The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
America's First Large Offshore Wind Farm to Offer $1.4B in Savings
Renewable energy is truly getting cheaper every day. The 800-megawatt wind farm Vineyard Wind project, the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the U.S., has offered a total levelized price of $65 per megawatt-hour (MWh)—a record low.
The planned wind farm, located 15 mies south of Martha's Vineyard, will be jointly developed by Avangrid Inc. and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. Their contract was filed Wednesday with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.
In all, Massachusetts electricity users will save about $1.4 billion over the 20-year duration of the contract, Bloomberg reported.
Energy expert Peter Kelly-Detwiler tweeted that the $65/MWh figure was "astonishing." To put that price into context, he went on, the next record-low price for offshore wind was Maryland's recent $131.9/MWh offer. Rhode Island's Block Island wind farm is set at $244/MWh. Kriegers Flak, a proposed offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, will cost $73/MWh.
Bloomberg reported that Vineyard Wind's bid is lower than the wind industry expected.
"That's pretty shocking for us," explained Tom Harries, a wind analyst at Bloomberg NEF. "I think the wider industry expected much higher prices. The repercussions of this are it will probably awaken a lot of other coastal states to the value of offshore wind."
As CommonWealth Magazine noted, while the price is above the average wholesale price of electricity in New England of $34/MWh, wind energy has a host of environmental benefits.
Wind power could also offer public health benefits, especially areas that are heavily reliant on polluting fossil fuels to generate electricity.
Lars Thaaning Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind, said in a press release that the "historic filing represents the start of an industry, one that will assure access to abundant clean energy resources for decades to come."
He said that Vineyard Wind was "able to offer an attractive price to the benefit of consumers" thanks to Federal tax credits and a long-term power-purchase agreement.
Massachusetts has set ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. In August 2016, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law requiring utilities to competitively solicit and contract for approximately 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind.
"By positioning Massachusetts as a hub for the emerging offshore wind industry, this competitive procurement will ensure the Commonwealth continues to lead the nation in innovation and renewable energy generation," Gov. Baker stated the Vineyard Wind project was selecting in May.
The project is on track to start in-state construction in 2019 with a goal of entering operation by 2021.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Elizabeth Henderson
The certified organic label has helped save many generational farms and enabled people like me, who do not come from agricultural backgrounds, to become successful farmers. Organic farming has brought environmental benefits—healthier soils, freedom from toxic pesticides and herbicides—to 6.5 million acres in the U.S.
By Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
You've probably heard the buzz around collagen supplements and your skin by now. But is the hype really that promising? After all, research has pointed to both the benefits and downsides of collagen supplements — and for many beauty-conscious folk, collagen isn't vegan.
By Marlene Cimons
Neil Pederson's introduction to tree rings came from a "sweet and kindly" college instructor, who nevertheless was "one of the most boring professors I'd ever experienced," Pederson said. "I swore tree rings off then and there." But they kept coming back to haunt him.
By Daisy Brickhill
Each morning, men living in fishing communities along Ghana's coastline push off in search of the day's catch. But when the boats come back to shore, it's the women who take over.
By Sam Nickerson
Links between excess sugar in your diet and disease have been well-documented, but new research by Harvard's School of Public Health might make you even more wary of that next soda: it could increase your risk of an early death.
The study, published this week in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, found that drinking one or two sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) each day — like sodas or sports drinks — increases risk of an early death by 14 percent.
Tyson Foods Recalls Nearly 70,000 Pounds of Chicken Strips After Customers Find ‘Fragments of Metal’
Tyson Foods is recalling approximately 69,093 pounds of frozen chicken strips because they may have been contaminated with pieces of metal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday.
The affected products were fully-cooked "Buffalo Style" and "Crispy" chicken strips with a "use by" date of Nov. 30, 2019 and an establishment number of "P-7221" on the back of the package.
"FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' freezers," the recall notice said. "Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."