Wind in the sails

Last week, the New York Times reported the U.S. Department of Energy’s plans to fund several offshore wind projects throughout the country.

For now, only one Western state, Oregon, has been chosen to receive funding for the project. Other coastal states include Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Virginia.

According to the report, “So far, no offshore wind farm is operating in American waters.” Each project will “receive up to $4 million to complete the engineering, design and permitting phases of their projects in six states. Three of the seven [states] will then be selected to receive up to $47 million over four years.” Operation will start in 2017.

The DOE website states, “Data on the resource potential suggest more than 4 million megawatts could be accessed in state and federal waters along the coasts of the United States and the Great Lakes, approximately four times the combined generating capacity of all U.S. electrical power plants.” A DOE report published last spring entitled, “A National Offshore Wind Strategy: Creating an Offshore Wind Energy Industry in the United States,” says, “Offshore wind energy can help the nation reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, diversify its energy supply, provide cost-competitive electricity to key coastal regions, and stimulate revitalization of key sectors of the economy by investing in infrastructure and creating skilled jobs. Key challenges to the development and deployment of offshore wind technology include the relatively high cost of energy, technical challenges surrounding installation and grid interconnection, and permitting challenges related to the lack of site data and lack of experience with permitting processes for projects in both federal and state waters.” Visit to read the whole report.