Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

First Ever U.S. Offshore Wind Lease Sale in New England

Energy

Oceana

By Grace O'Connor

Big news for offshore wind! Yesterday, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held the first-ever competitive offshore wind lease sale in the U.S. off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The Wind Energy Area, located 9.2 nautical miles offshore, covers about 164,750 acres and is divided into two lease areas, referred to as the North Lease Area, and the South Lease Area, which cover 97,500 and 67,250 acres, respectively. This is an important and momentous step towards developing a clean, abundant energy source in the U.S.

Offshore wind turbines off Walney Island in the Irish Sea. Photo credit: Andy Dingley.

According to a report recently released by the Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the North Lease Area has the potential to produce 1,955 megawatts (MW), while the South Lease Area could produce up to 1,4400 MW. Combined, these areas could support enough electricity to power more than 1 million homes.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. has more than 4,000 GW of offshore wind potential off its coasts. That is enough energy to power the U.S. four times over. Also according to the DOE, a U.S. offshore wind industry that takes advantage of this abundant domestic resource could support up to 200,000 manufacturing, construction, operation and supply chain jobs across the country and drive over $70 billion in annual investments by 2030. Offshore wind represents an economic and energy opportunity that could mirror, and even surpass, the success of land-based wind development.

This lease sale is a historic advancement for the U.S. offshore wind industry as we have sat by and watched for more than 20 years as Europe has developed and benefited from offshore wind. We applaud this important step in the right direction towards making offshore wind a reality for the U.S. 

While Wednesday's lease sale takes a critical step toward building offshore wind in U.S. waters, Oceana believes that in order to continue the advancement of the U.S. offshore wind industry, a long-term extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is critical. As Oceana Deputy Vice President Jackie Savitz explained, “The ITC is necessary to stimulate investment in offshore wind, and extending it will further demonstrate that the U.S. stands strong in its commitment to this renewable energy source. We urge Congress to provide a long-term extension of the ITC for offshore wind so that we can finally begin to reap all of the environmental and economic benefits of this domestic clean energy supply.”

A second offshore wind lease sale, which will auction off nearly 112,800 acres of Virginia’s coastal waters, is scheduled for September 4.

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

———

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Michael Svoboda

The enduring pandemic will make conventional forms of travel difficult if not impossible this summer. As a result, many will consider virtual alternatives for their vacations, including one of the oldest forms of virtual reality – books.

Read More Show Less
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Beth Ann Mayer

Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.

Read More Show Less
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less
People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

Read More Show Less