According to the Department of the Interior, the federal government will lease off-shore sites in the next four year to build massive wind farms in seven locations along the East and West coasts of the United States and the Gulf of Mexico. This is part of the White House's push to increase clean energy production.
On September 22, 2016, a wind farm stood 3 miles from Block Island, Rhode Island. Getty Images
The Key Facts
The Department of the Interior plans to sell leases for wind energy in 2025 at sites in the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of Maine. This includes areas in the New York Bight and Central Atlantic, as well as areas off the coast of the Carolinas and Northern California. The Biden administration announced plans in June to lease space for wind farm farms in the New York Bight. This area is located between Long Island, New Jersey and New York. The federal government hopes that it will eventually produce more then 7,000 megawatts. This is part of the Biden administration's long-term plan to generate 30,000 Megawatts of electricity offshore wind turbines by 2030. That would be enough to power more than 10 million households and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 78 Million metric tons.
42 megawatts. According to the Department of Energy, that's the amount of energy generated by offshore wind farms in the United States. Two offshore wind farms operate near Rhode Island, and one off Virginia.
The May approval by the Interior Department for construction of an 800-megawatt windfarm 12 nautical miles south from Marthas Vineyard, Massachusetts was a landmark. It is also the first large offshore project in the country. The department is currently approving several other projects and said Wednesday that it plans to approve many more by 2025.
What we don't know
New wind turbines could not start spinning off the coasts for several years. The Interior Department proposed a schedule that suggested lease sales could be held in offshore areas in 2023 or later. Previous offshore wind projects have been stalled by opposition from landowners, fishing groups, eco-conscious groups, and others. Amanda Lefton, the director of the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said that the administration will try to engage with all stakeholders early and often in order to avoid conflict.
Biden wants to reduce carbon emissions from U.S. power production by 2035. This is a lofty goal considering that the country currently produces about 60% of its electricity from fossil fuels. Although solar and wind power make up just 10% of the country's electricity production, their capacity has increased rapidly in recent years.
Bidens Big Bet On Offshore Wind (Forbes)
Biden To Push Offshore Wind Farm Expansion (Forbes)
Offshore Wind Farms (New York Times).