The Block Island offshore wind farm

The Block Island Wind Farm |


The first of many offshore wind farms in the U.S.

The United States’ 1st operational offshore wind farm is the Block Island Wind Farm, developed by the company Deepwater Wind (acquired by Ørsted in 2018). The 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm is 4 miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island; and began operating in 2016. [CLICK FOR MORE INFO. ON THE>>> Block Island Wind Farm from Inside Climate News]. Based on the success of the Block Island Wind Farm, there are about 30 GW of offshore wind projects in various stages of development off the East Coast of the United States (as of 2020); a few of which should be completed by between 2022-2025. This is in addition to other (smaller scale, proposed, but as of yet not in development) offshore wind projects in the U.S., such as proposed offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes (as described in this article by Inside Climate News).

Among these new developments for large-scale offshore wind farms is the 1.1 GW Ocean Wind offshore wind farm off the coast of New Jersey (also being developed by Ørsted US Offshore Wind), with a goal of becoming fully operational in 2024. Large US offshore wind farm projects also include the 816 MW Empire Wind Farm (being developed by Equinor) off the coast of Long Island, New York, planned to start operations in 2025; and the 880 MW Sunrise Wind project, (being developed by Orsted and Eversource, and also in Long Island, with a planned completion date in 2024). The 800 MW Vineyard Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts, near Martha’s Vineyard, plans to be operational by 2022. Here is a more detailed look at the Vineyard offshore wind farm, among other large-scale offshore wind projects off the East Coast, from The Boston Globe. Other major offshore wind farm projects off the East Coast of the U.S. include more projects off New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts; as well as Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, Virginia, and other states on the East Coast. All of these projects each create hundreds of jobs for the local economy, many of which are permanent; while also creating a highly efficient, clean source of energy.


According to the U.S. Department of Energy, more than 25 offshore wind projects with a generating capacity of 24 gigawatts are now being planned, mainly off the U.S. Northeast and mid-Atlantic coasts. And although some of these projects may not be built, and only one commercial offshore wind farm has actually been constructed —the tiny, five-turbine “Block Island Wind” project off Rhode Island — analysts say that U.S. offshore wind is expected to enjoy significant growth in the coming decade. – quote from –  e360.yale.edu/after-an-uncertain-start-u-s-offshore-wind-is-powering-up


The Block Island Offshore Wind Farm is just 30 MW; with a total of five 6 MW turbines. This offshore wind farm serves to provide power to the relatively tiny population (>2000 p.) of the Block Island community and Block Island resorts, part of Rhode Island; although the Block Island Wind Farm can potentially provide power for up to 17,000 homes. In comparison, the 630 MW London Array offshore wind farm powers half a million UK homes every year. (see: London array). The London Array has 175 turbines, with each wind turbine at a little more than 1/2 of the MW (3.6 MW turbines compared to 6 MW turbines) of those on the Block Island Wind Farm. The United States has a way to go to catch up with Northern Europe as far as developing offshore wind farms; but as of yet, the U.S. has only developed a tiny fraction of this renewable energy source’s potential.

Scotland recently powered most of their country with wind energy. Scotland also boasts the Western world’s first operational floating offshore wind turbines, pioneering floating offshore wind turbine projects. Denmark is also one of a few countries that has used offshore wind energy (along with onshore) as their main power source, albeit for short periods of time (see: leading countries in wind energy). GE recently unveiled a 12 MW offshore wind turbine – the Haliade-X – which has been developed and made commercial for use in the above mentioned Ocean Wind Farm, the Vineyard Wind project (as described in this article by The Boston Globe), and other U.S. and European offshore wind farms.


For more on the latest cutting-edge developments in wind energy, please see:

Breakthroughs in Wind Turbine Technology


 

***UPDATE as of the end of 2018:

After buying the wind farm in 2018, the new Danish owners – Ørsted —[one of the] largest owners and developers of wind farms in the world — took over ownership from Deepwater Wind.
Deepwater Wind still operates the wind farm, and released this statement – “Ørsted plans to grow Deepwater Wind’s presence in the coming years, making Providence and Boston the two major [new] hubs of the company’s U.S. offshore wind.”    FROM: blockislandtimes.com/article/bi-wind-farm-get-new-owner

 


Please also see: 

The London Array – paving the way for efficient offshore wind farms

and:

The Anholt Offshore Wind Farm – Denmark’s most powerful source of renewable energy