Biden administration approves second offshore wind project off Rhode Island
The Interior Department on Wednesday announced its approval of the second offshore wind project in federal waters off the coast of Rhode Island.
The South Fork wind project marks the second commercial-scale offshore project approved by Interior. It will be sited some 19 miles off Block Island and generate about 130 megawatts of wind power, according to the department. The first such project located off the shore of Massachusetts, broke ground last week.
“We have no time to waste in cultivating and investing in a clean energy economy that can sustain us for generations,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement.
“Just one year ago, there were no large-scale offshore wind projects approved in the federal waters of the United States. Today there are two, with several more on the horizon. This is one of many actions we are taking in pursuit of the President’s goal to open the doors of economic opportunity to more Americans.”
The announcement comes as the Biden administration has set a goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power, amid a broader goal of cutting U.S. carbon emissions in half by the end of the decade. In October, the administration issued an offshore wind power roadmap that would have the green energy source installed along nearly the entire U.S. coastline in the years ahead.
Haaland said in October that the Interior Department is eyeing leases in the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Maine, as well as along the Atlantic coast and off the coast of Oregon and California by 2025. The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package President Biden signed into law earlier this month includes funds to build out transmission lines for offshore wind and other renewable energy sources.
“Achieving the 30 GW goal can result in the creation of tens of thousands of good-paying union jobs across the country, as America moves to ramp up domestic supply chains for all aspects of offshore renewable energy development,” Laura Daniel-Davis, the department’s principal deputy assistant secretary for land and mineral management, said in a statement Wednesday.
“Today’s announcement, coupled with critical investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help us meet our goals for sustainable economies, clean energy, and climate resilience.”