Updated August 8, 2016
A new clean energy chapter for America is beginning that will create tens of thousands of jobs while protecting our wildlife and communities from the dangers of climate change. As a strong advocate for responsibly developed offshore wind power, the National Wildlife Federation is actively working with our affiliates and partners along the coast to inspire state leaders to seize this golden opportunity far off our shores – and we are making big progress.
A Big Week
There has never been a bigger week in America’s pursuit of offshore wind power.
First, America has our first offshore wind turbine! On August 4, 2016, the first turbine was assembled at the Block Island Wind Farm. Over the next few weeks, the project will be completed and 5 majestic turbines will be spinning off our shores – producing 30 megawatts (MW) of clean power that will entirely power Block Island and send surplus electricity up to the mainland.
This incredible success story is the result of visionary leadership over many years from state, local and federal officials, countless stakeholders, and of course, Deepwater Wind – the project developer that worked so hard to ensure that America’s first offshore wind project is a shining example of development done right. With comprehensive ocean planning as the foundation, and strong protocols in place to ensure that wildlife like the endangered North Atlantic right whale are protected as the project develops, the Block Island Wind Farm is a true success story for both wildlife and clean energy.
But that’s not all
On August 8th, 2016, Massachusetts’ leaders made history with the largest-ever state commitment to offshore wind power. A visionary bill was signed by Governor Baker that requires the Commonwealth to produce 1,600 MW of electricity from offshore wind – enough to power over a half million homes and establish the largest offshore wind market in the country. This new policy is precisely what’s needed to attract the attention and investment of the booming global industry to finally jump-start offshore wind power this side of the Atlantic. All eyes are now on the Governor to implement the law and unleash the many environmental and economic benefits offshore wind power can deliver. Join us in holding Governor Baker to his commitment!
And there’s more. A major opportunity for offshore wind power has opened up in New York. New York State just finalized a Clean Energy Standard, requiring 50% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. There is simply no way New York can meet this laudable goal without tapping its massive offshore wind resource.
While the final Clean Energy Standard did not include the specific offshore wind provisions called for by NWF and our coalition partners, the New York State Research and Development Authority is expected to release an Offshore Wind Master Plan this summer to clarify New York’s plan for launching offshore wind power. Just last month, Governor Cuomo publicly expressed support for the Long Island Power Authority’s plans to approve a 90 MW offshore wind project – an important first step in building the long term, large scale offshore wind program needed to meet New York’s 50% renewable energy goal.
America’s next energy chapter has begun, and it is off to a great start. But there is much work left to do to ensure American offshore wind power reaches its full potential. Please join us in calling on our state leaders along the coast to make visionary commitments to responsibly developed offshore wind power.
We need bold leadership today to build a clean energy future for wildlife.Urge your Governor to lead on offshore wind power!