The United States has officially opened its first off-shore wind farm, which opens up a new avenue of clean energy for the world’s biggest economy.
GE and Deepwater Wind have partnered to build five massive turbines three miles off Block Island to power about 17,000 homes, a project costing about $300 million (£235m). It announced on Monday that the wind farm has begun producing energy for the grid and started delivering power to the New England grid on December 12.
Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski calls the opening a momentous occasion that unlocks the code of how to do offshore wind in the US at a crucial time when states are trying to figure out how to replace aging power plants. The move is also likely to restore some hope that might have been lost by clean energy enthusiasts amid the election of Donald Trump, whom is a known skeptic of renewable energies.
The project has been a long time in the making; Deepwater installed the wind farm over two years ago and the turbines were installed in August. The turbines are some of the largest around, reaching heights of 560-feet, which is double the height of the statue of liberty.
Unlike a lot of large-scale projects, the wind farm has not received a great deal of opposition. Many of the residents within close proximity have supported the project, in the hope that it will drive down the high-cost energy.
The turbines were scheduled to begin operating in November but there was slight delay in final regulatory approval and therefore it has been delayed slightly. This will no doubt be the start of a large expansion within the sector, in the United States.