawatts. It is projected to power over 400,000 homes starting this year.
Pioneering U.S. Offshore Wind Farm
While the Block Island wind farm was the first offshore wind farm launched in the United States in late 2016, it comprises merely five turbines and does not operate at a commercial scale.