For the first time a wind farm has been established in the United States offshore instead of on land. A small community off Rhode Island is now the beneficiary of this clean energy generated by the ocean breeze.
This wind farm is small, making up only five turbines powering 17,000 homes, but this will set the example for more offshore winds projects along the American coast. Up to 90% of this community’s needs will be met by this wind-generated power and about 1% will go back to the state’s electricity grid. It is estimated that this wind farm will reduce carbon dioxide by about 40,000 tons per year.
It is true that opposition to offshore wind farms have always existed. Among the reasons are the high costs, rules about where to build on the seafloor and of course complaints from people on aesthetic reasons.
It is possible that this new optimism for offshore wind turbines may in fact be short-lived. The new Trump administration has already expressed its disdain for this technology. As subsidies are needed for the development of green technology the new administration might simply starve them from new money. The President-elect has been accused in the past of exaggerating the harmful effect of wind turbines on bird populations and his transition team has said that wind energy will face more scrutiny from the federal government. Too bad that the oil industry does not suffer the same scrutiny. This is a worrying sign of things to come perhaps but somehow I am not surprised by this.