Action: Join Our Alliance. Support Offshore Wind.
This investment makes sense. It turns Virginia in the right direction. There’s more. Far more, potentially. Hampton Roads could easily become the staging location — functionally, a supply hub — for future wind projects up and down the U.S. East Coast.
We have had four years fishing the Block Island Wind Farm now. Commercial gill nets are set up in the wind farm area, private boats, charter and large party boats as well as commercial trawlers and rod & reel fishermen fish there. They fish there because the fishing is good.
So it is about time we start to advocate for the responsible development of offshore wind farms as they have proven to be good for habitat, fish and fishers in Rhode Island and Europe. We need to insist on research and monitoring plans developed with angler input for every wind farm so we rely on science and fact based studies to measure the positive and negative impacts to habitat and fish before, during and after construction.
In the past decade, the use of wind power in the U.S. has more than tripled, making it the largest source of domestically generated renewable energy.
While onshore wind capacity continues to grow rapidly, generating around 7% of the country’s electricity, the U.S. also has incredible untapped potential for offshore wind.
In New England, offshore wind developers and the fishing industry continue to grapple with questions over potential impacts on the region’s valuable fisheries. A recent European study not only offers good news on that front, it also provides a template for how the two industries can work together. Research conducted over a six-year period concluded that the 35 turbines that form the Westermost Rough offshore wind facility, about 5 miles off England’s Holderness coast, have had no discernible impact on the area’s highly productive lobster fishing grounds.
So how can the state meet its goal of getting half its electrical power from renewable energy sources by 2030 when solar power production — which provides 22% of the state’s electricity — goes away with the sun? Researchers from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have an answer: Offshore wind turbines floating in the Pacific Ocean off the Central Coast.
With over 30 gigawatts (GW) of planned electric power generating capacity being installed on the U.S. East Coast continental shelf over the next decade and a half, offshore wind presents a major opportunity for seaboard states to generate green jobs in the decades ahead.
Offshore wind has the potential to become a major industry in the United States over the next decade, unlocking billions of U.S. dollars of investment and creating thousands of jobs.