Story at a glance
- The Vineyard Wind 1 project will be located about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 35 miles from mainland Massachusetts in federal waters.
- The project will feature 62 wind turbines capable of generating 800 megawatts of electricity each year, enough to power more than 400,000 homes.
- It’s expected to be operational by 2023.
Construction of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm kicked off this week as part of the Biden administration’s plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power over the next decade.
The Vineyard Wind 1 project will be located about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 35 miles from mainland Massachusetts in federal waters. The project will feature 62 wind turbines capable of generating 800 megawatts of electricity each year, enough to power more than 400,000 homes.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland joined Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (D) on Thursday in Cape Cod for the wind project's groundbreaking.
Initial phases of construction include installing transmission cables to connect the offshore facility to the mainland.
Haaland said the project is the first of many that will contribute to the Biden administration’s goal of generating 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.
“Vineyard Wind 1 represents a historic milestone for advancing our nation’s clean energy production,” Haaland said in a statement.
“This project and others across the country will create robust and sustainable economies that lift up communities and support good-paying jobs, while also ensuring future generations have a livable planet,” Haaland said.
Officials said the project will be built by union labor and create hundreds of jobs.
The wind farm is expected to begin delivering power to the grid by 2023.
Haaland last month announced the Biden administration is aiming to develop at least seven large-scale wind farms along U.S. coastlines. The administration is looking to have wind farms in the Gulf of Maine, Gulf of Mexico and off the coasts of New York and Mid-Atlantic states, the Carolinas, California and Oregon.
But there’s been some opposition to the project off Martha’s Vineyard. Commercial fishing groups have filed lawsuits challenging approval of the project due to concerns it could harm the industry and have an adverse effect on fish populations, according to The Associated Press.
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