Offshore Wind Power Foretells Energy Boom

Offshore Wind Power Foretells Energy Boom

The Vineyard Offshore Wind project is about to begin operation, and when it starts spinning in 2022, its 84 offshore wind turbines will generate 800 MW and save $1.3 billion in energy costs over a 20-year contract. The resultant energy boom could be the biggest coup since oil. Hopefully.

Wind power is nothing new in the U.S. – Iowa generates over a third of its energy from wind turbines – but offshore wind is a novelty. And it’s an alt-energy goldmine.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, our shores have the potential to generate 2,000 GW of clean energy, which is nearly double our current electricity use. The Department of Energy forecasts that we could install 22,000 MW of offshore wind projects by 2030 and 86,000 MW by 2050. That’s a lot of spare power and could go a long way towards breaking our dependence on fossil fuels (and the despotic regimes that produce them).

The Vineyard Wind project – based 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard – wouldn’t be the first of its kind (that honor goes to the Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island), but it’ll be the largest design on this side of the Atlantic. For good reason.

Just across the pond, our Commander in Chief has waged a one-hashtag war on a small, 11-turbine offshore wind farm in Aberdeen, Scotland. President Trump claimed the wind turbines disrupted the view from his golf course, and he’s been firing off Twitter missives since at least 2012.

Seven years ago, Trump urged English taxpayers to “stop subsidizing the destruction of Scotland by paying massive subsidies for ugly wind turbines.” He’s since taken his fight to the courts and then-Prime Minister David Cameron, both of whom proved less than receptive.

Trump also claims that wind turbines cause cancer. So there’s that.

Meanwhile, offshore wind is just begging to be exploited.

“Offshore wind has arrived,” said Erich Stephens, chief development officer for Vineyard Wind. “Not only is wind power less expensive, but you can place the turbines in deeper water, and do it less expensively than before.”

Read more about this and the offshore wind saga here: