#offshore wind
One Cool Thing:  Maine Approves First Offshore Floating Wind Project in the U.S.

One Cool Thing: Maine Approves First Offshore Floating Wind Project in the U.S.

We wanted to end the week on a high note!  We have written about Norway’s big plans for floating offshore wind — now we will have it in the U.S. too, thanks to the Governor of Maine, Janet Mills, who finally got the 12-megawatt demonstration project green-lit by pushing through legislation that forced state utility […]

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Vineyard Wind Project Timeline Uncertain, Fishers Pushing For More Study

Vineyard Wind Project Timeline Uncertain, Fishers Pushing For More Study

Greentech Media reported late last week that the approval timeline is unclear for Vineyard Wind, an 800-megawatt wind project off the coast of Massachusetts valued at $2.8 billion that would be the largest thus far in the U.S. — the government is reconsidering its “cumulative impact analysis” on the environment and the delays are causing ripple effects in the broader U.S. offshore wind market.  Emails between the National Marine Fisheries Service of NOAA and fishermen who argue they will be adversely impacted by Vineyard Wind are now public, reveal close ties and some coordination between the Agency and the fishing industry to throw cold water on the wind development, according to E&E News.

Why This Matters:  The industry will need certainty on the approval timeline to be able to fulfill its economic potential. The needs and sacrifices of fishers must be balanced against the greater good of decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels.

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World’s Largest Wind Turbines Get The Green Light

World’s Largest Wind Turbines Get The Green Light

Construction of the world’s largest offshore wind turbines is set to begin in 2020 in the North Sea. In 2023 when these behemoth turbines (they’re 853ft tall with blades that extend 351ft) come online they will power 4.5 million homes with renewable energy and will generate 5% of the UK’s total power supply. Why This Matters: According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), “our shores possess a power potential of more than 2,000 gigawatts (GW), nearly double the nation’s current electricity use. This potential presents an enormous opportunity to deliver large amounts of clean and reliable electricity to the country’s largest population centers, where it’s needed most.”

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Trump Administration Delays Offshore Wind Farm To Do More Environmental Reviews

Trump Administration Delays Offshore Wind Farm To Do More Environmental Reviews

Yesterday, in his press conference at the end of the G-7 summit, the President said he would not “lose” our country’s “tremendous wealth … on dreams and windmills, which, frankly, aren’t working too well.”  It seems that his statement was more than just hot air.  Earlier this month, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that it is expanding its review of the environmental impacts of the Vineyard Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts to include a “more robust” analysis of the potential cumulative impact if other offshore wind farms are built.

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Offshore Wind: Huge Potential And Open Questions

Offshore Wind: Huge Potential And Open Questions

Last week a panel of experts speaking to the Capitol Hill Oceans Week Conference discussed the state of offshore wind development in the U.S. — describing the huge commercial potential and the difficult issues that are still being confronted in the industry’s infancy. It was a sobering look at this hot new source of renewable energy, but despite the challenges, offshore wind development seems inevitable.

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Defense Department to Study Impacts of Offshore Wind Development on Readiness

Defense Department to Study Impacts of Offshore Wind Development on Readiness

The Defense Department’s annual spending bill currently includes a requirement for a report on the impact of offshore wind’s on national security, and a description of options to mitigate the impacts.  There is similar language in the Interior Department spending bill that urges “thorough consideration and accommodation of all affected interests including national defense, security, environmental, maritime safety, fisheries, and particularly locally affected community concerns.”

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Right Whales Are The Right Whale to Save – Just Ask Vineyard Wind

Right Whales Are The Right Whale to Save – Just Ask Vineyard Wind

There are fewer than 415 North Atlantic Right Whales remaining with only 100 females of breeding age left in the population. This is one of the most endangered species on the planet, thanks to man-made threats like ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. According to the U.S. Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Beth Allgood, “There may be only five years remaining to save these whales. This is one of the most pressing conservation challenges of our time.”

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Right Whales Get Right of Way

Right Whales Get Right of Way

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wasted no time returning from the shutdown and extended restrictions on shipping in an area off Cape Cod on the way into Boston Harbor to protect the highly endangered Northern right whale.  The “Ship Strike Rule” mandates speed restrictions of no more than 10 knots for vessels 65 feet or greater in certain locations and at certain times of the year along the east coast of the United States.

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