Today, we celebrate unprecedented offshore wind progress on three fronts. Each of the milestones below follow years of advocacy, research, stakeholder engagement, and collaboration that will continue well into the future. While there is important work ahead to get large-scale and responsibly developed offshore wind power projects up and running in U.S. waters, if there has ever been a moment to believe we are getting closer to making that vision a reality, today’s progress gives us that moment.

Block Island Wind Farm – America’s first and only five offshore wind turbines.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island

The two states took a leap together. Two offshore wind energy projects have been selected by the region’s utilities to provide power to Massachusetts (Vineyard Wind – 800 megawatts) and Rhode Island (Deepwater Wind – 400 megawatts).

This marks the first round of development to fulfill Massachusetts’ 1,600 megawatt offshore wind commitment signed into law in 2016. And it puts the region on track to replace retiring nuclear and coal-fired power plants with the clean, local, inexhaustible power available and abundant far offshore.

“It is a historic day for offshore wind power in New England, thanks to project commitments by Massachusetts and Rhode Island that will collectively power a half million homes. The National Wildlife Federation applauds the leadership of these states for ensuring that New England becomes a hub for this transformational new clean energy industry. Responsibly developed offshore wind power offers an unparalleled opportunity to bring thousands of jobs and reliable, affordable power to the region while advancing a critically needed climate solution. Looking forward, we will continue working with all project developers to ensure these projects are built with the highest standards of wildlife protection in place every step of the way.”

Click here to learn more about what this means for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the nation’s offshore wind industry!

New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy made good on his campaign promise to lead the nation in offshore wind power by signing into law a commitment to 3,500 megawatts, the largest state offshore wind policy to date.

“The National Wildlife Federation applauds Governor Murphy’s commitment to make New Jersey the nation’s offshore wind leader with the most ambitious state policy in the country. We look forward to working with the Murphy administration to ensure that all projects built to power New Jersey are developed responsibly with the highest standards of wildlife protection in place. Advancing responsibly developed offshore wind projects will bring clean air, thousands of jobs and reliable, affordable power to New Jersey. We have no time to waste in building a clean energy future for both people and wildlife. Gov. Murphy’s bold leadership is exactly what’s needed to bring this critically needed climate solution online.”

Today’s action builds on Governor Murphy’s bold leadership early in his first term on offshore wind power. In January, the Governor signed Executive Order 8, directing the state to develop an Offshore Wind Master Plan for meeting this 3,500 MW goal. The order includes instructions for wildlife protection, specifically stating that the Plan will “focus on critical components of offshore wind development, including job growth, workforce development, data collection, and appropriate determination of facilities, as well as ensuring that natural resources are protected.”

Click here to learn more about what this means for New Jersey and the nation’s offshore wind industry!


Amber Hewett • May 23, 2018