Massachusetts announces historic offshore wind contract

Massachusetts announces historic offshore wind contract
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Massachusetts announced plans Wednesday to build a wind farm off the coast of Martha's Vineyard that will generate enough energy to power 400,000 homes.

The state said Vineyard Wind will build a 800-megawatt offshore wind farm — the largest-ever procurement of offshore wind by a state.

Massachusetts residents are expected to start receiving energy from the state's first offshore wind farm by 2021, according to The Associated Press.

"Today’s announcement brings the Commonwealth one step closer to achieving our administration’s goals of creating a clean, reliable and cost-effective energy future for Massachusetts residents, and significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change," the state's Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said in a statement.

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Massachusetts's neighbor Rhode Island is also getting into wind energy, having signed a partnership with Deepwater Wind on Wednesday. The Rhode Island-based clean energy developer will build a 400-megawatt wind farm off the Ocean State's coast.

The states must both negotiate a contract and get approval by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to move forward with the construction.

"This new, large-scale offshore wind project will bring clean and low-cost power to Rhode Islanders and further diversify our energy resources — all while adding good-paying jobs to our growing economy," Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) said in a statement.

Rhode Island's project, named the The Revolution Wind project, is expected to be ten times the size of the state's current Block Island Wind Farm, according to a press release.

The Trump administration has emphasized its desire to expand U.S. energy production, including offshore wind. Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy: EPA moves to raise ethanol levels in gasoline | Dems look to counter White House climate council | Zinke cleared of allegations tied to special election Zinke cleared of violating federal rules tied to Pennsylvania special election Overnight Energy: Trump unveils 2020 budget | Plan slashes funds for EPA, Interior and Energy | Interior request highlights border security MORE has frequently noted the potential of such offshore projects in addition to or in place of drilling for oil offshore.